Dermabrasion

Immediately after treatment:

Immediately after dermabrasion, the patient must take meticulous care of the wound, including regularly changing dressings and wraps/coverings. This will require frequent check-ups with the doctor.1

Days and weeks after treatment:

In the days and weeks after treatments, most patients experience:

  • Erythema (skin redness): This is normal after dermabrasion and may persist for weeks and sometimes even months2
  • Sun sensitivity: It is important to avoid sun exposure and use sunscreens for 12 weeks after dermabrasion to avoid sunburn and hyperpigmentation (darkening of scars)3,5

Longer term:

  • Once the skin heals, improvements in scars may continue for months.
  • A small number of patients experience long-term side effects, such as:

    • Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin): This usually disappears in several months.
    • Hypopigmentation (lightening of skin): This can take up to a year to improve and, in rare cases, can be permanent.1
References
  1. Rivera, AE. Acne scarring: a review and current treatment modalities. J Am Acad Dermatol 59, 659-676 (2008).
  2. Roenigk, HH. Dermabrasion: state of the art 2002. J Cosmet Dermatol 1, 72-97 (2002).
  3. Levy LL, and Zeichner JA. Management of acne scarring, part II. A comparative review of non-laser-based, minimally invasive approaches. Am J Clin Dermatol. 13(5), 331-340 (2012).
  4. Frank W. Therapeutic dermabrasion: back to the future. Arch Dermatol 130(9), 1187-1189 (1994). 
  5. Nelson BR, et al. A comparison of wire brush and diamond fraise superficial dermabrasion for photoaged skin: A clinical, immunohistologic, and biochemical study. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 34(2), 235-243 (1996).
  6. Pavlidis L, and Spyropoulou G.A. A simple technique to perform manual dermabrasion with sandpaper. Dermatol Surgery 38(12), 2016-2017 (2012).
  7. Aronsson A, Eriksson T, Jacobsson S, and Salemark L. Effects of dermabrasion on acne scarring. A review and a study of 25 cases. Acta Derm Venereol. 77(1), 39-42 (1997).
  8. Maddin S, Danto JL, and Steward WD. Dermal abrasion for the removal of acne scars. Can Med Assoc J. 82, 1072-4 (1960).