What Is Facial Dermabrasion?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Facial dermabrasion is a procedure in which the top layers of skin are sloughed off of the face. During dermabrasion, a special tool with a rotating abrasive tip is used. This procedure is usually done to enhance a person's looks. Although a person's face is more unattractive after the procedure, new healthy skin generally replaces the old skin within a few weeks or a few months.

The first fine layers of skin are removed during facial dermabrasion. This action helps promote the growth of new skin. In most cases, this skin is much better looking than the layers that were sloughed off.

Someone might undergo a facial dermabrasion procedure for several reasons. This is sometimes done to remove very fine wrinkles, for instance. Some individuals with old facial scars, particularly acne scars, will opt for this procedure as well. Dermabrasion can also be used to remove or lessen the appearance of some tattoos.

A facial dermabrasion technician is often able to do this procedure on a patient's entire face, or just a small section of it. A patient can opt to have just the wrinkles around her eyes removed, for instance. On the other hand, a patient with extensive acne scarring on her face may wish to have her entire face done.


During a facial dermabrasion procedure, anesthesia is used to help numb the pain. Since this is usually a minor procedure, a local anesthesia is usually used. For more extensive procedures, however, a patient may be under general anesthesia.

A facial dermabrasion tool is typically an electronic device with a wheel that rotates at very fast speeds. This wheel is made of an abrasive material, such as finely ground up crystals. The wheel is carefully applied to the facial area to remove the skin. Depending on how much of the face is being done, It can take as long as a couple of hours to complete.

A patient can usually go home the same she has a facial dermabrasion procedure. Her face will usually be very red, painful, and possibly swollen. An over-the-counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory can be used to reduce these symptoms. Cold compresses may also help.

Crusty scabs will usually form over the area within a few days. These will generally fall off a short time later. The new skin that emerges will then be pink, but this color should disappear with a few weeks to a month.

Individuals who have a tendency to scar easily are generally advised not to have a facial dermabrasion procedure. Also, individuals with active acne or rosacea should wait until their skin clears up before having this procedure done. Many doctors will also not perform this procedure on oral herpes sufferers beucase if an outbreak occurs during the healing process, it could spread to the entire face.



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