Type of Surgery


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Last updated: 11/24/2009


Originally developed as a means of treating acne scars, dermabrasion can be used to treat many kinds of skin problems including scars from other types of wounds, wrinkles, skin coloration abnormalities, and other more serious conditions such as rhinophyma,...

a disfiguring form of rosacea that affects the nose. Although the treatment is not a cure, in that the scar or other abnormality cannot be entirely removed, dermabrasion does soften the edges of the scar or other abnormality and can radically improve its appearance.

Dermabrasion is often used in combination with other plastic surgery techniques, such as chemical peels, excisions, punch grafting, and CO2 laser resurfacing to achieve an overall smoothing of various skin abnormalities, particularly of the face.



A physician describes what causes acne to develop and how it can lead to facial scars. She also describes several acne scarring treatments including collagen injections, dermal fat injections, dermabrasion, and laser skin treatments. The doctor also describes the role of skin transplant surgery and skin grafts in acne scar repair.

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A doctor performs dermabrasion with a high-speed rotary wheel (A). The tool takes off the top layers of the skin (B) to improve the appearance of wrinkles or scars (C). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) A doctor performs dermabrasion with a high-speed rotary wheel (A). The tool takes off the top layers of the skin (B) to improve the appearance of wrinkles or scars (C). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)


Other Information

Dermabrasion is a cosmetic medical procedure in which the surface of the epidermis of the skin (the stratum corneum) is removed by abrasion (sanding). It is used to remove sun-damaged skin and to remove or lessen scars and dark spots on the skin. The procedure is very painful and usually requires a general anaesthetic or twilight anaesthesia, in which the patient is still partly conscious Afterward, the skin is very red and raw-looking, and it takes several months for the skin to regrow and heal. Dermabrasion is useful for scar removal when the scar is raised above the surrounding skin, but is less effective with sunken scars.

In the past, dermabrasion was done using a small, sterilized, electric sander. In the past decade, it has become more common to use a CO2 or Erbium:YAG laser. Laser dermabrasion is much easier to control, much easier to gauge, and is practically bloodless compared to classic dermabrasion.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermabrasion

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