What are the pros and cons of dermabrasion?

In the past, to have beautiful skin may be difficult and most likely relied on beauty remedies or ancestor habits which are not backed up by science. Nowadays, information regarding skin health either for cosmetic purposes or solely health concern is easily available on the internet and most are backed up by science and discoveries by researchers or scientists. Most skin issues can be fixed with the availability of technology and medicine nowadays. Among treatments that have been options for people looking to improve their skin complexion is a dermabrasion.

Dermabrasion is a procedure that works by the principle of resurfacing the skin. There are many skin problems that can be improved merely by getting dermabrasion such as minimising scars from acne, accidents or previous surgery and to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines caused by the ageing process. In some cases, dermabrasion is also used to improve appearance from sun damage and eliminating precancerous skin growth.

A session of dermabrasion is done manually by certified doctors or dermatologists. It is done in the office and usually does not have a specific room such as the operation theatre. High-speed instrument with a rotating abrasive wheel or brush is used in a dermabrasion procedure. What dermabrasion does is to intentionally “injure” the skin to induce a skin reaction. While it may sound scary, this is done in a very gentle manner only to trigger skin reaction so that the skin will be replaced by new skin tissues. Typically, a person planning to get dermabrasion will need to go through a series of skin consultations to help them fully understand the realistic goal or result from the procedure. Another aspect that should be considered by both doctors and patients are the pros and cons of dermabrasion.

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Usually a person does not need a person to stay overnight in the hospital. Patients can go home after the dermabrasion session and may need to take medicine as prescribed by doctors at home. Avoiding direct sunlight and using sunscreen are part of doctor’s advice to be followed.

Dermabrasion in general only takes several minutes for most face treatments and smaller areas of the body.

New skin can be seen as fast as 7 to 10 days after a session.

Since dermabrasion does cause injuries, discomfort or pain can be expected but tends to go away within 24 hours.


Ideal for fair-skinned people to minimise risk of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmentation) or pigmentation loss (hypopigmentation) that is high in people with dark skin complexion.

May not be suitable for those with history of taking isotretinoin or currently on isotretinoin as this drug may cause high risk for raised scar such as keloid scar or hypertrophic scar which defeats the purpose of dermabrasion itself.

A person with a history of herpes simplex virus (HSV) or cold sore may need to go through antiviral treatments for a few days or weeks prior to procedure. This is done to lower chances of fever blisters.

May not be suitable for those with active acne.

Dermabrasion remains ineffective to reduce lesion from birth, birthmarks or congenital skin abnormalities and moles.

There is risk for infection but it is rare.

Swelling and scars may still follow after a dermabrasion.

Skin irritation is common with the skin being sensitive and bright pink colour for the first few months.

In essence, dermabrasion is one of the many treatment options available to help improve a person’s skin condition. It is best to discuss with dermatologists or doctors regarding options and choosing the best skin treatments addressing your skin concerns. Remember to always follow all advice before, during and after a skin procedure.

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