Acne Treatment: Dermabrasion

There are numerous cosmetic surgery options available for acne treatment. Dermabrasion is one such treatment, which is based on the principles of ablative resurfacing of facial skin. In ablative resurfacing procedures, the skin is wounded till the level of dermis, to stimulate the growth of new skin. In initial times, dermabrasion was used as a treatment for the removal of tattoos, but in recent times, it is being used effectively for acne scar treatment.

How It Works

Damaged dermis and epidermis layers of the facial skin are removed so that new skin is formed for replenishing. The acne scars look more prominent, as the level of acne scars is lower than the surrounding skin. When the skin is dermabraded, the level of the surrounding skin will also reach the same level as that of scars, making them less visible.

Dermabrasion Procedure

First, the facial skin is pretreated for 20 to 30 minutes with an icepack. Depending on the area of the skin and depth of acne scars, local anesthesia and sedatives are given to the patient. After this, the skin areas that need dermabrasion are marked with a gentian violet. Now the skin is prepared by spraying refrigerant and made firm just before the start of the procedure. Then, with a diamond fraise or fine wire brush, the epidermis and dermis layers of the facial skin are removed.

A hand-held motor is used to rotate this brush or fraise on the surface of your facial skin. These instruments are available in different qualities, shapes and coarseness. Even the motor speed can be controlled from low to high rpm depending on the skin type and skin condition. This procedure may take 15 to 60 min depending on the size of the area to be treated.

Precautions to be Taken

Utmost care should be taken to clean and sterilize the operation room and tools before and after the procedure in order to reduce the air-borne and blood infections. Movement of the brush or fraise should be done in a skilled manner. It should be moved in a steady and firm back and forth movements and with uniform pressure all through the procedure.

To achieve optimum results, the surgeon must select an appropriate brush and motor speed. Bleeding from the thawing treated skin must be stopped and covered with biologic and non-biologic sterile dressing. Dermabrasion should be carried out till the dermis, and care should be taken not to damage the subcutaneous layer of the skin.


    Dermabrasion is used to remove the acne scars, facial rhytids and other skin conditions. You can obtain a tighter and smoother skin, as it has removed all fine wrinkles, acne scars and moles. When dermabrasion is done in combination with other facial procedures, like chemical peeling and laser resurfacing techniques, it is found to produce enhanced effects. However, if the acne scars are deeper, multiple dermabrasions have to be done with an interval.

    Always remember that Dermabrasion can be performed only by a skilled surgeon to avoid potential risks and complications.