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Like peels, dermabrasion works by removing the outer layer of skin so that new, rejuvenated skin can grow in its place.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Dermabrasion has been around in one form or another since the early 19th century, and although techniques have changed, the principles behind the re-contouring of facial skin have remained the same.

Like chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion works because the top layer of skin cells, which bears the brunt of damage from acne, sun exposure, wrinkles, and other imperfections and blemishes, is destroyed, and replaced with new, undamaged cells as the skin heals. Dermabrasion is the most basic of skin-resurfacing techniques - the skin is essentially sanded off.

What It's Good For

Dermabrasion typically revives skin affected by acne, sun exposure, wrinkles and precancerous lesions. It has also been used as a last resort for laser-resistant tattoos.

Recommended Uses
Name Description Cost
Acne scars Dermabrasion is a good treatment for permanently improving acne scars. It is especially useful for boxcar scars. A mechanical rotating tool is used to sand away the epidermis and the dermis...more Dermabrasion of a single acne pit costs about $100. Full facial treatment costs between...more
Age spots Dermabrasion essentially sands off the top layer of skin, allowing new and fresh skin to emerge in its place. It’s not inexpensive and it can be painful. Recovery can take up to a week,...more Age spots can be sanded away with dermabrasion for $1,000 to $4,000. The price depends on...more
Lip wrinkles ("smoker's mouth" or "lipstick lines") In some cases, a deep dermabrasion can help reduce or remove lipstick lines. Dermabrasion involves removing the top layer of skin with a sort of high-tech sander (not unlike the ones used...more Dermabrasion for lipstick lines costs around $1,000.
Wrinkles Dermabrasion is a good treatment for moderate to deep static wrinkles. With proper skin care, dermabrasion can smooth wrinkles for up to two years. Dermabrasion uses an abrasive power tool...more Full facial dermabrasion may cost up to $4,000, though if you only plan to treat a small...more

Who it works for: Lighter skin is less likely to become discolored after dermabrasion.

Recommended age range: The stronger your skin, the quicker it will heal, meaning that the treatment is better suited to men (who have thicker skin than women) and women under the age of 50.

When will I see results?: The skin will be painful, swollen, red, and uneven during the peeling process, which lasts for one to two weeks. A light brown crust will start to form on the skin after two or three days. The deeper the dermabrasion, the thicker the crust.

It usually takes about seven to 10 days for the skin itself to heal, though redness can linger for weeks. Complete results may take almost one month to become apparent.

How long it lasts: The results are long-lasting. Scar reduction is permanent, and with appropriate protection from the sun, wrinkle reduction can last for upward of two years.

Key benefits of dermabrasion: Dermabrasion can leave you with smoother, rejuvenated skin with fewer wrinkles, blemishes, sun-spots, and scars. One dermabrasion treatment tends to be sufficient to see desired results.

Who's Done It?

None have owned up to it, but it's been rumored that Megan Fox, Priscilla Presley, and Bruce Willis have all had dermabrasion procedures. Doubtlessly, many celebrities have gotten dermabrasions to stay looking youthful and vibrant.

Find experts who offer dermabrasion near you