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Dermabrasion Overview

GOALS Skin resurfacing or rejuvenation or for the improvement in the appearance of raised scars, fine lines, and some skin discolorations
PROCEDURE Dermabrasion
ANESTHESIA local anesthesia alone or in combination with sedation
LENGTH Under 1 hour
AFTER PROCEDURE The treatment site is kept moist with ointment until new skin repopulates the treatment site.
RECOVERY Residual redness may be concealed with makeup by 7 days. Redness typically fades gradually by several weeks.



Dermabrasion is a skin resurfacing modality which employs mechanical friction to effectively exfoliate the facial skin. This procedure allows for controlled removal of the top layer(s) of skin to reveal the deeper, more youthful-appearing layers underneath, and to encourage the skin to regenerate itself. Dermabrasion may improve the appearance of raised scars as well as fine lines and certain age-related skin discolorations which can detract from the skin's youthful appearance.

Photos above depict patients who underwent Dermabrasion with Dr. Pearson. Skin around the mouth (perioral region) was treated to improve appearance of 'smokers' lines' and skin surface irregularity. Select each photo for larger resolution image.

>VIEW DERMABRASION PHOTOS  Click to view Dermabrasion Before & After Photos

>VIEW PHOTOS Click to view additional Before & After Photos

Dermabrasion should not be confused with microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion superficially treats the very outer layer of skin and may be performed in a non-medical setting. In contrast, dermabrasion penetrates deep into the dermis of the skin and should only be performed by a trained physician.

Dermabrasion performed to the appropriate level of the dermis disrupts the collagenous infrastructure, increasing fibroblast activity and resulting in the formation of new collagen type I, dermal remodeling, and clinical improvement in the appearance of the skin. [1][2][3]

The Aging Process
Cumulative sun damage contributes primarily to changes in the surface of the skin. Collagen, which forms the substance of the skin, is degraded and lost. Fine lines and wrinkles may develop. Pores may appear to enlarge. Age spots or discolorations may become increasingly visible. Together, these sun and age-related skin surface changes detract from the smooth, full, and uniform qualities of youthful skin.

Indications for Dermabrasion / When to consider Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion may be considered when: insufficient results have been achieved using other resurfacing methods such as laser or chemical peel, the target involves thicker skin in the perioral region (around the mouth - upper lip and chin)

Candidates for Dermabrasion
You may be a candidate for dermabrasion treatment if you have findings of sun-damaged skin including fine lines and wrinkles or skin discolorations. Dermabrasion may be especially useful in treating the fine lines surrounding the lips. Dermabrasion may also be used to improve the appearance of raised or elevated scars.

Complementary Procedures
In conjunction with chemical peeling, wrinkle relaxers (such as Botox® or Dysport®) may be used for those dynamic wrinkles which are present with muscle movement. In addition, injectable dermal fillers and volumizers may be employed to improve the appearance of facial volume loss and those wrinkles and lines that are present at rest. Other resurfacing procedures such as laser resurfacing or chemical peeling may be employed depending on the particular needs of a given patient.

Recovery after Dermabrasion
Recovery depends upon the depth of the treatment employed. In most cases, the treatment site is kept moist using ointments until new skin repopulates the treatment site. By the 7th day, any residual redness may be concealed with makeup. Redness typically fades gradually by several weeks.

Literature References

  • (1) Smith JE. Dermabrasion. Facial Plast Surg. 2014 Feb;30(1):35-9.
  • (2) Alkhawam L, Alam M. Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. Facial Plast Surg. 2009 Dec;25(5):301-10.
  • (3) Surowitz JB, Shockley WW. Enhancement of facial scars with dermabrasion. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2011 Aug;19(3):517-25.

Patient speaks about her Dermabrasion experience with Dr. Pearson

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American Academy of
Facial Plastic Surgery

American Board of Facial Plastic
& Reconstructive Surgery
American College of Surgeons
Dr. Pearson Castle Connolly Top Doctor
Castle Connolly

Dr. Pearson sees patients from around the world including the following Southern California locations: Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, Orange County, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, South Bay, Torrance, Venice, Ventura, Westchester, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills