What Are the Different Types of Dermabrasion Treatments?

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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
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The different types of dermabrasion treatments that are performed in a professional setting vary according to the amount of skin layers that are removed. One type removes the top layers of the skin with a wire tool. The second type removes deeper layers of skin with a razor-like device that corrects more serious depressions or scars. Microdermabrasion is a popular at-home treatment that resurfaces the skin's epidermis with crystals and a mild resurfacing tool.

Dermabrasion treatments are used to remove or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars and spots. In some cases they are used to remove tattoo ink. An alternative to dermabrasion treatments are lasers that remove hyperpigmentation and acne scars. Most professional treatments involve the use of a mild anesthetic and sedative. The initial recovery time is usually a week and a half, with some redness lasting for a few months.

Fine lines, wrinkles, surface spots and mild acne scars can usually be treated with a removal of the top two layers of skin. A professional will use some type of wire instrument that smoothes the skin around a depression so that it becomes more aligned and even. Enough of the skin layers are removed to result in a drastic reduction of surface spots.


Scars and imperfections that are go deeper than the first two skin layers usually require more invasive forms of dermabrasion treatments. This procedure may involve some form of surgery and stronger sedation since skin is removed until the deepest point of the depression is reached. A dermatome, which is a razor like device, is used to remove the skin that exists under the epidermis. Bleeding is expected with this type of treatment and the skin's healing time is usually longer.

Chemical peels may be used alongside another minor form of dermabrasion treatments called microdermabrasion. This treatment might be used in a professional setting, but it is also widely available over the counter. It focuses on polishing the skin's surface, making it more smooth and even. Microdermabrasion also stimulates collagen growth, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with repeated use.

There are many different microdermabrasion home kits. The majority involve some sort of cream that contains micro-crystals or another type of granular, rough material. An applicator that rotates and moves the crystals along the skin's surface is used to remove the very top layer. Over time, mild discolorations and the appearance of red spots may be reduced.


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