Dermabrasion (Skin scraping) Against Wrinkles and Acne Scars

Treatment information

With skin scraping (dermabrasion) the surface skin and a bit of the leather skin is scraped away with an electrical instrument. The body will then create new and smoother skin in the treated area.

Generally about the treatment

The skin
cross section of the skin. With dermabrasion (skin scraping), the surface skin as well as part of the underlying skin layer (called the dermis) is scraped off. Skin scraping, in medical terms called dermabrasion, consists of scraping away parts of the skin, using a mechanical tool. An abrasion then occurs, and the body will recreate the lost tissue in the treated area.

The purpose is for wrinkles, acne scars, and other irregularities to disappear or become reduced, when new tissue has formed in the area.

Dermabrasion can in principle remove all unwanted changes in the upper skin layers. These include shallow {{omr
, certain types of birthmarks, and even shallow tattoos.

Dermabrasion is effective for minimising of scars from acne, as well as minimising fine wrinkles surrounding the mouth, typically on the upper and lower lip. Dermabrasion is not suitable for treatment near the eye area. For this area peeling is normally used.

Dermabrasion is just one of the methods available for treatment of wrinkles and acne scars by removing the top skin layer. Laser treatment or chemical peel also abrade the skin, just in a different way. Please see the wrinkle guide for an overview.

Dermobrasion is a relatively risky operation, seeing as the procedure is preformed in the most visible place of the body - the face. In case of unsightly scars it can cause huge problems for the patient. The treatment is therefore only recommended to use on very apparent wrinkles or scars. Alternatively, a milder form of treatment such as non-ablative laser treatment, chemical peel, or micro-dermabrasion should be used.

Because of the many available options for the treatment of wrinkles and acne scars, it is recommended that you contact one or more clinics, where they perform these types of treatments. A doctor will then be able to help you find the most suitable treatment for you.

The idea behind skin scraping, or dermabrasion, which is its medical name, is to scrape off part of the skin, using a mechanical tool. Hereby, an abrasion is created, and the body will then recreate the lost tissue in the treated area.

When new tissue has formed after the treatment, wrinkles and acne scars will be reduced or removed.


Men and women over 18 with a good mental and physical health are suitable candidates for the treatment.

Women who become pregnant, or women who are taking oestrogen during the first 6 months after treatment, risk developing pigmentation on the newly developed skin.

Smoking may worsen the result.

People with light skin are better suited than those of darker complexion, because an accumulation of pigmentation may occur on the border between the treated and the non-treated area. Normally this will disappear again though.

The procedure

The surgeon performs the treatment, using an eletrical instrument with a rotating burr containing diamond particles or a steel brush to scrape off the skin.

The top skin layer - the shallow skin - along with a bit of the underlying leather skin is scraped off. Thereby the equivalent of a skin abrasion is created.

After a dermabrasion the skin will form new tissue on its own on the treated area, and the new skin should appear nicer, and with fewer wrinkles and acne scars.

The outcome of the result depends on individual factors, such as the properties of the skin, the skin colour, the depth of the wrinkles or scars, and the patient's ability to heal.

Several treatments with intervals in between may be necessary in order to achieve the desired result.

The treatment usually takes half an hour to an hour, all depending on the extent.


Dermabrasion is very painful, and will therefore most often be performed under local or general anaesthesia.


Dermabrasion is a very painful procedure. Due to this the procedure is always preformed under sedation.

After the surgery, the treated area swells up, although the swelling fades in the course of a day.

Risk of complications

There is a risk of the abrasion wound getting infected. This may trigger poor healing of the wound, and thereby an unfortunate cosmetic result.

There is a risk that the new skin will develop dark spots or a bleached appearance.

The treatment requires great technical skills from the doctor, because he must avoid scraping too deeply. Should this happen anyway, there will be a risk of unsightly scar formation.

Healing and recovery

After the treatment, you will be required to wear bandages until the entire area has healed, which usually takes a week or so.

Sports and other activities, where there is a risk of a blow to the head, along with swimming, must be avoided for 4-6 weeks. Men should also note, that shaving on the treated area will not be possible for a period of time.

Duration of the result

Dermabrasion can create a cosmetically significant long-term improvement. The result will not change after the treatment, but the skin will continue to age along with the natural changes that this will bring.