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What are the risks of a dermabrasion?

Risks of dermabrasion, a procedure in which the top layers of the skin are removed to produce a smoother, "fresher" surface as skin heals, may include:
  • enlarged pores and/or whiteheads (milia)
  • prolonged skin redness
  • acne flares in people who have active acne
  • cold sores in people prone to getting them
  • infection
  • scarring, including raised, enlarged scars called keloids in some cases
  • loss of skin color
  • temporary pain or discomfort
  • reactions to anesthesia (if used) that could in rare cases include heart and/or breathing problems
To minimize your risks and get the best results from dermabrasion, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice for preparing for the procedure and caring for your skin after the procedure. Before having dermabrasion, doctors commonly recommend that you:
  • stop smoking if you do
  • stop taking certain medicines, including aspirin
  • protect your skin from the sun
  • avoid certain skin care products that might irritate your skin
After your procedure your doctor may give you specific directions about cleaning your skin, changing your bandages and ointment and avoiding the sun. It is important to follow the doctor's directions carefully to avoid complications from dermabrasion.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.