Is hypopigmentation inevitable with spot dermabrasion?

I have a mildly atrophic scar on my cheek (from a skin lesion removal by curettage). It really bothers me and I am considering a spot dermabrasion. To give you a sense of the depth of the scar, I'm told it is too shallow for fillers. I am between type I and III on the Fitzpatrick scale. My PS has indicated that he won't have to go too deep but I am still worried about hypopigmentation. Is hypopigmentation inevitable with dermabrasion? If not, can anyone quantify the risk (i.e. 10% of cases, etc)?

Doctor Answers 2

Dermabrasion or not

I offer this procedure for certain areas it is great but it can cause hypo pigmentation I also do not think its the best device for this problem. The best option I have found for spot problems is some type of fraxel laser, which it is only for a spot most places would only charge a few hundred dollars which should be less expensive then dermabrasion. Plus with much less risk of loss of pigment. Another option would be to excise it but I feel fraxel should be an option you look into.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 225 reviews

Is hypopigmentation inevitable with spot dermabrasion?

For scars like the one you describe dermabrasion or scar revision are typically the best options. Dermabrasion can be performed either with a medical grade sand paper or a Dremel type rotary device. I find the risk of sanding too deep (causing skin lightening) to be much lower with sand paper as opposed to a dermabrasion device. Seek an experienced surgeon who performs alot of dermabrasion.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

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