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 203 reviews

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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 71 reviews

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