How can I avoid discolouration after dermabrasion?

I just had dermabrasion a week ago and am worried about possible discolouration later on. I have a darker complexion so I know that I am more susceptible to this. I know that I should stay out of the sun as much as possible; however, I am a runner. Is it possible to just put on a lot of sunscreen when I run during the summer months and still avoid any discolouration? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 3

How can I avoid discoloration after dermabrasion?

Redness is very common for 1-3 months following dermabrasion. There is also a risk of lightening of the skin after dermabrasion but this typically results from an overly aggressive treatment and there isn't anything you can do to prevent this after the procedure. In terms of minimizing the risk of darkening after dermabrasion, sun protection is key. You will need to use a physicial sunblock containing zinc or titanium as well as wearing a hat while running. I also recommend scar healing gel for all of our patients beginning a couple of weeks after dermabrasion. You can't avoid sun exposure but you will need to do your best to minimize the amount of sun hitting the treated area for at least 3-6 months.

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews


Redness is a common after affect of dermabrasion. The redness may persist for 4 to 12 weeks following treatment. Sun protection is essential to prevent darkening of these areas. Be sure to always wear sunglasses and hats when outside and try to reduce sun exposure in affected areas as much as possible. A mild moisturizing agent could be useful in this situation but I wouldn't recommend anything too strong as this is probably a result of an overly aggressive treatment.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Sunscreen is your friend after dermabrasion

After a dermabrasion you will be pink for a while and this is normal.  Use sunscreen.   If your skin is darker and you tan easily you could form dark pigment.  You could  use an Obagi type program to prevent this.  Also, there are many simple Retin A and hydroquinone mixes that are inexpensive and easy to use.  This helps prevent pigment stimulation.  But sunscreen is king in this category.  My Best,  Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.