What's the Difference Between Dermabrasion and Dermaplaning?

Doctor Answers 2

Dermabrasion vs Dermaplaning

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Dermaplaning has many different implications. Literally, it should mean shaving layers of the dermis. In reality and practice, it tends to mean shaving of the epidermis and is an aggressive method of exfoliation that generally uses a blade. It can be an excellent method of rapdily achieving control of conditions limited to the upper epidermis (stratum corneum and above).

Estheticians can perform this as long as they remain in the epidermis. However, this is impossible to control and can easily transition to the dermis. The usual sign of entering the dermis is bleeding.


Dermabrasion is commonly confused with microdermabrasion. The former is perfomed by physicians and is essentially a form of surgery performed commonly with an abrasive surface such as a wire brush or diamond fraise (burr). This can be carried all the way through the skin, resulting in bleeding, and requires much skill and experience. It is commonly use to treat mild scars such as those resulting from acne

Microdermabrasion is commonly performed using crystals which are driven against the skin not unlike a microscopic sandblasting. The makeup of the crystals can vary. This is typically performed by an aesthetician and is limited to the epidermis. The goal is to agressively expfoliate the skin. More recently a variety of home based devices with hand driven or battery driven mechanisms have been developed and available for sale to the public.

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Dermabrasion techniques

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Dermabrasion is an excellent technique that effectively resurfaces the skin. It can smooth out depressions or uneven surfaces of the skin and can reduce prominent scars as well. Depending on the area that is treated, this may be done with local or regional anesthesia. Dermabrasion is an excellent technique to correct scars, uneven surfaces, or to rejuvenate the areas around the lips by erasing wrinkles.

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.