Doctors of USF Health

Plastic Surgery

Laser Skin Resurfacing or Dermabrasion

What is Laser Skin Resurfacing or Dermabrasion?

Laser skin resurfacing removes layers of damaged skin with a laser. The goal is usually to minimize scarring and fine lines, overall improving skin texture and appearance. Lasers may also be used to treat lesions, port wine stains (hemangiomas), tattoos, and unwanted hair.

Dermabrasion (or demaplaning) removes layers of damaged skin through controlled abrasion of the superficial skin. This can soften fine lines resulting in a smoother appearance and evening skin tone. Dermabrasion most commonly used for fine lines and acne scarring.

Who is a good candidate for Laser Skin Resurfacing or Dermabrasion?

Candidates should be in overall good health. Laser skin resurfacing or dermabrasion can be used to target areas of facial wrinkles, fine lines, scarring and undesired pigmentation changes. The specific laser and/or dermabrasion technique chosen for you depends on your facial features and your goals.

Candidates should not have current infections or acne and must not have taken Accutane for at least 18 months prior. For use on scars, they must be at least eight weeks old. Those that have unusual scarring or keloids are may not be good candidates for these procedures.

How are the procedures performed?

Laser skin resurfacing removes layers of damaged skin with directed, high intensity light. The type of laser used depends on your treatment goals and skin type.

Dermabrasion removes layers of damaged skin with a controlled, high-speed rotary wheel. The rotary wheel is moved slowly and gently over the desired area until the desired effect is achieved. This may be done for a small area or a large area.

Options to enhance the procedure

Laser skin resurfacing and dermabrasion may be done in combination with other procedures, such as blepharoplasty and forehead lifts, depending on your facial characteristics and goals. Other non-surgical options for enhancement include chemical peels, collagen injections, or Botox® and Dysport® injections.


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