Cosmetic Surgery: Dermabrasion

Following a local anesthetic, a device scrapes away the outermost layers of the skin. Warning: It can make the skin lighter in color.

Targets: Scars, fine lines, precancerous areas

Procedure: The doctor will recommend a local anesthetic, sometimes with sedation, topical ointment or general anesthesia. Then he or she will use a device to scrape away the outermost layers of the skin. It’s not for every skin color. “It can makes the skin lighter,” Malek warns.

Time: A few minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the area. Anesthesia will add to the time.

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Recovery: As with any scrape, expect redness, swelling and scabbing. Ointments will help with the scabbing and any discomfort.

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