31 January 2020
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Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion treatments aim to smooth out blemishes such as sunspots, fine facial wrinkles and acne scars and improve the texture of your skin. Both techniques remove the top layers of skin and aim to reduce irregularities and promote a younger, fresher appearance.
If you’re concerned about scarring, lines or age spots – particularly on your face – this treatment could help give you a confidence boost.
Dermabrasion is similar to a ‘buffing’ process and is carried out with a handheld device with a small abrading head, or a specialised laser device. When the new skin grows back it is smoother and fresher than before and the appearance of scars, wrinkles and excess pigmentation should be reduced. As well as treating wrinkles, it can be particularly useful for treating raised areas of skin or scarring, which can be leveled out, and for removing areas of pigmented skin.
Microdermabrasion is similar but involves a gentler level of abrasion and removes a thinner layer of the outer skin. The process forces the skin to re-grow, so the new layer will be fresher. Its potential to reduce wrinkles, blemishes or scars is not as great as standard dermabrasion, however it generally improves skin tone and allows you to resume normal activities much more quickly.
Although both treatments are available at many beauty salons we recommend you have your procedure done by a trained medical professional in a hospital environment to help achieve the best results for you.
If you decide to have your treatment with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
We are proud of the cleanliness of our hospitals and centres. And because we want our patients and GPs to make informed choices about your healthcare, we were one of the first private hospitals to publish clinical performance and patient reports including information on our rates of MRSA blood infection and clostridium difficile infection.
We also publish ratings for the percentage of patients who would recommend our hospitals to others, dignity and respect, pain control, trust and confidence in our nurses and involvement in decisions about care and treatment.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care.
All of our cosmetic nurses and cosmetic surgeons are of the highest standard and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals.
All our cosmetic nurses and cosmetic surgeons are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.
All of our cosmetic surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals. A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
We’ve tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information page.
Although this is a relatively straight forward process, you may be required not to eat solid foods or certain drinks for a period of time before your procedure. You may see this referred to as ‘starve times’, and we will advise you of these before your admission.
Your treatment may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it’s important to follow your consultant’s advice. It's natural to feel anxious before hospital treatment, but knowing what to expect can help. Please raise any concerns or questions with your consultants or nurse so you feel comfortable and in control.
We're here to help every step of the way.
We understand that any treatment can be a cause of anxiety – even if it’s a relatively straightforward one like this. That’s why our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.
Dermabrasion is normally performed using a local anaesthetic, but sometimes a general anaesthetic may be recommended, typically if you’re having several areas of your body treated and require more skin removal.
The skin is removed using a hand-held electrical device that has a small abrading head or laser. Depending on the amount of skin to be removed, the whole procedure will take 30 minutes to an hour.
Bandages will be used to stop any bleeding and the area will be covered with a dressing afterwards.
You will probably experience some soreness and inflammation after the treatment. We will give you medication while you’re with us and to take home to help ease any pain. Please continue to take painkillers as advised by the hospital if you need them.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You'll need to plan time off work after dermabrasion. Initially, the treated area of skin will be bloody and crusted and it may remain pink, sensitive and swollen for several weeks after treatment, but you can gradually resume normal activities during that time and these symptoms should only be temporary. Everyone’s recovery time is different but your skin will probably be red and sore for around a week afterwards and you can usually go back to normal activities after about two weeks.
To protect your face, you should avoid ball and contact sports for four to six weeks and swimming for roughly the same amount of time. To help make sure that your skin returns to its normal colour, it's important to wear sunblock for six to twelve months after treatment.
You will need to cleanse your skin at least twice a day to avoid infection and regularly apply the ointment we give you.
Your skin might turn red whenever you have an alcoholic drink for about three weeks after surgery.
It may be several months before you heal completely and can see the full results of this procedure, but most people see a noticeable improvement in the condition of their skin.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
As with all medical treatments, complications can occur after dermabrasion. These include bleeding, infection, scarring and changes in skin colour. You will be given a contact number for the hospital in case you have any concerns following your treatment - as everybody is different. If you have any questions or concerns we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
21 October 2019
Read our latest Q and A with ENT Consultant, Mr Jonathn Hughes on head and neck cancer.