What will my dermabrasion post-procedure self-care routine look like?

After the procedure, your skin may feel as though you have a bad sunburn for a few days. You’ll have a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider to check your skin and re-apply a dressing to keep your skin moist and protected. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to help reduce the sting you may feel. Healing usually occurs within 10 to 14 days. The newly formed skin, which will be very pink and tender at first, will gradually develop a normal color over the course of about three months. Makeup can be used as a cover-up as soon as the skin is healed. Most people can resume most of their normal activities seven to 14 days after dermabrasion.

Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will give you an after-care leaflet so that you know how to take care of your newly-exposed skin while it’s in the delicate stages of healing. Here’s what to expect in your post-procedure after-care routine.

For your post-procedure routine you will need to:

  • Stay away from alcohol for the first 48 hours after the procedure.
  • Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for a week following dermabrasion.
  • Avoid swimming in chlorinated pools for a month.
  • Avoid vigorous sports for four to six weeks.
  • Change the dressing on the abrasion as directed by your healthcare provider. Typically, instructions will say to cleanse the skin several times per day to prevent crusting. Then, reapply a moist dressing of a petroleum jelly product designed to help skin heal.
  • Don’t smoke because smoking reduces blood flow and can delay healing.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight for three to six months and wear SPF 30 sunscreen every day.
  • Take any antiviral or antibacterial medications your healthcare provider has prescribed.
  • Go to all follow-up visits with your healthcare providers.

What is the recovery time from dermabrasion?

It will likely take at least two weeks for your skin to heal. Several weeks (or even months) might pass by before you’ll see the full, complete results.

Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions closely as some people may receive specific instructions intended to keep certain health conditions they have in check while they heal.

Dermabrasion is a terrific tool to improve your skin’s appearance and may give you the added benefit of increased confidence.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/15/2020.


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