Dermabrasion (Surgical Skin Planing)

Operation theory

Dermabrasion (skin planing) can be used to correct unwanted irregularities on the surface of the skin. It serves to visible reduce scars - accident-related or acne scars – in particular. The method is also suitable for smoothing wrinkles in the thick skin around the upper and lower lip or removing skin lesions in the uppermost layer of skin (e.g. strong cornification). To do so requires a fast-rotating abrasion tool with diamond tips. The outermost layers of skin are only exfoliated until extremely small dots of blood form; lower layers of skin are unaffected.

OP duration

30-60 minutes.


Mostly local anaesthetic, occasionally general anaesthetic.




A graze appears on the treated skin after a demabrasion that can be healed by consistently applying regenerative creams. Healing is generally completed after one week, or two weeks at the latest. The freshly healed skin is sensitive to direct exposure to the sun and intense cold.


It is important in dermabrasion to exfoliate to the right depth. If the skin is not exfoliated enough, success is minimal. If, on the other hand, exfoliation goes too deep, long-lasting bruising and in rare cases visible scars may occur. Skin discolorations (pigment abnormalities) requiring further treatment occasionally occur. Infections are rare. Dermabrasion can activate a herpes infection (cold-sores). Consequently, medication (Zovirax) should be taken as a preventive measure if there is a predisposition to herpes.

Recovery time

1-2 weeks.


It is possible to vastly improve the appearance of the skin surface for most patients. The treatment outcome depends on the initial findings: small wrinkles around upper and lower lip can often be ameliorated although they cannot be completely removed. The same holds true for anchor scars, which can be made less visible but not completely removed. The procedure is not intended to restore the original elasticity of the skin, as this is subject to the ageing process.

before / after

Your doctor
Dr. med. Andreas Tschopp
Dr. med. Andreas Tschopp
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Dr. med. Hyunju Kim Haemmig
Dr. med. Hyunju Kim Haemmig
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Prof. Dr. Daniel F. Kalbermatten
Prof. Dr. Daniel F. Kalbermatten
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