Dermabrasion vs. Fractional Laser Resurfacing

When you start to notice fine lines, wrinkles and age spots appearing on your face and neck area, it may be time to get a skin rejuvenation procedure. Some of the most effective skin rejuvenation procedures that are suitable for most skin types include dermabrasion and fractional laser resurfacing.
Both of these procedures help to remove the top layer of skin, and also trigger the collagen production process. How do you know which one is right for you? Here’s what you need to know about dermabrasion and fractional laser resurfacing:

How Dermabrasion Works

Dermabrasion is an advanced skin resurfacing procedure that was originally developed to treat post-acne scars. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and works by removing the outer layer of the skin using a high-speed rotating dermabrasion machine. The device sands down the top layer of the skin and leaves a scab. When the scab peels off, new skin is revealed and is typically very pink in color. As the skin begins to grow back and heal, it becomes firmer, stronger and more resilient.
Some of the key benefits of dermabrasion include:
  • Helps remove excessive sun damage, age spots and freckles
  • Can help treat post-acne pigmentation
  • Laser dermabrasion can help vaporize birthmarks and moles
  • Increases collagen production so skin appears firmer and tighter

Effects of Fractional Laser Resurfacing Treatments

Fractional laser resurfacing, also known as fractional photothermolysis, is designed to treat the skin at a microscopic level using high-powered heat technology. The procedure works by destroying old, damaged cells and does not affect the surrounding, healthier cells so the skin can heal. The procedure involves the application of intense laser energy, and has been FDA-approved for treating wrinkles around the eyes, melasma, freckles, acne scars and for general skin resurfacing.
Some of the key benefits of fractional laser resurfacing treatments include:
  • Treatment does not take longer than 30 minutes
  • Little risk of infection or scarring
  • Most people see improvements after 2 to 3 months
  • No recovery time or downtime
  • Costs approximately $1,000 per treatment area

Choosing Dermabrasion or Fractional Laser Resurfacing

Both dermabrasion and fractional laser resurfacing procedures offer a number of benefits for those who want to ward off the signs of aging, eliminate the effects of skin damage and improve the look and feel of the skin. Dermabrasion costs approximately $4,000, and is the more aggressive skin rejuvenation procedure. Dermabrasion may not be suitable for ethnic skin, African-American skin, and individuals that are prone to pigmentation.
Fractional laser resurfacing is the best match for those that do not have time to undergo an extensive healing process, and have only slight scars, wrinkles and lines to manage. Fractional laser skin resurfacing procedures are available at many medical spas and cosmetic surgery centers around the country, and can be performed over a lunch hour.
Learn more about dermabrasion and fractional laser resurfacing in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic surgeon in your area to find out if you may be a good candidate for a skin rejuvenation procedure.