Dermabrasion is usually done while you are awake. You will receive local anesthesia. This means the doctor will numb the area to be worked on.
A surgical instrument is used to gently and carefully "sand" the scar tissue off down to normal, healthy skin. The healing tissue is treated with ointments (such as petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointments) to reduce scab formation (crusting) and therefore reduce scar formation.
Review Date 11/4/2020
Updated by: Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.