What Is Dermaplaning?

Medically Reviewed by Zilpah Sheikh, MD on November 21, 2023
5 min read

Dermaplaning is a cosmetic treatment in which dead skin cells and peach fuzz are scraped off with a scalpel by a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or cosmetologist. While dermaplaning removes fine facial hairs, the procedure differs from shaving in terms of the tools used, the amount of skin removed, and the person performing the procedure.

Dermaplaning vs. dermabrasion

Both dermaplaning and dermabrasion are skin procedures done to improve the overall appearance of your skin. While both may help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, some differences exist. 

In dermabrasion, your skin goes through an abrasion or sanding of skin, as its name implies. It’s often used for more prominent skin concerns such as acne and pox scars, skin growths, stretch marks, or removing tattoos. Dermaplaning is less invasive and often used to remove fine facial hairs. If you have delicate skin or a darker skin tone, you may be more at risk of scarring from dermabrasion and dermaplaning may be a better option.

Dermaplaning vs. shaving

Dermaplaning and shaving can both be used to remove unwanted hair growth. If removing hair is your singular concern, shaving is an option. But shaving only cuts hair at the skin level and should not remove any layers of skin. If you’re hoping to improve the overall appearance of your skin, dermaplaning will also exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells.

The benefits of dermaplaning depend on your skin type, tone, medical history, and the quality of the professional performing your dermaplaning. 

The benefits of dermaplaning are cosmetic and may include:

  • Brighter, more youthful skin tone 
  • Removing small hairs or peach fuzz
  • Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Smoother skin
  • Ease hyperpigmentation
  • Evening skin tone
  • Removing bacteria and clearing pores to limit breakouts
  • Reducing deep scars from acne or pox

For maximum benefits of dermaplaning, seek out a referral for a well-reviewed practitioner in your area.

Most people have little to no irritation or reaction. Short-term side effects may include:

  • Red and swollen skin from the scraping
  • Soreness
  • A burning or tingling sensation for about 48 hours after the procedure

It’s a myth that your hair will grow back thicker or darker after dermaplaning. While hair that grows back may feel courser at first, it will get softer over time. 

Dermaplaning isn’t recommended if you have inflammatory skin conditions such as:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Sunburn

If you’re taking isotretinoin, a prescription medication used to treat severe acne, you should wait 6 months after you stop taking it to try dermaplaning.

Why do I break out after dermaplaning?

Everyone’s results will vary depending on your skin type. If done with incorrect techniques or tools, you may experience side effects like a breakout. You may want to avoid dermaplaning if you currently have acne or are in the middle of a breakout. Bacteria from a current breakout can spread to other areas of the skin, making it worse. It’s best to avoid dermaplaning until your skin clears up.

When done correctly, dermaplaning may help reduce future breakouts by removing the buildup of dead skin cells.

It’s best to go to a licensed aesthetician or doctor if you’re thinking about trying dermaplaning.

Do-it-yourself kits and tools are available online and at your local drugstore. But because you’re using a very sharp blade, you may cut your skin when you scrape it. This can lead to infection or other problems.

Dermaplaning isn’t covered by insurance, so be prepared to pay out-of-pocket. The procedure takes around 30 minutes.

Before the procedure, your health care provider will:

  1. Discuss your goals for the procedure.
  2. Examine your skin to make sure it’s healthy enough for the procedure.
  3. Explain what you can expect before, during, and after dermaplaning.
  4. Review your health history.

It’s best to avoid exfoliating your skin 3 days before. You should also try to avoid direct sunlight or tanning.


Dermaplaning is a noninvasive, outpatient procedure. Before beginning, your provider may cleanse your skin with an alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid to loosen skin cells. While dermaplaning doesn’t hurt when done correctly, you may receive a numbing cream as a precaution.

During your dermaplaning session, a scalpel gently glides along your skin at a 45-degree angle to exfoliate your skin and remove hair. The length of your dermaplaning session depends upon how much area is covered. A facial session typically takes 30 minutes but can last up to an hour and a half.


Taking care of your skin care is essential after dermaplaning. Be gentle with your skin for the next few days. Your practitioner will likely advise the following:

  • Avoid harsh cleaners, toners or exfoliants.
  • Apply soothing moisturizer and sunscreen daily.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Avoid heavy makeup.

There’s no downtime needed to let your skin heal. Experts recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and a moisturizer afterward. That’s because your skin may be more sensitive.

You can do dermaplaning every 3 to 4 weeks. But it’s important to remember it won’t get rid of all acne scars or stop aging. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if you’re concerned about your skin.

Dermaplaning should only be performed by a trained and licensed professional. Plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and cosmetologists who are experienced and licensed are your best choices when receiving dermaplaning. At-home kits are available on the market. But using these without proper training can increase your risks of side effects, including scarring. 

Dermaplaning is a noninvasive, low risk skin care procedure to exfoliate the skin and remove facial hair. For best results, seek out a highly experienced and licensed professional who practices proper dermaplaning techniques in a sterilized environment. If you don’t have any major skin care issues, dermaplaning can brighten, smooth, and soften your skin tone.

Is dermaplaning good for your skin?

Dermaplaning is good for people who don’t have any severe skin issues, such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or acne. It can help even skin tone, brighten a dull complexion, and remove unwanted facial hairs.

What is the downside of dermaplaning?

Risks to dermaplaning include breakouts, cuts, and scarring. The cost of dermaplaning often ranges from $100-300, and it may take a few months to see complete results. Results vary depending on the quality of service and the skin type of the person receiving the treatment.

What happens when hair grows back after dermaplaning?

Hair growth after dermaplaning does not typically grow back thicker or darker, but it may grow back at a different angle. This may change how it looks and feels. 

Dermaplaning doesn’t permanently remove your hair, so ongoing treatments may be necessary to maintain results. The time it takes for the hair to grow back varies from person to person.