Can Dermaplaning Cause Acne?

why do I break out after dermaplaning

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Almost anything is possible in skincare thanks to science, and well, people always want that perfect look. If you got money, you can have it. Fine wrinkles? No problem. Dull skin? No problem. Dry Skin? Acne marks? There is a remedy available for all of these in the form of dermaplaning.

How effective it is – is of course another matter. That, however, is not the subject of this article. In this article, we will see whether dermaplaning can cause acne.

Can Dermaplaning Cause Acne?

Before we attempt to answer that question, it would be apt to address what is dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is quite similar to shaving. Only, in dermaplaning – a skilled operator takes a sterile scalpel and drags it across your skin slowly at an angle – removing dead cells, small hair, and any other irritants. In the process, fresh skin cells underneath come to the fore, and you get that fresher look.

When correctly done, dermaplaning will not cause acne. However, if we have learned anything, it is that individuals respond differently to treatments and care.

Removing dead skin cells and stimulating the growth of new ones helps remove the number of bacteria on the skin. It also helps to unclog the pores. These two are believed to be the leading acne causes. So dermaplaning in essence runs counter to the causes of acne.

Acne occurs when there is excess oil production, and it mixes with excess dead skin cells. The two form a clog, and if invaded by acne-causing bacteria, it results in inflammation, and consequently, acne breakout. Hence, whatever routine can eliminate excess oil production, excess dead skin cells, and bacteria will significantly reduce acne.

Therefore, since dermaplaning does two of the three, it is an ideal way to eliminate acne or at least reduce its visibility.

However, it is best if it is done on clear skin or one with mild acne.

As we mentioned earlier, individuals react differently to treatments. In the case of severe acne, dermaplaning can irritate the skin and cause a further breakout. Note, further breakout, and not new ones.

Scraping a piece of metal over inflamed acne can further irritate it and worsen it. The narrative is even more complicated if you have acne and highly sensitive and reactive skin. Sliding the scalpel over your acne can worsen it and spread the bacteria to other healthy sites.

Apart from this, the acne-related side effects from the procedure might be a few whiteheads a day or two after the treatment and slight redness. The bottom line, then, is that dermaplaning does not cause acne, ordinarily. True, it can make your acne worse if you already have severe acne, or attempt it at home.

Dermaplaning, What Is It?

If you would like to know about dermaplaning in further detail, keep reading. Dermaplaning is a surgical skin treatment or procedure involving a specialized blade like a surgical scalpel to remove hair and dead skin cells.

Also referred to as blading or microplanning, the surgical scalpel or dermatome blade is used to remove fine facial hair and dead skin cells. The procedure is usually carried out by a licensed esthetician who scrapes the skin surface to remove dead skin cells build-up.

By removing the dead skin cells, the procedure rejuvenates the skin and stimulates the production of new ones. As a result, post-treatment leaves you with smooth skin and a bright complexion. In the hands of a professional, the procedure is safe for almost all skin types.

However, it might irritate highly reactive or sensitive skin. For such skins, there are better ways to exfoliate, with more gentle exfoliants.

How Does Dermaplaning Work?

The principle behind dermaplaning is just like shaving. However, instead of using a razor, the esthetician uses a sterile blade to remove dirt and debris from the skin’s surface. The esthetician aims the blade at 450 and drags it slowly across your skin.

During the process, the blade collects scar tissue, debris, and dead skin cells pooled on the surface. Since exposure to environmental elements causes the skin to look dull, the procedure scrapes off the dull skin so that newer cells can make an appearance in their place.

Contrary to what you might have heard, dermaplaning is not painful since it is usually carried out by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or esthetician. Regardless of who performs it, provided it is a professional with a valid license, the procedure is safe, and not scary.

First, you lie down on a clean chair in a comfortable room while the professional gets to work. Although there are sedation options, you can choose to watch the process if you want to.

Once you are ensconced in your seat, the person in charge can use beta or alpha hydroxy acids or other gentle cleansers to loosen the pooled dead skin cells. Your face must be completely dry before the process.

After this, they proceed to sterilize the dermatome blade and hold it at 450 to your skin. Before making a short motion, they will pull the skin tight and move the blade against it.

This process is repeated for about 30 minutes as they gently exfoliate your skin. When the treatment is complete, they will rub a moisturizer on your skin for protection.

You can repeat the dermaplaning procedure every two weeks, that is generally how long the benefits can be expected to last. Since there is no real damage to the skin done in the process, you have nothing to worry about.

What To Expect From Dermaplaning?

When it comes to dermaplaning, it is perfectly okay to have high expectations. Hence, to match the expectation, a professional should handle the procedure, with a sterile blade, and in a clean environment.

Since the procedure does not take long, you should be done with it in one hour. However, you might not see the full result until after a few days from dermaplaning.

Do note, though, that the procedure results are not permanent since it only gets rid of dead skin build-up. Since cells are always growing, your result will fade after a few weeks, and you will need a new one.

After the treatment, you should be careful about exposing your skin to the sun since it can reverse the effects or create a blotch on your skin. If you must leave your house, make sure you wear sunscreen or other protective gear.

You should also religiously practice this routine at least a week before the procedure to prevent skin irritation. Not just this, but you will need to reduce your makeup in the days leading to the treatment.

Before going for dermaplaning, you should have a sit-down with your physician on factors that can affect the procedure. For example, issues like skin types, coloring, and medical history will ultimately affect the result. All instructions relating to the procedure will be communicated during your appointment with your doctor.

Can I Perform Dermaplaning At Home?

Dermaplaning kits are sold; hence, it is considerably easy to buy one yourself. However, you should not attempt to carry out the procedure yourself. The reason is that only a trained professional should do it, and it must be done in a clean environment.

Nonetheless, performing the procedure on yourself might yield the anticipated result. However, we find the associated risk as – quite unnecessary.

The risk of infection, complication, and pain is considerably higher when you perform dermaplaning on yourself at home. If you want to, do so with caution, knowing associated risks.

Benefits And Risks Of Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is mostly about cosmetic improvement. Hence, it is an ideal procedure if you want a youthful look by removing minor imperfections like small hair and dead skin cells. One piece of advice though. Keep your expectations low. Let the results surprise you.

Apart from this, it;

  1. Restores youthful glow
  2. Eliminates debris and reduces the appearance of wrinkles
  3. Removes hairs that oil latches on to
  4. Reduces the risk of an acne breakout

On the downside, the results of dermaplaning vary from one person to another. If it does not produce as many benefits as it did for the girl next door, be ready to handle that disappointment.

While it may be of immense benefit for one person, another might not find enough change in appearance to excuse the cost. However, you should know it all depends on factors like the time of the procedure, who carried it out, and skin condition before the procedure. On its own, dermaplaning offers immense benefits, but improper techniques can be disappointing.

Some of the side effects include:

  1. Redness on the skin
  2. Few whiteheads after the procedure
  3. Infection and scarring, although uncommon
  4. Cuts and nicks

Below are some facts to answer some misconceptions associated with dermaplaning are:

  1. Dermaplaning won’t cause your hair to grow back darker and thicker
  2. It can help people with acne and sensitive skin
  3. The treatment is not painful
  4. It works for darker and lighter skin tones and won’t cause micro-abrasions.


Dermaplaning is a low-risk treatment for removing facial hair and exfoliating the skin. Hence, it is aimed at preventing acne, and not causing it. However, you shouldn’t try it if you have severe acne, since the process can irritate it and make it worse. Where this is not present, dermaplaning won’t cause acne.

Do note that it is not uncommon to have a few blackheads a few days after the procedure. However, it will disappear on its own. Besides, the blackhead is not constant in all cases.

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