Dermaplaning vs. Microdermabrasion: The Facts - Charleston, SC

Happy Fall everyone! I decided this month to blog about the differences between dermaplaning vs. microdermabrasion. I have had many patients come to me either wanting to know the differences or asking me, “What is dermaplaning and microdermabrasion?”  So, I thought it would be a great idea to get the facts out there so that you can make the best decision for yourself when you come for treatment!


For starters, I’d just like to elaborate on the term DERMAPLANE. Quite simply, it is a fancy way of saying shaving! Just another wonderful way to exfoliate the top layer of your skin and get rid of fine vellus hair… AKA Peach Fuzz! We all have it! Some people can see and feel theirs, some can’t and some have more than others. A medical grade, straight sterile blade is used to gently stroke the face in most areas to exfoliate, or remove dead skin cells as well as vellus hair from the epidermis layer of your skin. Dermaplaning also allows for better product penetration, reduce the appearance of fine lines, even skin tone and assist in reducing milia, closed and open comedones, and minor acne breakouts associated with congested pores. You will also get an overall smoothing appearance instantly.  Now your eyes must have opened a little wider when you read, medical grade straight sterile blade. It’s ok! Your fully trained esthetician has skillfully mastered the art of dermaplaning. The blade is stroked at an angle while your skin is held taught. There is always the possibility of a slight nick especially in the areas where the curvature of your face is greatest, such as your chin and nose area. Keep in mind, the neck is not an area that should be dermaplaned.  Following the dermaplaning treatment, it’s common to have a mild peel. I typically use the Invisapeel, By Zo Skin Skin Health. The Invisapeel is unique in its own way because it self-neutralizes! This means you can leave it on overnight or for a few hours! 


Microdermabrasion has been around for quite some time and is done in either diamond tip form, or crystal form. Here at O’Neill Plastic Surgery, we use the diamond tip manual method. The effects of microdermabrasion are slightly different than dermaplaning as you will soon notice. Microdermabrasion creates abrasion, pressure, and suction during treatment leaving you with slight erythema or redness, but a smooth, clean exfoliated canvas. Now you might be asking yourself, why would I want redness and abrasion? Well, for a few reasons. Just like dermaplaning, microdermabrasion will help correct signs of aging, skin tone and texture, and other skin issues like acne scarring, HOWEVER, it is more aggressive in the way exfoliation occurs. Some prefer a more aggressive take on it rather than the gentle approach.  Normally for first timers, 1 to 2 passes are done on the face in sections at a time while skin is held taught with the pen like applicator with diamond tip attached. For patients that have had this procedure before many times, more passes are ok to do so long as the skin does not become overly irritated and suction does not create a bruising type mark or a striping appearance. Also keep in mind, that microdermabrasion does not remove vellus hair from the face. 

And what would any procedure be without applying an SPF 30+?! SPF should already be in your skin care routine every day, but it is imperative that you wear sunscreen after having a dermaplaning or microdermabrasion treatment done as it is important to wear sunscreen after any aesthetic treatment. I recommend using the ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer. 

To close out this months’ blog, I’d like to say that dermaplaning and microdermabrasion are beneficial in its own way according to your wants and needs and at O’Neill Plastic Surgery, we have the lucky opportunity to treat our patients with both. My services are here for you Monday through Friday for either treatment or for new patients, a complimentary consultation to discuss a plan of action! Our office is located in beautiful Daniel Island and our staff is among the very best. We’d love to treat you! Until next time, keep up the good work with your skin care and exfoliate!


Licensed Esthetician

A picture of Patrick J. O’Neill, MD wearing his doctor attire.

About the Author

Upon completing medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, Dr. O’Neill completed nine years of residency training. These nine years included a full general surgery and a plastic surgery residency, both at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery. Dr. O’Neill has extensive certifications, training, skills, and knowledge that make him a successful physician who can carry out your next plastic surgery procedure. His expertise and technique will result in the beautiful and natural look you desire post surgery.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Sub-Certification in Hand and Microsurgery

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