Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a mechanical scraping the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary wheel.Dermabrasion softens sharp edges of surface irregularities.It is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles such as those around the mouth.

What is dermabrasion

It's also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses.

Dermaplaning is commonly used to treat deep acne scars.

Both dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed on small areas of skin or on the entire face. They can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as face-lift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel.

If you're planning "surface repairs" on your face, you may also be considering chemical peel, an alternative method of surgically removing the top layer of skin. However, dermabrasion and dermaplaning use surgical instruments to remove the affected skin layers, while chemical peel uses a caustic solution.

Many plastic surgeons perform all three procedures, selecting one or a combination of procedures to suit the individual patient and the problem.Others prefer one technique for all surface repairs.

In general, chemical peel is used more often to treat fine wrinkles, and dermabrasion and dermaplaning for deeper imperfections such as acne scars. A non-chemical approach may also be preferred for individuals with slightly darker skin, especially when treating limited areas of the face, since dermabrasion and dermaplaning are less likely to produce extreme changes and contrasts in skin color.

Dermabrasion and dermaplaning help to "refinish" the skin's top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a quick, non-invasive procedure that helps repair the facial skin, mainly from the unwanted pigmentation from sun and aging wrinkles. It also can correct rough skin texture, whiteheads or black heads, small acne scars and marks.

What includes dermabrasion?

Anesthesia

Your doctor will probably select local anesthesia combined with sedative, which numbs the treating area and make you drowsy.

In exceptional extensive cases your surgeon may prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you'll sleep through the procedure.

The procedure

Dermabrasion takes from a few minutes to 1 hour, depending on procedure extension. You may go through more than 1 session.

Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed fairly quickly. The procedures usually take from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how large an area of skin is involved. It's not uncommon for the procedure to be performed more than once, or in stages, especially when scarring is deep or a large area of skin is involved.

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Electric burr used for dermabrasion


In dermabrasion, the surgeon scrapes away the outermost layer of skin with a rough wire brush, or a burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The scraping continues until the surgeon reaches the safest level that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible.
The surgeon may then treat the skin in a number of ways, including ointment, a wet or waxy dressing, dry treatment, or some combination of these.

Microdermabrasion

At this technique tiny crystals are put across the face. Than gentle abrasion removes dead cells only of very top outer skin.

Who are the best candidates for dermabrasion?

Men and women of all ages, from young people to older adults, can benefit from dermabrasion. Although older people heal more slowly, more important factors are your skin type, coloring, and medical history. For example, black skin, Asian skin, and other dark complexions may become permanently discolored or blotchy after a skin-refinishing treatment.

People who develop allergic rashes or other skin reactions, or who get frequent fever blisters or cold sores, may experience a flare-up. If you have freckles, they may disappear in the treated area.

Most surgeons won't perform treatment during the active stages of acne because of a greater risk of infection. The same may be true if you've had radiation treatments, a bad skin burn, or a previous chemical peel.

Before your procedure

Dermabrasion can change your skin look, but neither treatment will remove all scars and flaws. It does not prevent aging. Before you decide to have dermabrasion, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate extension of affected areas, your skin pigmentation and skin tone. Your surgeon will explain you the factors that could influence the procedure and the results, such as your age, skin condition, and previous procedures.

Be sure to tell your any previous procedures done on your face to eliminate any unexpected skin reaction. Avoid overexposure to the sun before procedure it can inhibit your ability to heal.

While you're making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

After your procedure

Right after the procedure, your skin will be quite red and swollen, and eating and talking may be difficult. You'll probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching; any pain you feel can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.

If you remember the scrapes you got when you fell down as a child, you'll have an idea of what to expect from this type of surgery. A scab or crust will form over the treated area as it begins to heal. This will fall off as a new layer of tight, pink skin forms underneath. Your face may itch as new skin starts to grow, and your surgeon may recommend an ointment to make you more comfortable. If ointment is applied immediately after surgery, little or no scab will form.

In any case, you surgeon will give you detailed instructions to care for your skin after surgery. For men, this will include delaying shaving for a while, then using an electric razor at first.

It's very important that you understand your doctor's instructions and follow them exactly, to ensure the best possible healing.

If you notice the treated area beginning to get worse instead of better-for example, if it becomes increasingly red, raised, and itchy after it has started to heal-it may be a sign that abnormal scars are beginning to form. Call your surgeon as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin early.

Your new skin will be a bit swollen, sensitive, and bright pink for several weeks. During this time, you can begin gradually resuming your normal activities.

You can expect to be back at work in about two weeks. Your surgeon will probably advise your to avoid any activity that could cause a bump to your face for at least two weeks. More active sports-especially ball sports-should be avoided for four to six weeks. If you swim, stick to indoor pools to avoid sun and wind, and keep your face out of chlorinated water for at least four weeks. It will be at least three to four weeks before you can drink alcohol without experiencing a flush of redness.

Above all, it's important to protect your skin from the sun until the pigment has completely returned to your skin- as long as six to twelve months.

Refinishing treatments can offer dramatic improvements in the surface of your skin, but it will take some time before you see the final results.

The pinkness of your skin will take about three months to fade. In the meantime, you'll probably want to wear non-allergenic makeup when you go out. When your new skin is fully repigmented, the color should closely match the surrounding skin, making the procedure virtually undetectable.

Fading of redness: about 3 months.

Return of pigmentation/sun exposure: 6 to 12 months.

How long will the effect of dermabrasion last

Duration of results is permanent, however it will not stop aging of your skin and new wrinkles may appear again.

Updated: 2007-04-09

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