“Acne scars and wrinkles can leave more than a mark on your face”
Dermabrasion can help produce more aggressive results similar to the phenol peel but without some of the side effects of phenol. Skin resurfacing or dermabrasion helps to "refinish" the skin's top layers through a method of controlled surgical sanding. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a
Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by acne or accidents or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth. It's also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. Important factors to consider 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.
In addition, 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.
Dermabrasion 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 facelift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel. Dermaplaning is commonly used to treat deep acne scars.
Mechanical sanding of the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary diamond-tipped wheel. Softens sharp edges of surface irregularities, including acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Local, numbing spray, or general.
Temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, redness. Lightening of treated skin. Acute temporary sensitivity to sun.
Abnormal color changes (permanent). Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores. Pigment changes (light or dark).
Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4 to 6 weeks. Fading of redness: about 3 months. Return of pigmentation/sun exposure: 6 to 12 months.
Duration of Results:
Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning are normally safe when they're performed by a qualified, experienced board-certified physician such as Dr. Guy. The most common risk is a change in skin pigmentation. This is most often treatable but can be permanent. On the other hand, some patients find the treated skin remains a little lighter or blotchy in appearance.
You may develop tiny whiteheads after surgery. These usually disappear on their own, or with the use of an abrasive pad or soap; occasionally, Dr. Guy may have to remove them. You may also develop enlarged skin pores; these usually shrink to near normal size once the swelling has subsided. While infection and scarring are rare with skin-refinishing treatments, they are possible. Some individuals develop excessive scar tissue (keloid or hypertrophic scars); these are usually treated with the application or injection of steroid medications to soften the scar.
Consultation & Preparation
Because skin resurfacing treatments have sometimes been offered by inadequately trained practitioners, it's especially important that you find a doctor (generally a plastic surgeon like Dr. Guy) who is trained and experienced in the procedure. In your initial consultation, be open in discussing your expectations with Dr. Guy, and don't hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have. Dr. Guy will explain the factors that could influence the procedure and the results-such as your age, skin condition, and previous plastic surgeries.
Dr. Guy will discuss your medical history, conduct a routine examination, and photograph your face. She should explain the procedure in detail, along with its risks and benefits, the recovery period, and the costs. Insurance usually doesn't cover cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion.
Dr. Guy will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, and on avoiding aspirin and other medications that affect blood clotting. You may also be given special instructions regarding the care and treatment of your skin prior to surgery. If you smoke, you'll probably be asked to stop for a week or two before and after surgery, since smoking decreases blood circulation in the skin and impedes healing.
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.
The Skin Treatment
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. Skin resurfacing may be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You'll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. Sometimes a numbing spray, such a freon, is used along with or instead of local anesthesia. Or, in more severe cases, Dr. Guy may prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you'll sleep through the procedure.
In dermabrasion, Dr. Guy sands away the outermost layer of skin with a burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The scraping continues until Dr. Guy reaches the safest level that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible.
Dr. Guy may then treat the skin in a number of ways, including ointment, a wet or waxy dressing, dry treatment, or some combination of these.
Recovery & Results
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 Dr. Guy. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.
A crust may form over the treated area as it begins to heal depending upon the type of cream or dressing applied. 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 Dr. Guy 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, Dr. Guy 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 Dr. Guy's instructions and follow them exactly, to ensure the best possible healing.
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. The pinkness will take about three months to fade. When your new skin is fully repigmented, the color should closely match the surrounding skin, making the procedure virtually undetectable.
You can expect to be back at work in about two weeks. Dr. Guy 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. A barrier sunscreen with micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is best.