What is dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that mechanically feathers the skin to improve skin texture and contour. The new skin generally has a smoother and fresher appearance. At the Laser & Dermatologic Surgery Center, dermabrasion can be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.
What is dermabrasion useful for?
When the technique of dermabrasion was first developed, it was used primarily to improve acne scars, pox marks and scars resulting from accidents, surgery, or disease. Today, it is also used to treat wrinkles, tattoos, sun damage, and age/liver spots.
What will happen during dermabrasion?
The Laser & Dermatologic Surgery Center is committed to your safety and comfort. During dermabrasion, the skin is thoroughly cleansed with an antiseptic cleansing agent. Eyes are protected and hair is covered, and the area to be treated is sprayed with a spray that freezes the skin. Sometimes local tumescent anesthesia can be used. Dr. Hruza or Dr. Behshad will then use a motorized tool with a wheel or brush. The tool with be passed over the skin until the uneven area is level with the rest of the skin. An ointment or dressing will be applied to the area. Depending on the circumstances, the procedure can last a few minutes or take up to an hour with additional sessions to follow.
What will happen after dermabrasion?
Healing normally takes 7-10 days. Once the anesthesia has worn off, the skin will feel raw and irritated. Over-the-counter pain relievers will help manage any pain and discomfort. Once it heals, the skin should appear smoother and blend into the surrounding skin. The newly formed skin, which is pink at first, gradually develops a normal appearance by eight to 12 weeks. Makeup can be used as a cover-up as soon as the crust is off. Patients are instructed to use a sunscreen on a regular basis when outdoors, especially the first few months after treatment. Results are long lasting.
What are possible side effects/complications?
Temporary side effects include redness, swelling, flare-ups of acne or tiny cysts, increased or decreased color in the skin, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Rare complications include scarring, prolonged loss of color in the skin, and infection. Certain factors increase the risk of complications. Dermabrasion is not recommended if you are currently or have recently used isotretinoin (Accutane) or take other medications that slow wound healing (i.e. Prednisone). In addition, you may not be a candidate for surgery if you smoke, have recently quit smoking, or if you are exposed to second-hand smoke. Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin, which increases complications.
At our St. Louis office, you will review detailed post-procedure instructions that are tailored to your specific needs. Proper care will help you heal. Steps may include:
1. Cleaning the skin several times a day to avoid infection and to decrease crusting.
2. Keeping the treated area moist with ointment.
3. Avoiding sun exposure.