Dermabrasion: Frequently Asked Questions
If you are concerned about acne scarring, pale spots or dark patches on your face, dermabrasion is an option. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about dermabrasion, along with their answers:
- What is dermabrasion?
- At what age can dermabrasion be performed?
- What does a typical dermabrasion consultation entail?
- How is dermabrasion performed?
- What should I expect during recovery?
- Does dermabrasion hurt?
- When will I be able to see the results?
- What are the risks of dermabrasion?
- Are the results permanent?
Dermabrasion is a cosmetic skin resurfacing procedure that removes acne scarring and some other types of scars, hyperpigmentations, some types of wrinkles and even tattoos. Dermabrasion abrades the very top layer of skin, allowing new skin to grow in its place.
Dermabrasion can be performed at any age, from the mid-teens on up. But it's less a matter of age and more a matter of skin condition. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for dermabrasion.
During the consultation, the doctor will ask you about your reasons for seeking dermabrasion. He or she will examine the area to be treated to determine if you are a good candidate for dermabrasion and explain the procedure, its associated risks, what you can expect during recovery and the cost of the procedure. Be prepared to ask a lot of questions, as this is your opportunity to learn more about dermabrasion and the doctor who may perform it on you.
Dermabrasion is generally performed under light sleep sedation, regional anesthesia, or sometimes local anesthesia with oral sedation, depending on the size of the area to be treated. During dermabrasion, your surgeon will carefully sand or abrade your skin to the depth agreed upon during your consultation by using a rough wire brush or a burr containing diamond particles attached to a motorized handle. When the procedure is over, your doctor will cover your face with a thin film of antibiotic ointment or a burn cream, and possibly a layer of synthetic sheeting, to protect the newly resurfaced tissue as it heals.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about taking proper care of the treated area, including proper cleanliness, how to change your dressings, the use of cold packs and vinegar soaks, and more. You may need to make several follow-up visits to your doctor so he or she can monitor your healing. Be sure to take your antibiotic and antiviral drugs (if needed) as directed by your doctor to stave off infection. Once given clearance by your doctor, be sure to protect your skin with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Dermabrasion can be painful, so expect some discomfort during and after the procedure.
You will start to notice fresh, pink skin emerging as your skin begins to heal. Within a few weeks of your dermabrasion procedure the redness will fade and your new skin will emerge.
Your surgeon or the skin care technician should discuss all of the risks and complications of dermabrasion with you at your consultation. They may include an allergic reaction to the anesthetic used, scarring, swelling, acne flare-ups, infection and sun sensitivity.
Yes and no. The results of dermabrasion are usually permanent, but this depends on how well you care for your skin after your treatment. If you continue to sunbathe and smoke — both of which are very destructive to your skin — your results will not last. Even with scrupulous care, your skin will continue to age, but it will look younger than if you hadn't had dermabrasion.
Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery, Inc.
116 Defense Hwy.,
Annapolis, MD 21401
10807 Falls Road, #100
Baltimore, MD 21093
Buinewicz Plastic Surgery & Medspa
3655 Route 202
Suites 225 and 230
Doylestown, PA 18902