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Dermabrasion : Purpose, Procedure, Benefits and Risk

Overview

Dermabrasion can help you achieve better skin texture skin. Blemishes due to acne, accidents, surgery or melasma can be addressed by dermabrasion. Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that uses a rapidly rotating device to remove the outer layer of skin. The skin that grows back is usually smoother. A cosmetic surgeon or a dermatologist uses a specific tool to “sandpaper” the skin. This improves the texture of your skin as the upper layers of the skin get scraped away.

What are the basic things we need to know about dermabrasion?

A cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist is qualified to perform a dermabrasion procedure. Before the skin-resurfacing procedure, your plastic surgeon will do the following :

  • Assessment of your complete medical history: Mention your existing medical conditions. Discuss medicines you are taking or have taken recently.
  • Carry out a physical examination: The specialist will inspect the skin. Your doctor will also describe the risks and complications that may arise and take photographs before and after dermabrasion to assess your outcomes.
  • Discuss your expectations: Describe why you want dermabrasion and how you expect to look after the procedure.

During dermabrasion, your skin will be prepared using an antiseptic and your doctor will give you any or a combination of:

  • Numbing spray
  • Topical anesthetic
  • Local anesthetic injection

Your doctor will then scrape away the outer layers of the skin using a high-speed rotating tool with an abrasive diamond wheel. The fresh layers underneath are then revealed. After the procedure is completed, a wet bandage will be applied to your skin.

The procedure may take up to 120 minutes.

Generally, dermabrasion is performed as an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic to numb your skin. In case you’re having additional cosmetic procedures like facelift, general anesthesia may be given.

After dermabrasion, you will be prescribed an antibiotic to avoid infections. You may be asked to use a retinoid ointment for skin renewal.

Who qualifies for dermabrasion?

Anyone can undergo dermabrasion.

Why is dermabrasion performed?

Dermabrasion is performed to reduce fine facial lines and improve the appearance of skin that has acne blemishes, surgical marks, wrinkles or age spots. It can be combined with other aesthetic procedures.

What are the benefits of dermabrasion?

This procedure can mend:

  • Crow’s feet and fine lines
  • Age (liver) spots
  • Pox marks and tattoos
  • Blemishes from acne, accidents or surgery
  • Thick, inflamed skin on the nose (rhinophyma)
  • Melasma and other patches of dark skin
  • Precancerous skin patches
  • Non-cancerous skin growths
  • Stretch marks
  • Harm due to sun exposure and wrinkles

Dermabrasion can’t mend:

  • Birthmarks
  • Moles
  • Burns

What are the risks of dermabrasion?

These include:

  • Rosacea: Risk of infection
  • Blood, immune or skin disorders: Slow the course of healing
  • Keloid conditions.
  • Cold-sensitive skin
  • Herpes simplex can lead to scarring due to cold sores
  • Medications for acne such as isotretinoin or any other medication that may cause thinning of your skin
  • Increased bleeding risk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs

Can I do dermabrasion at home?

No, only a well-qualified cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist should perform dermabrasion. Make sure you find a certified specialist.

Are dermabrasion and other skin resurfacing alternatives like microdermabrasion the same?

Your skin type, goals and conditions may need other skin resurfacing choices. Discuss with your dermatologist which option will work best for your skin.

In microdermabrasion, a spray of small abrasive crystals is used to make all skin types softer. It is a less invasive technique than dermabrasion and won’t work for serious skin problems like scars, stretch marks or wrinkles. It doesn’t need anaesthesia and your skin improves in just 24 hours.

How beneficial is dermabrasion compared to chemical peels?

There are several advantages of dermabrasion:

  • Increases collagen production: Studies prove that dermabrasion stimulates new collagen formation in your skin. This boosts renewal and younger-looking skin. Collagen production following a chemical peel isn’t as effective.
  • A better option for medium skin tones: Dermatologists report less discolouration risk in medium skin tones with dermabrasion than with chemical peels.
  • Decrease in deep scars: Studies also demonstrate reduced deeper acne scars with dermabrasion than with chemical peels.
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