Dermabrasion is used to remove damaged skin. This allows healthy, smoother skin to grow in its place.
Dermabrasion is done to help repair damaged skin. The procedure may help to renew skin by stimulating new skin growth. Dermabrasion may be used to treat the following skin conditions:
Your doctor will review a list of possible complications from dermabrasion. This may may include:
Certain factors increase the risk of complications. Dermabrasion is not recommended if you have:
Your doctor may:
Photographs will also be taken before and after surgery. This will help to see the changes.
A local anesthetic will be used. It will numb the area. A numbing spray may also be used. If the amount of work is extensive you may need general anesthesia. In this case, you will be asleep.
You may also receive a sedative. This medicine will help you relax.
The area of skin will be cleaned. The anesthesia will be applied to numb the skin. The doctor will use a motorized tool with a wheel or brush. The tool with be passed over the skin. Each pass will remove a certain amount of skin. The doctor will continue until the damaged area is level with the rest of the skin.
The doctor may apply ointment or dressing to the area.
The length of time depends on the size of the area to be treated. It can range from a few minutes to 90 minutes.
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.
Healing normally takes 7-10 days. A steroid medication may be prescribed. This can help reduce swelling and improve healing.
Proper care will also help you heal. Steps may include:
Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
At first the area will bleed. Once it heals the skin should appear smoother and blend into the surrounding skin. Results are long-lasting.
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Dermabrasion. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org... . Accessed December 12, 2012.
Dermabrasion procedural steps. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plastic.... Accessed December 12, 2012.
Harmon CB. Dermabrasion. Dermatol Clin . 2001;19(3):439-442.
Roy D. Ablative facial resurfacing. Dermatol Clin . 2005;23(3):549-559.
Last reviewed December 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 12/11/2012
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