Dermabrasion is a cosmetic technique for removing the upper epidermal layer of the skin by abrasion (or sanding). It is also referred to as surgical skin planning. It is one of the most common procedures for the removal of acne scars. Other techniques for removing scars include chemical peel and laser therapy.
Dermabrasion helps in leveling the surface irregularities of skin and also, in lessening the skin wrinkles. Many people opt for this technique to treat the fine lines around the mouth area. It is also used to enhance the appearance of the facial skin, that is sun-tanned or scarred due to smallpox, accidents or surgery, and also to remove tattoos. Sometimes, the procedure is used to remove pre-cancerous skin growths (actinic keratosis).
This technique can be performed on specific areas of the skin or on the entire face. Before carrying out the procedure, the medical history of the affected person is taken into consideration and a skin examination is conducted to evaluate the condition of the same.
In this procedure, the area is cleansed thoroughly with an antiseptic cleansing agent and a freezing spray is applied to numb the skin. After giving general anesthesia to the affected person, a wire brush with rough edges is rotated rapidly on the area, so as to peel the top layers of the skin. Skin soothing ointments are then applied and dressing is done.
After the procedure, many people may experience pain and the need to have painkillers. The skin becomes very red and looks raw. Normally, regrowth of skin takes about 10 days. In general, the new skin is red or pink that fades within 6-10 weeks. Overall, healing time depends on the size and the depth of the treated skin.
It is advisable to take proper skin care while the skin is healing, since the new skin is more susceptible to infection and suntan. Some skin care tips include cleansing of the skin several times a day. One should change the dressing regularly, along with application of ointment. Also, it is recommended that one should apply sunscreen while going out in order to avoid exposure to sun.
There are certain side effects of this treatment procedure which include hyperpigmentation (increased color of skin), tissue damage (due to excessive freezing), lasting redness, scarring, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. In addition, there are chances of infection and swelling of the treated area. Due to the risk of infection, this cosmetic technique is not performed in the active stages of acne. In case of swelling, corticosteroids can be taken under the prescription of the concerned doctor.
Though this technique improves the look of one's skin, it does not remove the scar completely. It is effective in removing a minor scar or a raised scar (hypertrophic scar), whereas it is less beneficial in case of sunken scars. The effectiveness of this technique varies depending upon the age, skin type, skin color, and medical history. Hence, before one opts for this procedure, it is better to consult a dermatologist about the pros and cons of the same.
Disclaimer: This BeautiSecrets article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.