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Dermabrasion - Information about Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a skin resurfacing technique that is used to treat facial scarring. Dermabrasion is also used to treat deep facial lines and wrinkles, severe sun damage, pigmentation disorders and certain types of skin lesions.

Dermabrasion helps to "refinish" the skin's top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. It is often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth.

They can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel. Dermabrasion is useful for scar removal when the scar is raised above the surrounding skin, but is less effective with sunken scars. During the dermabrasion, the surgeon will use a rough wire brush or a motorized burr with diamond particles to scrape the scar or wrinkle away.

Dermabrasion is not effective in treating congenital skin defects, most moles or pigmented birthmarks, or scars due to burns. Dermabrasion frequently improves follicular inflammatory dermatoses, such as pseudofolliculitis barbae, cystic acne, and rhinophyma of acne rosacea. The dermabrasion can also improved actinic keratoses, solar elastosis, and discoloration of photoaging.

Dermabrasion is a procedure designed to smooth either the whole face or just an area of the face. Through controlled surgical "sanding" of the damaged skin, dermabrasion allows smoother, younger-looking skin to form.

Dermabrasion treatment is performed under local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to help the patient relax. Depending upon the size of the area to be treated, a dermabrasion can take a few minutes or up to an hour and a half. In some cases, the dermabrasion will be performed more than once, or will be done in stages, especially in the case of deep scarring or a large treatment area.

It is used to remove sun-damaged skin and to remove or lessen scars and dark spots on the skin. The procedure is very painful and usually requires a general anaesthetic . Afterward, the skin is very red and raw-looking, and it takes several months for the skin to regrow and heal.

In the past, dermabrasion was done using a small, sterilized, electric sander. In the past decade, it has become more common to use a CO2 or Erbium:YAG laser. Laser dermabrasion is much easier to control, much easier to gauge, and is practically bloodless compared to classic dermabrasion.

Most patients are only prescribed antibiotics if infection occurs after the procedure. For two to three weeks prior to dermabrasion, tretinoin cream may be prescribed to apply each night to the area to be treated.

A dermabrasion procedure normally takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to perform , depending upon the size of the area to be corrected.  For patients undergoing anesthesia for their procedure , first, you will have monitoring pads attached to you so that the surgical team can properly monitor your vital statistics before, during and after your operation.  When you are brought to the operating room, your electrodes will be connected to the monitoring equipment.  

Once you are on the operating room table, you will then be given your choice or your surgeon's preference in anesthesia as discussed prior to your surgery date.  If you had been given an oral sedative or valium prior you will have less anxiety. After the needle is injected into the vein it is pulled out and a little plastic tube is left in your vein.  This is called a catheter.  The  catheter is taped to your skin so it is not accidentally knocked or pulled out and is ready to be used as a sort of entryway for anything the surgical team deems necessary for your body.  This is usually done before you get into the actual O.R., by a nurse, and you have a saline bag hooked up to you.  The medications will usually be given with a drip system with this saline. As said before, the saline will keep you hydrated both during and post-operatively.