What is a Dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion uses manual abrasion of the skin to remove acne scarring, hyperpigmentations (too much pigments), wrinkles around the mouth, scar revision and even tattoo removal. Although this procedure is usually performed by itself for the above indications, dermabrasion can be used in combination with other types of treatments as well.
How is it done?
The procedure normally takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours to perform - depending upon the size of the area to be corrected. Your surgeon will then begin to either manually abrade your skin with a rotary instrument which has an abrasive brush or a burr that is impregnated with diamond particles. Your surgeon may make several passes or one simple, yet deeper, pass until the scar or other irregularity is at the same level or same color/texture as the surrounding skin. Some scars are removed completely whereas some deeper scars may need additional procedures such as punch-grafting or injectable fillers.
After the skin resurfacing is complete, your surgeon will cover your face with either a thin film of Bacitracin or antibiotic burn cream like Silvadine.
Why is it done?
To remove acne scarring, hyperpigmentations, wrinkles around the mouth, scar revision and even tattoo removal.
Risks & complications
If you are susceptible to Keloid scarring or have active skin infections or afflictions such as herpes outbreaks, you may not be a good candidate for dermabrasion. If you have a history of cold sores, herpes or other viral infections disclose this to your surgeon. After dermabrasion treatments, chemical peels and laser resurfacing, viral anomalies may spread and severely disfigure the treatment area. You will be placed on anti-viral medications beforehand and continue during the healing phase. Bacterial infections are also a severe risk and even water-borne or plant-borne bacterial infections can severely scar your treatment area if they are exposed to your treatment area.
There is also the risk of bullae (blisters), milia (or small whiteheads), infection, thicker scar tissue of the treatment area and hypopigmentation (too little or no pigment) as well as hyperpigmentation (too much pigment). You must also be very careful if you have taken Accutane within the past year and a half (12-18 months). Accutane causes dermal thickening and can cause increased chances of keloid-like scarring.
The Surgeon may discuss alternative approaches to the Dermabrasion Treatment procedure.
Those who are prone to keloids, hyper or hypo pigmentation or do not react well to burns or excessive scarring due to minor cuts and abrasions, should not under go Dermabrasion.
Some ethnic groups are prone to hyperpigmentation (too much pigment) or hypopigmentation (too little, or no, pigment) resulting from any level of dermabrasion. Also, those who have any of the following should not consider Dermabrasion:
Undiagnosed lesions; recent herpes outbreaks; warts; active, weeping acne (stages 3-4); active Rosacea; unstable diabetes; auto-immune system disorders; pigmentation problems; facial wrinkles; blotchiness; or dark under-eye circles.