What is dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is an exfoliating technique that uses a rotating device to remove the outer layers of the skin, usually on the face. This treatment is popular with people who want to improve the appearance of their skin. Some conditions that can be treated include fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, and uneven texture.
Dermabrasion reduces the appearance of fine facial lines and improves the appearance of many skin blemishes, including acne scars, surgery scars, age spots, and wrinkles. Dermabrasion can be performed alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures.
During dermabrasion, your doctor will numb your skin with anaesthesia. Depending on the extent of your treatment, you may also be able to take sedatives or receive general anaesthesia. Skin treated with dermatitis remains sensitive and scarred for many weeks. It can take up to three months for your skin tone to return to normal.
Many over-the-counter devices mimic the cleansing and exfoliation process of professional treatments. These often take longer to produce the desired skin-sensitive effects of professional dermabrasion and generally do not achieve the full effects.
What are the reasons for dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion removes the damaged outer layers of the skin. Makes new layers of skin look smaller and smoother.
In addition to providing a more youthful appearance, it also helps treat dermabrasion:
- Acne scars
- Age spots
- Fine wrinkles
- Premature skin patches
- Rhinophyma or redness and thick skin on the nose
- Scars from surgery or injury.
- sun damage
- Uneven skin tone
Dermabrasion is one of many treatments for these conditions. For example, advances in laser technology make laser tattoo removal faster and easier. Talk to your dermatologist about treatment options for your specific condition.
Some skin conditions can prevent your doctor from performing dermabrasion, such as inflammatory pimples, recurrent herpes outbreaks, radiation burns, or burn scars. You cannot get dermabrasion if you take medications with skin-thinning side effects. Your doctor may not recommend dermabrasion if your skin tone is naturally too dark.
Why it’s done
Dermabrasion can be used to treat or remove:
- Scars caused by acne, surgery, or injuries
- Fine wrinkles, especially those around the mouth
- Sun-damaged skin, including age spots
- Swelling and redness of the nose (rhinophyma)
- Potentially precancerous skin patch
Who is dermabrasion right for?
People of all ages, including children, can get dermabrasion. However, if you are on the old side, keep in mind that it will heal more slowly than you thought. Two factors can prevent you from qualifying, those are skin type and medical history. If you have Asian, black, or generally darker complexions, this treatment will permanently change your skin. You don’t want to risk dermabrasion.
If you have medical conditions such as allergic rashes, skin reactions, cold sores, or cold sores, you are at risk for inflammation. Also, if pimples persist, dermabrasion is not an option because there is a risk of infection. Infection is also a risk if you have a severe burn, a chemical peel, or undergo radiation treatments.
The last risk is that your small scars will not disappear when the skin is scraped.
Dermabrasion can cause side effects, including:
Redness and swelling After dermabrasion, the treated skin becomes red and swollen. The swelling can start to subside in a few days to a week, but it can last for weeks or even months. Your new skin will be smooth and flaky for many weeks. It can take up to three months for your skin tone to return to normal.
- Acne. You may notice small white bumps (milia) on the treated skin. These lumps usually disappear on their own or with the use of an abrasive soap or gauze.
- Enlarged holes. Dermabrasion can enlarge pores. Changes in skin colour Dermabrasion is often treated when the skin is temporarily darker than normal (hyperpigmentation), lighter than normal (hypopigmentation), or flawless. These problems are more common in people with skin of colour and are sometimes permanent.
- Infection. In rare cases, dermabrasion can lead to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, such as inflammation, herpes virus cold sore virus.
- Scar. Dermabrasion too deep can cause scarring. Steroid medications can be used to smooth the appearance of these spots.
- Other skin reactions. If you frequently develop allergic rashes or other skin reactions, dermabrasion can make these reactions worse.
- Dermabrasion is not for everyone. Your doctor can handle dermabrasion if you have:
How do you prepare
Before you get dermatitis, your doctor will likely:
- Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about current and past conditions and medications you are taking or have recently taken, as well as any cosmetic procedures you may have.
- Do a physical exam. Your doctor will check if changes can be made to your skin and the area to be treated and if your physical characteristics, for example, the tone and thickness of your skin, will affect your results.
- Analyze your expectations. Talk to your doctor about your motivations, expectations, and potential risks. Make sure you understand how long it takes for your skin to heal and what the results are.
Before dermabrasion, you also need:
- Avoid using certain medications. Before dermabrasion, your doctor may advise you not to take aspirin, blood thinners, and some other medications.
- Smoking. If you smoke, your doctor may ask you to stop smoking for a week or two before and after dermabrasion. Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin and slows down the healing process.
- Take antiviral medications. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications before and after treatment to help prevent a viral infection.
- Take an oral antibiotic. If you have acne, your doctor may recommend that you take an oral antibiotic during the procedure to help prevent a bacterial infection.
- Take injections of onabotulinum toxin (Botox). They are usually given at least three days before the procedure and can help most people achieve better results.
- Use retinol cream. Your doctor may recommend using a retinoid cream such as tretinoin (Renova, Retin-A, etc.) for a few weeks before treatment to help with healing.
- Avoid dangerous sunlight. Excessive sun exposure before the procedure can cause permanent uneven pigmentation in the treated areas. Talk to your doctor about sun protection and acceptable sun exposure.
- Make arrangements to travel home. If you are intoxicated or receive general anaesthesia during the procedure, make arrangements to travel home.
What happens during dermabrasion?
The type of anaesthesia you receive during dermabrasion depends on the scope of your treatment. Your doctor will usually give you a local anaesthetic. However, in some cases, you may need anaesthesia to relax or feel sleepy. Sometimes general anaesthesia may be given during the procedure.
During treatment, an assistant will hold your skin firmly. Your doctor will move a device called a dermabrader across your skin. The dermabrader is a crude motorized device.
On large areas of skin, the doctor will use circular dermabrasion, but on smaller areas, such as the corners of the mouth, he will use one with a smaller tip. Your doctor can treat large areas of skin in multiple sessions.
As soon as the procedure is finished, your doctor will cover the treated area with a wet bandage. They usually change this dressing at the appointment the next day.
What happens after dermabrasion?
Your doctor will give you complete home care instructions on how to change the bandage, how to cover the treated area, and what products to use. You can expect to return to work in two weeks.
After dermabrasion, your skin is often pink and swollen, and you may feel burning or tingling. During healing, the skin may dissolve a liquid or a clear or yellowish crust. It takes about three months for your skin to heal completely and the pink colour to disappear.
What are the problems associated with dermabrasion?
The risks associated with dermabrasion are associated with other surgical procedures. These include bleeding, infection, and an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia.
Some risks of dermabrasion:
- Acne breakout
- Changes in skin tone
- Enlarged pores, usually temporary
- Loss of small scars
Although it is very rare, some people develop excessive scarring or keloids after dermabrasion treatment. In these cases, some steroids can help soften the scars.
Always follow your doctor’s advice and keep the next recommended appointments. The most important thing is to be sensitive to your skin. Avoid using harsh cleansers or skincare products and avoid rubbing or pinching your skin. Your doctor may recommend a thick moisturizing ointment such as petroleum jelly. It is also important to avoid exposing your skin to the sun during healing. When your skin is healthy, use sunscreen every day.