Dermabrasion should not be confused with microdermabrasion and is actually more similar to laser resurfacing. Laser resurfacing removes the top layer of skin whereas dermabrasion “refinishes” the top layer of skin using a method of controlled surgical abrasion. This method leaves the skin looking much smoother and refreshed.
Generally patients looking to have dermabrasion have scarring or wrinkles that are too deep to be improved by microdermabrasion or chemical peels. It is a common procedure for patients who have wrinkling around their mouth or acne scars and is often added to other procedures.
How It’s Done
The areas to be treated are cleaned and marked. A local anesthetic (such as lidocaine) is usually used to numb the skin before treatment, or if the entire face is going to be treated, a stronger anesthesia, pain killers, sedation, or general anesthesia may be used. One small area at a time is treated. The rotating burr or brush is used to take off the top layers of skin. The area is then covered with a clean dressing or ointment. Over the next several days a new top layer of skin forms.
Results and Recovery
After dermabrasion the skin is left smooth and has a more even tone and texture. The treated area will be red for about 5-7 days following the procedure and then will go through a pink phase as it heals. Patients can wear makeup at this time and should be careful to avoid direct sun exposure while their skin is still healing.