Dermabrasion: Rejuvenation at Its Best
Dermabrasion is a method of renewing the skin’s surface and producing a smoother, more naturally textured and pigmented surface. Dermabrasion has the potential to repair or help conceal many kinds of skin defects — particularly wrinkles, sun damage, excessive pigmentation, or scars from accidents, acne, or previous surgery. The procedure employs a diamond-tipped, rotary instrument which removes or abrades the existing upper layer of skin in a precise manner. Dermabrasion is performed in our office under local anesthesia. Patients may be prescribed medications to help with tenderness after the procedure. Healing typically occurs within about a week. This procedure is performed by Dr. Papadopoulos at MetroDerm P.C. in Atlanta, GA.
Dermabrasion is a treatment to improve the look of the skin. It uses a surgical diamond flange with rough edges to remove the upper layers of the skin. The bit spins quickly, taking off and leveling or planing the top layers of the skin. This process injures or wounds the skin and causes it to bleed. As the wound heals, new skin grows to replace the damaged skin.
The skincare experts at MetroDerm will work with you to decide what level of dermabrasion is right for you. The level of treatment depends on several factors:
- The coarseness of the surgical bit is and how fast it spins
- The amount of pressure applied and how long
- The condition and features of your skin
The face is the most common site for this treatment. But other areas of the skin can be treated. Dermabrasion is used most often to improve several conditions:
- Acne scars
- Fine lines around the mouth
- Enlarged nose caused by rosacea, a skin condition
About the Procedure
The areas to be treated are cleaned and marked. A local anesthetic such as lidocaine is applied to numb the skin. Ice packs are placed on the skin for up to 30 minutes. A freezing , cryogenic, spray may be used to harden the skin for deeper abrasions if the anesthetic and ice packs don’t make the skin firm enough. For deep abrasions, a stronger anesthesia, pain killers, sedation, or general anesthesia may be needed.
One small area at a time is treated. If the freezing spray is needed, the doctor applies it for a few seconds. Then the rotating brush is used to remove the top layers of skin. Gauze is used to stop any bleeding. Then the area is covered with a clean dressing or ointment. Dermabrasion is done in the doctor’s office on an outpatient basis.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The time it takes to heal after dermabrasion depends on the size and depth of the area treated. Someone who has a full-face treatment will take longer to heal than someone who has just a small area of skin treated. Deeper abrasions take longer to heal. In most cases, the skin grows back in 5 to 8 days. This new skin is pink or red. The color most often fades in 6 to 12 weeks. Until then, your normal skin tones can be matched using makeup. Unfortunately, there may be a permanent lightening of the skin on some patients.
Many people have little or no pain and can get back to their regular activities soon after the treatment. Some people need pain relievers. If swelling occurs, a corticosteroid such as prednisone may be used. Proper care of the treated area while the skin is healing is important:
- Clean the skin several times a day to help avoid infection and get rid of crusting that may occur.
- Change the ointment or dressing on the wound to keep the area moist and help heal the skin.
- Avoid sun exposure and, after peeling has stopped, use sunscreen every day. Tender new skin is more likely to get sun damage.
Why It is Done
Dermabrasion is used to treat damage and defects in the upper layers of the skin:
- Acne scars. The most common uses for dermabrasion are to remove and improve the look of acne scars.
- Scars caused by surgery or trauma, if they are not deep.
- Surface skin growths
- Fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
You may not be a good candidate for dermabrasion if you have any of the following conditions:
- Have a history of abnormal scarring, keloid or hypertrophic scars
- Have an active herpes infection or other skin infection
- Are overly sensitive to cold because the freezing spray could be a problem
- Have a skin, blood flow, or immune problem that could make healing harder
If you choose to rejuvenate your skin through dermabrasion, your doctor at MetroDerm will give examine you carefully and make recommendations for treatment. He will provide instructions to care for your skin post-treatment. If you have any problems, the friendly staff at MetroDerm is there to provide advice and support for you. A follow-up appointment is necessary to make sure the healing process is going well. Dermabrasion is a treatment that forces the skin to grow a fresh new layer of cells. It is a great anti-aging procedure.
If you want to look glowing for a family wedding or other special event, call MetroDerm to set up a consultation about dermabrasion and our other procedures that can help you look terrific for your special day. MetroDerm is conveniently located to serve those in metro Atlanta including the cities of Dallas, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Marietta, Sandy Springs, and Smryna.