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. The procedure 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 is performed by Dr. Papadopoulos at MetroDerm P.C. in Atlanta, GA.
The Dermabrasion procedure improves the look of the skin by employing a diamond-tipped rotary instrument to remove or abrade the existing upper layer of skin in a precise manner. 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. Healing typically occurs within about a week.
Candidates for Dermabrasion
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.
- An enlarged nose caused by rosacea
You may not be a good candidate for dermabrasion if you have any of the following conditions:
- 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
About the Procedure
During the initial consultation, Dr. Papadopoulus works closely with each patient to ensure the most precise level of dermabrasion is performed. He will discuss whether dermabrasion is right option, how much skin can be safely removed, and the amount of improvement that can be expected. Part of this frank conversation should involve the potential risks and complications of dermabrasion.
Once the treatment plan is finalized, the procedure is usually performed in our office, on an outpatient basis, under a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine. The areas to be treated are cleaned and marked, and the local anesthetic is applied to numb the skin. Ice packs are placed on the skin for up to 30 minutes. A freezing, or 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, or if the entire face is going to be treated, 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, it is applied for a few seconds. Then the rotating brush is used to remove the top layers of skin. Gauze is used to stop any bleeding and the area is covered with a clean dressing or ointment.
What to Expect After the Procedure
The time it takes to heal after dermabrasion depends on the size and depth of the area treated. A full-face treatment will take longer to heal than that of a small area of skin. Deeper abrasions take the longest 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, normal skin tones can be matched using makeup. Please note that some patients experience a permanent lightening of the skin.
Most patients have little or no pain and return to their regular activities soon after the treatment. Some need pain relievers. A corticosteroid such as prednisone treats any instances of post-surgical swelling.
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.
A follow-up appointment is necessary to make sure the healing process is going well. If you have any problems, the friendly staff at Metroderm, P.C. is there to provide advice and support for you.
Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment may vary.
Dermabrasion is a treatment that forces the skin to grow a fresh new layer of cells. It is a great anti-aging procedure. To learn more about how dermabrasion can help rejuvenate or improve the look of your skin, schedule a consultation at Metroderm P.C. in Atlanta, GA. We are conveniently located to serve those in metro Atlanta including the cities of Dallas, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Marietta, Sandy Springs, and Smryna.