What is dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that helps “refinish” the skin’s top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.
Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles. It’s also commonly used to treat deep acne scars.
Dermabrasion can be performed on small areas of skin or on the entire face. It can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel.
How is dermabrasion performed?
The areas to be treated are cleaned and marked. A local anesthetic (such as lidocaine) is usually used to numb the skin before treatment, and ice packs are applied to the skin for up to 30 minutes. A freezing (cryogenic) spray may sometimes be used to harden the skin for deeper abrasions if the anesthetic and ice packs do not make the skin firm enough.
One small area at a time is treated. The freezing spray (if needed) is applied for a few seconds and then the rotating burr or brush is used to take off 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 dermabrasion procedure?
Your recovery and healing time after dermabrasion depends on the size and depth of the area that was treated. Someone who has a full-face dermabrasion, for example, will require a longer recovery time than someone who has just a small area of skin treated. Deeper abrasions take longer to heal.
In general, regrowth of skin occurs within 5 to 8 days. This new skin is a pink or red color, which usually fades within 6 to 12 weeks. Until then, your normal skin tones can be achieved using makeup.
Many people have little or no pain and can get back to their regular activities soon after the procedure. Some people require pain relievers. If swelling occurs, a corticosteroid such as prednisone may be used to reduce the swelling.
Proper care of the treated area while the skin is healing is extremely important. This involves:
- Cleansing the skin several times a day to avoid infection and to get rid of the crusting that sometimes develops.
- Changing the ointment or dressing on the wound to keep the area moist and to promote healing.
- Avoiding sun exposure and, after peeling has stopped, using sunscreen every day. New skin is more susceptible to sun damage.
What skin conditions are best treated by dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is used to treat damage and defects in the upper layers of the skin, such as:
- Acne scars. Removing and improving the appearance of acne scars are the most common uses for dermabrasion.
- Scars caused by surgery or trauma, if they are not deep.
- Superficial skin growths, such as rhinophyma. On rare occasions, dermabrasion may be used to treat small cysts, epidermal nevi, some basal cell skin cancers, or Bowen’s disease.
- Tattoos (rarely). There are better ways to remove tattoos (such as with laser resurfacing).
- Color changes in the skin (solar lentigines or melasma). Chemical peels or laser resurfacing are used more commonly than dermabrasion for these problems.
- Fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
What are the side effects and risks associated with dermabrasion?
Common temporary side effects of dermabrasion include:
- Redness. This usually fades within 6 to 12 weeks.
- Flare-ups of acne or tiny cysts (milia). These can often be treated successfully with tretinoin. Antibiotics are sometimes needed.
- Increased color in the skin. The skin in the area that was treated may turn darker (hyperpigmentation) than the surrounding skin several weeks after dermabrasion.
- Increased sensitivity to sunlight.
Types of dermabrasion DSC offers:
- Diamond Peel – Using real crushed diamonds, the Diamond Peel treatment is much like a microdermabrasion, but is a less invasive and more comfortable process. The diamond peel system can stimulate cells below the skin surface as a result of extensive surface exfoliation, combined with a wide variety of diamond tip wands allowing for steady, controlled results.
- Silk Peel – SilkPeel is a new, dual approach that works in conjunction with Microdermabrasion to simultaneously exfoliate dead skin cells while infusing the skin with hydration-boosters to stimulate new cell growth. We can even out your skin tone and fight acne and wrinkles. It’s gentle, painless and safe for any skin type. It is also a great treatment to perform just before a social engagement. Your skin feels softer and smoother immediately and makeup will go on much more evenly.
- Vibraderm – Vibraderm is a revolutionary machine which quickly and painlessly improves the appearance of your skin. The Vibraderm uses a high vibration metal paddle that gently exfoliates the top layer of skin. Vibraderm vibrates away the stratum corneum and stimulates the production of new collagen. Unlike other skin treatments, the vibraderm can treat the skin on your entire body. Vibraderm can be used to effectively treat acne scars, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, oiliness, large pores and dull skin.
- AHA Peel – AHA is an alpha hydroxy acid. This acid can be found in many forms but the most common is glycolic acid. AHA works by dissolving the outermost layers of skin therefore encouraging cell turnover and bringing new, healthy cells to the surface. Using an AHA can help to promote a smoother, brighter, more even skin tone, soften fine lines, minimize pores and reduce hyperpigmentation.
- Jessner’s Peel – Jessners Peel is a powerful treatment designed to remove superficial layers of skin. A Jessner peel consists of a mild peeling agent that can be used to lighten areas of hyperpigmentation and to treat aged and sun damaged skin. The Jessner’s peel is excellent for all skin types. It smooths and rejuvenates skin, producing beautiful results in treating mild to severe acne, discoloration, moderate wrinkling, and sun damage. Peeling the face, neck, hands, and upper chest is also quite effective. The Jessner’s peel is very beneficial for patients with acne, oily, or thicker skin, because it tends to decrease oil production and open clogged sebaceous follicles. It also contributes to the healing process of acne.
- TCA Peel – TCA peels brighten and even out your skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation (dark spots, acne marks, sun spots, freckles) and skin discoloration. They revitalize dull-looking skin, helping skin look soft and smooth. Because of their deep exfoliating effects, TCA peels can clean out congested pores to refine the surface of your skin. Unfortunately, they don’t work as well for acne scars or moles, but they can minimize the appearance of skin tags. TCA peels are also great for erasing fine wrinkles and treating sun damage. TCA peels can be used on the face, neck, or back of the hands. They can also be used all over the face or just as a spot peel.
I’m interested. What do I do next?
Call us at 626-285-0800 to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable staff to discuss your concerns and find a suitable solution for you.