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Dermabrasion Dermabrasion treatment

The skin is the outer covering that protects the body from the external environment. The skin of the face is the most exposed area of the body and the most affected by environmental damage. In this protective process, dead cells accumulate causing an opaque appearance. Dermabrasion is a natural and old method used to exfoliate these dead cells. Once the dead cells from the face skin are gently removed, the skin products may penetrate through and improve the facial appearance. Today, there are a variety of dermabrasion techniques which are safe and effective to improve the appearance of wrinkles and other imperfections.

What is the dermabrasion technique?

Dermabrasion is a reconstructive technique in which the surface of the skin is removed by abrasion and the epidermis is regenerated. Dermabrasion employs chemical techniques for controlled removal of the epidermal layers and provides a softer and uniform appearance to the skin. Dermabrasion works on all skin types to improve or eliminate skin irregularities such as superficial scars, acne scars, fine wrinkles, some tattoo scars and age spots.


The patient for dermabrasion

Although dermabrasion may improve scar appearance, a person considering dermabrasion must understand that there is no way to remove scars completely. Many patients who suffer from acne scars, age spots, wrinkles and other irregularities can achieve a more uniform skin color and texture through dermabrasion.
A healthy patient with real expectations from dermabrasion can be an ideal candidate for this treatment.

Preoperative evaluation of the patient for dermabrasion

During consultation you may express your reasons to consider dermabrasion as well as your expectations. Your surgeon will perform a careful examination of your skin lesions, acne scars, wrinkles and other defects. Also, age, skin type, skin color and other characteristics will be considered.

Types of dermabrasion

What types of dermabrasion does exist?

There are different types of dermabrasion.

Mechanical dermabrasion

Mechanical dermabrasion involves the use of a wire brush or a diamond fraise driven by a high-speed rotary hand engine, which removes only the superficial layer of the skin. Mechanical dermabrasion may be performed using local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. In some cases general anesthesia may be used. It is usually done in an outpatient basis and may take 1 hour. Your physician may recommend more than one session. Postoperatively a dressing will be placed over the treated area to avoid crust formation. In some cases only an ointment to hydrate the wound is applied. Crust formation and gradual light desquamation is possible. Chemical substances such as alpha-hydroxyl acids and retinoic acids are used to improve the skin quality.

Chemical dermabrasion

Chemical dermabrasion removes the superficial layers of skin through chemical means. Chemical substances such as alpha-hydroxyl acids and retinoic acids are used to improve the skin quality.

Laser dermabrasion

Laser CO2 is used to improve appearance of scars and fine wrinkles.

What are some of the benefits of dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion may:

  • Restore the superficial layers of skin.
  • Improve acne scar appearance.
  • Stimulate collagen and elastin production.
  • Improve the appearance of some age spots...
  • Improve the appearance of fine wrinkles.
  • Reduce deep wrinkles.
  • Stimulate blood circulation.
  • Activate absorption of skin products.

What can I expect after dermabrasion treatment?

  • Dermabrasion use techniques for controlled removal of the epidermal layers of skin. Therefore, right after the procedure, your skin will be quite red and swollen.

  • Immediately after the procedure, eating and talking will be difficult.

  • You will receive pain medication to minimize any discomfort...

  • Your physician will prescribe an ointment to be used postoperatively.

  • Since some redness may occur, you may want to postpone social engagements.

  • Crust formation and desquamation are expected. After desquamation a fresh new skin will reveal.

  • You may experience temporary itching and burning. Your doctor may prescribe a topical ointment to minimize this discomfort.

  • A dressing will be applied to avoid dryness and consequent crust formation...

  • Men cannot shave for some days after dermabrasion.

  • The patient must follow the post-treatment recommendation to achieve the desired outcome.

  • Some individuals may develop abnormal scarring. If you experience excessive redness or itching, inform your doctor for immediate treatment.

Post-treatment recommendations – Dermabrasion

What care should I take following dermabrasion?

Part of the success of surgery depends on the post-treatment care. It is very important to follow the surgeon´s recommendations to reach the desired outcome. Dr. Nieto closely observes her patient´s convalescence and healing. Please do not hesitate to contact her if you have questions or concerns. You will be given written instructions for your postoperative care to you and your family.

  • You will be given precise instructions for postoperative care. Be sure that medical instructions are clearly understood by you and your family members.

  • Your surgeon may recommend an ointment to help the healing process. It is important to follow this recommendation.

  • Skin sensitivity, mild redness and swelling are considered normal post-treatment side effects. Use of the prescribed ointment may help to minimize these symptoms.

  • Lifting heavy things, animals or children may affect the treated area. You must avoid any activity that increases risk of hitting.

  • Avoid active sports and exercise for 4-6 weeks.

  • Ask your doctor when you may return to normal activities. Most people resume normal activities after 2-3 weeks. However, as each person has a different healing response, you must give your skin enough time to recover.

  • Avoid sun exposure until your normal skin color has returned. This may take 6-12 months. You must wear a daily sunblock lotion. Sunblock lotions diminish the damaging effects of ultra violet radiation on skin and delay the visible signs of aging.

  • The skin may feel tight as if expose to the sun or wind after treatment.

  • Avoid swimming pools for at least the first month after treatment.

  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages.

  • Some months after the procedure, a new, fresh, and soft skin will be revealed. You must use appropriate skin products if you want to maintain this condition...

  • Right after the procedure, your skin may experience a mild redness condition. This symptom is part of the skin´s healing process and may take 3 months to diminish. Women may wear makeup for cosmetic camouflage. Your doctor may guide you on what is the appropriate makeup for you.

  • Do not smoke. Nicotine inhibits the healing process.

  • Avoid taking any medication that has not been prescribed by your doctor, especially aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or aspirin-like products (Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin or Aleve). These medicines have anticoagulant adverse effects and may increase the risk of bleeding or scarring complications.