In dermabrasion a rapidly spinning disk is used to "sand" the outer layers of skin. The skin that grows back is usually smoother. Dermabrasion is most often performed on the face to remove tissue damaged by acne scarring. It can also be used to remove wrinkles, scar tissue, tattoos and other skin lesions.
The treatment may be applied to small areas or to the entire face. A second treatment may be necessary for maximum results.
The surgeon may recommend pretreatment with Retin-A for several weeks before the procedure. The outer layers of skin are carefully cut away. The remaining tissue builds a scab, which remains for about a week as new skin grows. When the scab comes off, the skin is healed but very pink. Discoloration and swelling usually remain for two to three months while the wound heals. This is a concern to some patients, especially when dermabrasion is done to improve appearance. To balance and blend skin colors, a hypoallergenic makeup is usually recommended.
Isotretinoin (Accutane) taken to control acne may cause additional scarring after the procedure. In addition, a history of cold sores may require medication to prevent them from recurring after the treatment.
This procedure is performed by specialists in Dermatology.