Dermabrasion is a procedure that is performed to smooth areas of skin by removing damaged skin which allows new skin to appear. Skin will appear fresh and youthful.
Dermabrasion has many benefits. It can remove rough spots and smooth the contours of the skin by smoothing creases and wrinkles in the skin. It can also improve areas affected by acne and scarring.
You should discuss with your doctor what changes you would like to make and discuss problem areas that you feel need to be treated. During the consultation, your doctor will also explain the different options available to you and will explain the procedure in detail. You will also be made aware of any risks that are involved and the type of anesthesia that will be used during the procedure. Your doctor will want to know details of your medical history, such as any past or present medical conditions, surgeries, medications you are currently taking and lifestyle habits that may affect the dermabrasion procedure. If you smoke, your doctor may require you to stop smoking well in advance of the procedure as smoking can cause complications during and after the procedure. You will receive pre-op instructions and may be required to alter medications you are currently using. Your doctor may also give you a prescription for an antibiotic to take before the procedure to reduce the risk of infection. You should take the opportunity during your consultation to ask questions about the procedure and to discuss any concerns you have. Your doctor will be able to provide you with enough information so that you will know exactly what to expect during and after the procedure.
In order to perform the procedure, your doctor will begin by covering your eyes and hair. You will receive local anesthesia to numb the areas to be treated. You may also receive a sedative. Your doctor will use a motorized instrument that contains a sanding wheel to scrape the skin from the face which will allow the new skin to grow. The procedure takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the amount of treatment needed. If large areas are being treated, your doctor may require a series of treatments rather than all at once.
Dermabrasion is usually performed in the doctor's office. Although there is some bleeding during the procedure, you should not feel much discomfort during the procedure. Once the procedure is complete, your doctor may give you an ointment to cover the treated areas. The skin will appear red and will appear as if it has been scraped. You should expect some swelling for the next couple of days following the procedure. You may also have some mild pain that can be treated with pain medication.
The treated areas will begin to scab. After several days, the skin and the scabs will begin to loosen and eventually fall off. Once this happens, the skin will appear to be very pink. This is temporary and will last about three weeks. During this time, you may need to use special soaps and cosmetics. Also, you should be able to return to normal activities within two or three days following the procedure, although the skin will be red and swollen. Your doctor will give you instructions if there are any limits on your activities. You may want to plan to take it easy for a couple weeks in order to give your skin a chance to heal.
Infection and scarring are the most common risks of dermabrasion. If too much scar tissue forms, a steroid may be given to lessen the scarring. Dermabrasion is generally a safe procedure that can produce dramatic results.
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