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Dermabrasion is a facial sanding technique that is employed to smooth the rough edges of the skin's surface layers to enhance a patient's appearance. There are a few major benefits of a dermabrasion cosmetic procedure. Dermabrasion can significantly reduce the appearance of acne and surgical scars. The dermabrasion technique can also improve the appearance of some facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth. Tattoo removal may also be achieved using dermabrasion. Pre-cancerous growths on the skin may also be removed with dermabrasion.

Good candidates for dermabrasion are adult men and women, old and young, who are in good physical and emotional health. It is important for patients to understand the risks and benefits of dermabrasion prior to treatment. People who develop allergic rashes or sensitivities, or frequent cold sores may not be optimal candidates for dermabrasion. People with freckles or darker skin may also be at a greater risk for skin irregularities after the technique. Patients in the active stages of acne and those who have taken Accutane in the last two years may also not be good candidates for microdermabrasion.

Prior to any dermabrasion technique, it is important for a patient to learn about the risks and benefits of the procedure. While dermabrasion is a safe procedure when performed by a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon, like any procedure it is not without risk. After surgery, a dermabrasion patient may experience delayed healing, infection, or other complications. A qualified surgeon will take every step to minimize these risks throughout the dermabrasion process. Dermabrasion can also cause a scar to become worse than it was before the procedure. This technique can also leave a patient with permanent lightening or darkening of the skin surrounding the treated area.

It is also important for patients to know what to expect before, during, and after a dermabrasion procedure. Before surgery, the surgeon will give the patient a list of before and after care instructions. A patient might be instructed to apply certain treatments or avoid certain things before the procedure. The procedure itself is typically done on an out patient basis under a local anesthetic and a sedative (or a general best for the patient). Dermabrasion can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the treatment area. In some cases, a patient's treatment will be performed in sessions to achieve optimal results.

After dermabrasion is complete, a patient will experience discomfort and their skin will be red and swollen. Swelling from the procedure typically subsides within a few days or weeks. A scab or crust will form over the treated area, much like the scrape a child gets after a spill. When the skin beneath is exposed, a light pink layer will be exposed until the skin completely heals. The skin should heal completely after six to twelve months.

The dermabrasion technique is usually not covered by insurance, unless preformed for medical reasons. A cosmetic surgeon can work with a patient to determine a feasible way to cover the cost. If you would like to learn more about dermabrasion, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon in your area.