Roughened skin, which may be a product of acne with pitted scars, less-than-ideal scars from prior surgery or trauma, or uneven surfaces from aging, can present special cosmetic challenges. Dermabrasion enjoys a valued position in our surgical armamentarium. It is a technique in which the surgeon literally sands the damaged skin, much as one might sand a piece of wood, using a high-speed rotary device. Although laser, and in some instances chemical peels have been used as substitutes, dermabrasion has provided safe, consistent results with rapid recovery. In many instances the procedure can be done under a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) in the doctor’s office with or without oral calming medicine.

The skin is abraded to create an appearance not unlike a “rug burn” which over the next 5-10 days of very simple home care, yields to the growth of a newly healed surface of smooth pink skin, which may be camouflaged cosmetically as it fades normally over 6-10 weeks. If one has any history of cold sores or fever blisters in the mouth area, the doctor should be alerted in advance so that protective anti-viral medication can be taken as a precaution.

Dermabrasion should not be confused with microdermabrasion which is also an office treatment , usually by a licensed aesthetician, using a high pressure sand sprayer to remove the outermost epithelial layer of dead skin cells to exfoliate and freshen the skin appearance. Dermabrasion, on the contrary, is a deeper, more powerfully active procedure. It is nearly the ideal approach to smooth the vertical lip lines we all seem to develop over the years. Be certain to ask the health care professionals at My Plastic Surgery Group for more information, and prepare for a future of smooth facial skin.