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What is Dermabrasion?

As the number of available cosmetic techniques continues to increase, it may be helpful if we specifically define what we mean when we talk about a particular procedure. An example is dermabrasion, which is a term we hear regularly in the context of skin treatments, but which is rarely explained in any detail.

Dermabrasion is a procedure that is designed to resurface the skin. This is accomplished by surgical scraping, using a device that rotates rapidly, and “sands” the outer layers of your skin. There are a number of things that dermabrasion can accomplish. The most common uses of this technique are to improve the appearance of the skin on your face that have been scarred by accidents, acne, or previous surgery; to smooth out facial wrinkles; to treat age spots and uneven skin tone; and to remove certain pre-cancerous growths (keratoses). It can also be used to treat or remove a number of other skin problems.

One of the benefits of this procedure is that it is quite versatile. What we mean by that is that (a) it can be used alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures; (b) it can be performed on small areas of your skin, or on your entire face; and (c) as noted above, it is effective when treating a variety of skin conditions. The way dermabrasion works is really very simple. Once the procedure is performed, the skin that grows back is generally softer, smoother, and younger looking that before.

After dermabrasion, the skin that has been treated will be red (or pink) and swollen, and you will probably feel some burning, tingling or other discomfort. You might notice some oozing from the treated areas, and a scab will form during the healing process. You might also experience some itching while the skin heals. Your doctor can prescribe medication if necessary, and suggest what to do in order to help the healing process and avoid complications. You can expect to be back to work in a couple of weeks, with limitations on certain activities for perhaps four to six weeks.

Talk to your doctor about dermabrasion. In many cases, it can offer a dramatic improvement in the look of your skin.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.