Dermabrasion is a technique that is used to improve the look of uneven or acne-scarred skin. Uneven fine lines around the mouth and pre-cancerous sunspots can also be removed. Dermabrasion is used to treat deep acne pit scars and "ice pick scars" from deep cystic acne. Dermabrasion can be done as a single procedure or in conjunction with other procedures. Dermabrasion can be done on a single spot, a specific area or the entire face.
Patients of all ages can benefit from Dermabrasion. Those individuals with fairly light complexions would do best with this procedure. Those with dark complexions, olive, or black skin may have some unpredictable color changes of the skin after healing.
Other procedures such as chemical peels and laser resurfacing have the same goal as Dermabrasion - removing the outer layer of the skin. Dermabrasion involves a mechanical sanding of the skin to smooth down the outer layers.
On initial consultation, Dr. Portuese will ask you about your goals and expectations and he will review your medical history. Acne must be under control before performing Dermabrasion. Accutane must not have been used for at least 12-18 months prior to the procedure.
The most common risk associated with Dermabrasion is skin pigmentation. The skin can heal either too dark (hyperpigmentaion), which is most common, or too light (hypopigmentation). If the skin heals too dark, a bleaching agent can always be prescribed to bleach the skin to its normal coloration. This is usually a temporary problem. On a rare occasion, a patient can develop excessive scar tissue, called keloid or hypertrophic scarring, which is treated with cortisone injections.
Dermabrasion is a mechanical sanding of the skin to smooth out the outer layers of the skin. Dermabrasion can be repeated two to three times over the course of a year to give a full effect.
Most patients will have approximately a 30-40% improvement after all the procedures are complete. The area will be slightly red and crusty immediately after the procedure and may have a slight amount of bleeding.
If you have further questions about Dermabrasion, please feel free to contact our Patient Care Coordinator.
Dermabrasion can be done under local anesthesia for small areas or intravenous sedation for large areas.
We have board certified physician anesthesiologists who will be present to monitor the anesthesia and the patient's vital signs while Dr. Portuese performs the surgery. Patients must have transportation arrangements and someone to take care of them for the first twenty-four hours.
If only a small area is to be done, patients may choose to have a local anesthetic, which will anesthetize the area and surrounding tissue. If the procedure is done under local anesthesia, the patient will be able to care for themselves after the procedure.