What is meant by the term dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion and derma-planning are both methods of improving the overall look of the skin by smoothening out wrinkles, facial scarring, uneven patches or marks. Dermabrasion 1 In some cases, it is also the treatment of choice for keratoses, which are pre cancerous lesions. The procedure basically involves surgical scarping and refinishing to give the skin a smoother, finer texture.
The procedure can either be used on specific portions, or the entire face. It can either be performed independently, or in combination with various other skin rejuvenation cosmetic therapies for ideal results.
Dermabrasion can be used to correct:

–          Wrinkles

–          Fine & frown lines

–          Scarring caused by trauma or accidents

–          Precancerous growths, for instance keratoses

–          Marks left from previous surgeries


What are the risks and complications that are associated with dermabrasion and dermaplanning?

Because dermabrasion is a minimally invasive, non surgical procedure, it rarely poses any serious risks or complications for patients. However, as part of proper medical protocol, all cosmetic surgeons must educate their patients regarding all major or minor complications that may occur during or after dermabrasion.
It is important to note that all medical procedures in the world carry certain uncertainties or risks regardless of their nature. The chances are considerably low if the cosmetic surgeon has ample experience and expertise in the procedure. Some of the risks and complications that can be associated with derma-planning and dermabrasion include:

–          Pigmentation of the skin

–          Permanent skin darkening in the absence of post operative care and management

–          Temporary post operative blotchy appearance

–          Development of whiteheads

–          Opening of enlarged pores in the skin

–          Scarring

–          Infections

–          Development of scar tissues, for instance hypertrophic scars and keloids

Dermabrasion Medical Diagram

What steps are involved in dermabrasion procedures?

Mostly performed in the outpatient departments of hospitals and health care centers, dermabrasion procedures may require the patient to remain admitted for a certain period of time while the surgeon/skin expert performs and finishes the procedure. The basic steps of a conventional dermabrasion procedure include:

  1. Administration of anesthesia: In order to ensure a completely painless procedure free from discomfort for the patient, dermabrasion is generally performed by placing the patient on local anesthesia, that is, sedating the specific portion of the body where the surgery will be performed. Usually, a spray method is used for sedation which is most convenient. Rarely, in cases whereby the extent of skin damage is severe, surgeons may also place their patients on complete sedation, or general anesthesia.
  2. The surgery: Dermabrasion surgeries basically involve scarping away of the topmost dermal layer which has been damaged by scars, signs of aging and other defects. For this purpose, a specialized instrument is used which is either a diamond particle burr or coarse wire brush connected to a motorized hand piece.
    The duration of the procedure is never constant, and depends entirely upon the extent of skin damage which has to be corrected. It is possible to achieve the desired results within a single sitting, but in some cases, multiple visits are required in order to remove all marks and scars from the skin entirely.
  3. Derma-planning: Derma-planning is generally done after dermabrasion and is performed with the help of another specialized instrument known as the dermatome. This instrument is basically an electric razor which acts by skimming away the topmost dermal layer to leave the skin looking smooth and flawless.
  4. Skin treatment: Once the surgeon has performed dermabrasion and derma-planning, he/she uses either a wax dressing or a medicated ointment to treat the skin.

Dermabrasion Medical

Results and recovery of dermabrasion (Click here to view Before & After Photographs):

Because the procedure involves scarping and skimming away of the dermal layers, it is likely that once the procedure has been completed, the patient may experience a significant degree of swelling and discomfort on speaking and eating. The skin may burn, ache, sting and even become red, but these are all temporary signs which normally subside in less than a week for mild to moderate cases.
It is important to duly follow all post operative instructions given by the cosmetic surgeon to promote rapid healing and better results. The surgeon may prescribe analgesics and medicated ointments in order to prevent post operative pain and infection. Patients must immediately report back to the medical center in case of any complication for efficient treatment and management.

Dermabrasion offers highly impressive, dramatic results. The skin may take a couple of months before the true effects of the surgery become evident, but the new skin will be much healthier, neater and youthful. Dermabrasion is one of the most effective procedures in skin smoothing, improvement and rejuvenation, and is being performed by leading skin care experts globally today.