There are many factors that contribute to damaged or uneven skin, including sun exposure, aging, or injury. Combined, these things can give your skin a tired and rough appearance.
Dermatologists and facial plastic surgeons have a number of ways to improve the look of your skin, one of which is dermabrasion. Dermabrasion involves removing the top layers of your skin so that new layers can grow in and give you smoother, younger-looking skin.
How Dermabrasion Works
The top layers of your skin are full of dead cells that slough off naturally. Dermabrasion involves removing those layers with a rough tool, usually a brush or a cosmetic sander. Essentially, dermabrasion is an extensive exfoliation that removes the dead cell layers so that the newer cell layers of skin are visible.
Dermabrasion is an outpatient procedure and can be performed with local or general anesthesia. If you require a more extensive dermabrasion surgery, you’ll probably be given general anesthesia so you can sleep through the procedure. Once the anesthesia takes effect, the surgeon uses a tool to scrape away as much skin as is safe for the desired result. This tool can be a brush with diamond particles, or an abrasive motorized sander. The procedure as a whole can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the extent of work your skin requires.
The amount of dermabrasion your skin needs will also determine how long is needed for your recovery. It usually takes about seven to 10 days for your skin to heal enough for you to go back to your normal activities, and about two weeks before you can return to work.
Once you’re out of surgery, your skin will feel some stinging or burning and will probably be red or swollen. It’s like getting a scrape from falling on the ground, only it will be over the entire area that was treated. A scab will form over the skin and then fall off once the new skin grows in to replace the layers that were removed. Your skin will probably feel itchy and tight during this part of the healing.
Your doctor will give you some pain medication or ointment to help with the discomfort. They will also give you a detailed list of instructions for how to care for your skin as it heals, including liberal use of sunscreen and daily moisturizing. It’s important to follow those instructions to the letter to prevent infection or scarring. Once your skin has completely healed, it will have a smoother, fresher look to it.
Repeat As Needed
If your skin has more extensive damage, it may be necessary to have dermabrasion surgery multiple times to get your skin to the desired result. Dermabrasion can be repeated as many times as you like, as long as you give yourself plenty of time to heal in between treatments. Dermabrasion can also be performed in conjunction with other skin care surgeries or treatments to give you the healthiest looking skin possible.
Consult a Surgeon Today
If you are interested in learning more about dermabrasion cosmetic surgery, contact our Boston office at (781) 237-7700 to schedule an initial consultation. We offer a wide range of the most advanced skin care treatments at our full-service medical spa, including Botox, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing.