Dermabrasion treats acne scars, fine lines around the mouth, scars caused by injuries (not very deep), superficial growths on the skin and tattoos that need to be removed.

This procedure is performed with a wire brush, or a wheel containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. These remove the top layers of skin, as the wheel or brush spins rapidly. This levels and removes the top layers of skin. During this procedure the skin is damaged and does in fact bleed, which is supposed to happen. As the injured skin starts to heal, new skin replaces the damaged skin.

Dermabrasion is mostly used on the face, although other areas of the body can be treated, too.

There is little preparation for this procedure, but your doctor will give you detailed pre-op instructions follow. This helps keep complications to a minimum.

The skin areas to be treated are marked and thoroughly cleaned. A local anesthetic numbs the skin before the procedure starts. Ice packs are also applied to the skin for 25 minutes before the treatment begins. Sedation and medication for pain management are also used.

Treatment is done on one area and then on another. The doctor stops the bleeding with gauze. The treated areas are then cleaned, ointment applied and the area is covered with sterile dressings.

Healing and recovery time depend on which areas of the body are treated and how large and deep the treatment areas are. Within seven days new skin begins to form. This will make the skin red or pink, but this normally fades within about 10 weeks. During this time, you may use cosmetics approved by your doctor to hide the discoloration.

This procedure causes minimal pain and discomfort. Within two days after the operation you'll be able to jump right back into your everyday routines. Some patients with a low pain tolerance may need medication. If swelling is involved, a corticosteroid medication may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation.

The treated skin must be thoroughly cleaned several times a day, which is very important to the healing process. Ointment must be applied every time the dressings are removed. Sun exposure should be avoided, and sunscreen should be put on every day.

Risks of dermabrasion treatment include redness, tenderness, pain, discomfort, scarring, increased sunlight sensitivity, infections, skin discoloration and acne.

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