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What Is Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a minor surgical procedure in which the surface of the skin is removed in order to give the skin a smoother, more even look.  The procedure usually requires a topical anesthetic and mild sedation, usually given orally approximately 30 minutes prior to surgery. The procedure is usually done to remove deep facial wrinkles, deep acne scarring, or other facial scars, and is usually performed in the outpatient setting or in the office.  Dermabrasion can also be used to remove pre-cancerous growths.  The procedure has a long lasting effect by promoting skin collagen thickening, thereby giving a more youthful appearance.
Some risks of dermabrasion include minor skin bleeding, scarring, skin discoloration, and potential infections.  After the procedure, most patients will notice that their skin appears to be red, and somewhat raw-looking. This is a normal reaction, and it should go away within 7-30 days as the skin heals, a process called re-epithelialization.
You might be a candidate for skin dermabrasion if you experience the following:
•    Sun-damaged skin
•    Deep acne scars
•    Scars from previous surgeries
•    Deep wrinkles
•    Hyper pigmentation

Dermabrasion typically requires a recovery period of about two weeks, but patients can usually return to their daily activities earlier than this.  Men should avoid shaving for about four weeks, and only shave with an electric razor after having this surgery.  Dermabrasion yields the best results when combined with a well defined skin care regimen.   Patients should avoid direct sun exposure, and use sunscreen for a period of about six months following surgery.