1. What is dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure where the uppermost damaged layer of the skin is removed. A new smoother skin regenerates in few weeks time.

2. Can I undergo dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is carried out for the following reasons: A). pitted scars on the face. This is most commonly seen as a sequel to acne (pimples) or rarely due to chickenpox or smallpox. B).uneven discoloration of the face. C) uneven scar on the face. D). Fine wrinkles especially those around the mouth. E). thickening of the skin of the nose seen in “rhinophyma”.

3. Is there any other option?

Laser and chemical peel are other ways of removing the top damaged layer of the skin. Laser can cause prolonged redness or lightening of the skin. Chemical peel is not effective for the pitted scars mentioned above. It has been found to be effective for treating uneven discolouration of the skin. In short dermabrasion has been found to be more cost effective, gives better result in patients with pitted scar and is safer in Asian skin.

4. What tests do I require to undergo prior to dermabrasion?

Routine blood tests and other investigation to assess your general health.

5. Do I need to have anesthesia for the procedure?

Full face dermabrasion usually require general anaesthesia.

6. What does dermabrasion involve?

The top layer is scrapped by means ofa rough burr rotating at high speed. Full face is done except for skin around the eyes and the lips. However small areas on the face can be done in isolation in select cases.

7. What to expect immediately after the operation?

There will be a dressing covering your face. This will be removed after 24 hours. You may experience a mild discomfort after the operation which is easily controlled by pain killers. Pain killers are required for few days or so.

8. How long do I need to stay in the hospital ?

You will be required to stay for few days in the hospital.

9. What is the recovery period like?

Once at home you will be required to stay indoors till the new skin regenerates, which can take few weeks. The newly regenerated skin has a reddish or pinkish hue for few weeks. It can take few months for the original colour of the skin to come back. Light activity can be resumed within few days of dermabrasion. Heavy acitivity like gymn, swimming etc can be safely started few weeks after dermabrasion. Sun protection has to be religiously followed for few months. This can be in the form of protective wear such as hat/scarf etc and use of appropriate sunscreen lotion.

10. What can go wrong?

Dermabrasion is a safe procedure and the recovery is uneventful when the protocols described above are adhered to. Infection is seldom seen as a face has a rich blood supply with a propensity to heal quickly. Only deep dermabrasion can lead to skin discoloration or undesirable scarring. Therefore only superficial or medium depth dermabrasion is offered.

11. What result to expect?

Following dermabrasion skin can appear maximum 70% smoother. Additional benefits seen are improvement in the complexion and texture of the skin and tightening of the skin. If desired dermabrasion can be repeated (after a minimum wait period of few months) to achieve further improvement in the appearance of the skin. Majority of the patient are satisfied with the outcome.

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Dr. Sandip Jain