Dermabrasion and dermaplaning help to “refinish” the skin’s top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance. Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles. It’s also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. Dermaplaning is also commonly used to treat deep acne scars.
Both dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed on small areas of skin or on the entire face. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, scar removal/revision or chemical peel. Since dermabrasion is a surgical procedure, local anesthesia is required and is occasionally supplemented by intravenous sedation. When the skin is appropriately numb, an abrasive device is applied to the skin. This device could be a rapidly rotating wire brush or a diamond encrusted wheel or even abrasive screening. The choice depends on the anatomical location as well as the particular area to be treated. A refrigerant spray is often used to reduce the movement of the skin during the procedure. The ability to perform this procedure is very dependent on the skill and experience of the operator.
The wound produced by dermabrasion, like any other wound, must be kept clean and moist. Gentle removal of crust and debris can occur after removal of the postoperative dressing (usually 24-48 hours after the procedure). Petroleum jelly is generally applied to the wound surface frequently. Healing usually occurs within 10 days and redness dwindles after three to six weeks.