Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
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Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are skin rejuvenation cosmetic procedures offered by expert physicians at UW Health Transformations in Madison, Wisconsin, designed to improve the look of facial scarring, fine wrinkles and acne scars.
Dermabrasion helps to refinish the skin's top layers by softening the sharp edges of surface irregularities, resulting in a smoother appearance.
Our Transformations physicians use dermabrasion to improve the look of facial skin scarred by accidents or previous surgery, smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth, and treat acne scars.
Dermabrasion is also sometimes used to remove pre-cancerous growths.
Microdermabrasion rejuvenates and refreshes the skin through a series of non-invasive treatments. By using gentle abrasion techniques and a device that removes dead, dull skin, your Transformations plastic surgeon can revitalize facial skin that has been worn out through sun damage or aging.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a good candidate for dermabrasion?
Good candidates are healthy men or women with realistic expectations of what dermabrasion can achieve. Dermabrasion works on all skin types and colors to improve or eliminate superficial skin irregularities such as acne, scars or fine wrinkles around the mouth. It can also lessen the severity of tattoo scars, age spots and other skin lesions.
However, it will not effectively treat deeper problems like scars, stretch marks, keloids or deep acne scars. You may not be a good candidate for surgery if you smoke, recently quit smoking or are exposed to second-hand smoke. Smoking can increase risks of complications such as scarring, skin loss and infection, and interfere with the healing process.
How does dermabrasion work?
During dermabrasion, your surgeon will thoroughly cleanse the affected facial areas with antiseptic. A high speed rotary instrument with an abrasive wheel or brush is then used to remove the outer layers of the skin. The ultimate effect improves facial contour by refreshing its appearance and texture.
Before the procedure, your surgeon may give you local or general anesthesia or numbing spray. Patients are not typically hospitalized.
What should I expect following dermabrasion?
For a few days after the procedure, you may feel as though your face has been severely "brush burned." Other side effects include temporary tingling burning, itching, swelling, redness and acute sensitivity to sun. Your doctor may prescribe or recommend medications to reduce the discomfort. Full healing usually takes between seven and ten days.
Your newly formed skin will be pink at first, and will gradually develop a natural color within six to eight weeks. Makeup may be used to mask the color after the skin has healed. You should also avoid unnecessary direct or indirect contact with sunlight for three to six months and use sunscreen when outdoors.
The duration of results is permanent, but new wrinkles may form as skin ages. For most patients, dermabrasion produces subtle changes that causes no color-changing or scarring. On rare occasions, permanent side effects such as uneven changes in skin color, scar formation, infection and darkening of the skin, may occur.
Are there other options available to me?
Depending upon the condition of your skin and desired results, your doctor may recommend alternative rejuvenation techniques. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing, for example, may produce similar or better results for you.