Dermabrasion refers to a surgical procedure in which the skin is ‘sanded’ using either a rotary instrument with an abrasive wheel or brush or abrasive sheets. This procedure is done in our office under local numbing. It is especially useful for bumps on the nose and cheeks associated with rosacea.

What does it do?

Dermabrasion is used to treat uneven contours, such as scars, giving the skin a smoother appearance. The top layer of skin is sanded away in a controlled fashion, creating an open wound that heals with a smoother, more even surface. This surgical procedure is very different than “microdermabrasion” treatments, which slough only the very outermost layer of skin.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT WITH THE PROCEDURE?

Dermabrasion is performed in our office under local anesthesia. The area to be treated is cleansed with a surgical scrub and then numbed with an anesthetic such as lidocaine. The uneven areas are then abraded to smooth uneven contours. This may take a few minutes up to an hour, depending on the size of the area to be treated. A soothing ointment or dressing may then be applied.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?

Following the procedure you will be asked to continue to apply ointments or a dressing to speed healing. Some mild discomfort may be noted though most people do not experience severe pain. Within 7-10 days new skin will form. This newly formed skin will be pink, then gradually fade to a more natural skin tone. It is important to protect the area consistently with a broad spectrum sunscreen to insure proper healing and minimize pigment darkening.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

As with any medical procedure, there is a small risk of side effects. Everyone heals differently. Some patients may be at increased risk to develop pigment alterations (skin that is lighter or darker in the treated areas). Others may be at increased risk to develop thickened scars or infections. Though these side effects cannot always be predicted, your doctor may discuss if you are at increased risk for these complications. Preventative measures may be recommended, such as medication to minimize the risk of infections, or bleaching creams.