Dermabrasion is a technique that involves removing the superficial layers of skin in a controlled manner to bring about resurfacing. It’s done with a rotating device using a wire brush or diamond fraise that revolves rapidly abrading the upper layers of skin. The depth and speed can be controlled by the operator. Manual dermabrader is also available and sandpaper can also be used. It causes controlled injury and wound to the skin resulting in pinpoint bleeding and raw area denuded of the upper layer. The new skin that comes is healthy and better in texture and appearance.
It is done by a dermatologist at his/her office. It is an operator-dependent technique hence should always be done by a professional. Since it’s painful, prior anesthesia is given either topical/local or general depending upon the requirement.
When is Dermabrasion recommended?
It is done in following conditions-
Acne scars and other superficial scars due to other conditions.
Vitiligo patches either as sole treatment modality or for preparing recipient area for graft uptake.
Rhinophyma (potato nose) or sebaceous hyperplasia
Superficial wrinkles and fine lines, sun damaged skin, uneven skin tone, and texture.
Tattoo removal, carbon, silica stain removal
Adenoma sebaceun, some types epidermal nevi and precancerous skin lesions
Porokeratosis, amyloidosis, other chronic inflammatory skin diseases
Complications associated with Dermabrasion:
Some complications that can occur after this procedure-
Hypo or hyperpigmentation which is more common in dark-skinned individuals.
Redness, prolonged bleeding, edema, Milia formation, aggravation of acne, secondary infection, herpes.
Proper wound care, dressing, preoperative workup, skilled execution of operative technique help to reduce all these complications. New skin starts forming in 5-7 days which is pink and more photo-sensitive hence sunscreen and sun protection is utmost important. Any bleeding disorder/tendency, drug intake like isotretinoin, keloidal tendency, hepatitis viral markers workup should be done prior to the procedure.
Microdermabrasion is a further superficial form of skin resurfacing , doesn’t require anesthesia, improves superficial acne scars and brightens up skin and texture. It employs aluminum crystals pumped onto skin with pressure causing minor trauma that helps in skin remodeling and improvement in color.