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Dermabrasion & Microdermabrasion

Overview of Skin Planing

Dermabrasion, also called surgical skin planing, is used to remove wrinkles, tattoos, blemishes from sun damage, broken blood vessels, acne scars, and pre-cancerous lesions. In this procedure, the top layer of skin is essentially "sanded" down, revealing a smoother, clearer layer.

Prior to dermabrasion, the treatment area is cleaned and sprayed with a freezing agent that acts as an anesthetic. Then, a tool with an abrasive wheel or brush is used to "sand" off the top layer of skin and, along with it, the undesired features.

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Risks of dermabrasion are minimal and recovery usually occurs within 10 days. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used to reduce discomfort following the procedure. This skin will be pink for a short time, but eventually returns to its natural color. For 3 to 6 months following the procedure, patients should avoid direct sunlight and use sunblock whenever outdoors.

Microdermabrasion is a less intense method of skin resurfacing. In this procedure, small sterile particles are used to wear away the top skin layer and a suction tool is then used to remove the particles and the dead skin.

Microdermabrasion is similar to a superficial chemical peel and can be used to complement other cosmetic procedures. In most cases, anesthesia is not required and patients recover quickly with no complications.

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Original Date of Publication: 27 Jul 2006
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