Dermabrasion and dermaplanting surface repairs for your face

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Considering a Surgical Dermabrasion and Dermaplaning procedure
As already discussed if you're planning "surface repairs" on your face, you may also be considering a chemical peel, or injectable cosmetic fillers which are alternative and noninvasive methods of rejuvenating your skin. However, dermabrasion and dermaplaning use surgical instruments to remove the affected skin layers.

Dermabrasion is a procedure that involves sanding of the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary wheel. It is designed to soften acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth. Men and women of all ages, from young people to older adults, can benefit from dermabrasion and dermaplaning.

In general, a chemical peel is used more often to treat fine wrinkles, and dermabrasion and dermaplaning for deeper imperfections such as acne scars. A non-chemical approach may also be preferred for individuals with slightly darker skin, especially when treating limited areas of the face, since dermabrasion and dermaplaning are less likely to produce extreme changes and contrasts in skin color.

Many plastic surgeons perform all three procedures, selecting one or a combination of procedures to suit the individual patient and the problem. Others prefer one technique for all surface repairs.

Before you decide to have a skin-refinishing treatment, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them during your consultation with the surgeon who may brief you about the possible outcomes of the procedures.

Most surgeons will not like to perform the treatment during the active stages of acne because of a greater risk of infection; the same reason may hold good for a plastic surgeon not performing the dermabrasion for you if you've had radiation treatments, a bad skin burn, or a previous chemical peel.

It is very important to have a thorough consultation with your surgeon regarding the outcome and your medical history. You can also discuss plastic surgery costs, payment options and insurance, although cosmetic surgeries are not usually covered by insurance. However, it may cover dermabrasion or dermaplaning when performed to remove precancerous skin growths, cancerous growths or extensive scars.

Donít forget to ask your plastic surgeon about the possible side effects of the procedures, though in most cases the side effects are not severe. There is likelihood of you developing tiny whiteheads after surgery. The side effects usually disappear on their own or with the use of an abrasive pad or soap. Occasionally, the surgeon may have to remove them. You may also develop enlarged skin pores; these usually shrink to near normal size once the swelling has subsided

An outline of the procedure
For the dermabrasion skin refinishing technique the cosmetic surgeon scrapes away the outermost layer of skin with a rough wire brush, or a burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The scraping continues until the surgeon reaches the safest level that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible. A brief outline of the procedure is presented below:

Length A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Anesthesia Local, numbing spray or general.
In/Outpatient Usually outpatient.
Side Effects Black skin, Asian skin, and other dark complexions can undergo discoloration due to acute sensitivity to sun; loss of ability to make pigment (tan). Temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, redness. Lightening of treated skin.
Risks Abnormal color changes (temporary and permanent). Tiny whiteheads (temporary). Infection, scarring, flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores.
Care Avoiding active sports, wind, sun and chlorinated water for at least four weeks. Avoid drinking alcohol.
Recovery Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4 to 6 weeks. Fading of redness - about 3 months. Return of pigmentation/sun exposure - 6 to 12 months.
Duration of Results Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.

Performed in the office of the plastic surgeon, microdermabrasion is a superficial skin resurfacing treatment that buffs the top layers of the skin without stinging or flaking. In as little as twenty minutes, this gentle abrasive technique gives the skin a fresh, pink glow and is designed to improve lipstick lines and acne scarring.

Microdermabrasion is a skin-freshening technique that helps repair facial skin that takes a beating from the sun and the effects of aging. The plastic surgeon uses a device like a fine sandblaster to spray tiny crystals across the face, mixing gentle abrasion with suction to remove the dead, outer layer of skin

Length 30 minutes
Anesthesia None
In/Outpatient Office procedure
Side Effects Pinkness to skin
Risks Generally None
Care Avoiding active sports, wind, sun and chlorinated water for at least four weeks. Avoid drinking alcohol
Recovery Minimal
Duration of Results Permanent although new wrinkles may appear with age.

For patients who desire a more aggressive approach, the Obagi Blue Peel provides tighter, smoother skin. A special blue solution mixed with trichloracetic acid (TCA) is applied and safely removes the thin layers of damaged and aged skin. "Lunchtime" and deep resurfacing peels are offered on an individualized basis to meet your needs.

As with any other skin rejuvenation techniques, more than one treatment may be needed to reduce or remove fine wrinkles and unwanted pigmentation. You may also consider these options.

Best luck with your cosmetic surgery!

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