Love the Skin You’re In & Consider a Skin-Refinishing Treatment

Dermabrasion and dermaplaning help to refinish the skin’s top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.

Looking for something lighter?

If you’re looking for something a little less invasive for skin that might not need dermabrasion, microdermabrasion is a great alternative. Used to address mild to moderate sun damage, scarring, wrinkles, and other superficial skin problems, microdermabrasion can provide a smooth, glowing complexion.

Learn more about Microdermabrasion»

The Best Candidates for Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles—such as those around the mouth. It’s also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. Dermaplaning is commonly used to treat deep acne scars.

Men and women of all ages, from young people to older adults, can benefit from dermabrasion and dermaplaning. Although older people heal more slowly, the most important factors are your skin type, coloring, and medical history. For example: darker complexions may become permanently discolored or blotchy after a skin-refinishing treatment. People who develop allergic rashes or other skin reactions, or who get frequent fever blisters or cold sores, may experience a flare-up. If you have freckles, they may disappear in the treated area.

Considering Alternative Procedures

If you’re planning surface repairs on your face, you may also be considering a chemical peel—an alternative method of surgically removing the top layer of skin. Where dermabrasion and dermaplaning use surgical instruments to remove the affected skin layers, chemical peels use a caustic solution for a similar, though less dramatic, effect.

Typically, chemical peel is used to treat fine wrinkles while dermabrasion and dermaplaning address deeper imperfections. When treating limited areas of the face on darker skin tones, a non-chemical approach may be the preferred option—dermabrasion and dermaplaning are less likely to produce extreme changes and contrasts in skin color.

Contact us today and schedule a consultation to discuss your options. Depending on individual needs and concerns, we will help create a custom treatment plan that may include one or a combination of procedures.

What to Expect from Surgery

Dermabrasion and dermaplaning are typically outpatient procedures and may be performed under local anesthesia and sedation—you’ll be awake, but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. The procedure is typically fairly quick, taking anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the treatment area. For deep scars or larger areas of skin, it is not uncommon for the procedure to be performed in stages.

In dermabrasion, Dr. Samaha will scrape away the outermost layer of skin with a rough wire brush or burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The

In dermabrasion, the 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.

In dermaplaning, the surgeon uses a hand-held instrument called a dermatome. Resembling an electric razor, the dermatome has an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly skim off the surface layers of skin that surround the craters or other facial defects. This skimming continues until the lowest point of the acne scar becomes more even with the surrounding skin.

The surgeon may then treat the skin in a number of ways, including ointment, a wet or waxy dressing, dry treatment, or some combination of these.

Preparing For Your Surgery

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, and on avoiding aspirin and other medications that affect blood clotting. You may also be given special instructions regarding the care and treatment of your skin prior to surgery. If you smoke, you’ll probably be asked to stop for a week or two before and after surgery, since smoking decreases blood circulation in the skin and impedes healing.

While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

Your treatment may be performed in a surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. It’s usually done on an outpatient basis, for cost containment and convenience. However, if you’re undergoing extensive work, you may be admitted to the hospital.

The Surgery

Dermabrasion and dermaplaning can be performed fairly quickly. The procedures usually take from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how large an area of skin is involved. It’s not uncommon for the procedure to be performed more than once, or in stages, especially when scarring is deep or a large area of skin is involved.

In dermabrasion, the 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.

In dermaplaning, the surgeon uses a hand-held instrument called a dermatome. Resembling an electric razor, the dermatome has an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly skim off the surface layers of skin that surround the craters or other facial defects. This skimming continues until the lowest point of the acne scar becomes more even with the surrounding skin.

The surgeon may then treat the skin in a number of ways, including ointment, a wet or waxy dressing, dry treatment, or some combination of these.

After Your Surgery

Right after the procedure, your skin will be quite red and swollen, and eating and talking may be difficult. You’ll probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching; any pain you feel can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.

If you remember the scrapes you got when you fell down as a child, you’ll have an idea of what to expect from this type of surgery. A scab or crust will form over the treated area as it begins to heal. This will fall off as a new layer of tight, pink skin forms underneath. Your face may itch as new skin starts to grow, and your surgeon may recommend an ointment to make you more comfortable. If ointment is applied immediately after surgery, little or no scab will form.

In any case, you surgeon will give you detailed instructions to care for your skin after surgery. For men, this will include delaying shaving for a while, then using an electric razor at first. It’s very important that you understand your doctor’s instructions and follow them exactly, to ensure the best possible healing.

If you notice the treated area beginning to get worse instead of better-for example, if it becomes increasingly red, raised, and itchy after it has started to heal-it may be a sign that abnormal scars are beginning to form. Call your surgeon as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin early.

Getting Back to Normal

Your new skin will be a bit swollen, sensitive, and bright pink for several weeks. During this time, you can begin gradually resuming your normal activities.

You can expect to be back at work in about two weeks. Your surgeon will probably advise your to avoid any activity that could cause a bump to your face for at least two weeks. More active sports-especially ball sports-should be avoided for four to six weeks. If you swim, stick to indoor pools to avoid sun and wind, and keep your face out of chlorinated water for at least four weeks. It will be at least three to four weeks before you can drink alcohol without experiencing a flush of redness.

Above all, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun until the pigment has completely returned to your skin- as long as six to twelve months.

Your New Look

Refinishing treatments can offer dramatic improvements in the surface of your skin, but it will take some time before you see the final results.

The pinkness of your skin will take about three months to fade. In the meantime, you’ll probably want to wear non-allergenic makeup when you go out. (For tips on hiding your condition while it heals, ask your surgeon for the ASPS brochure on camouflage cosmetics.) When your new skin is fully repigmented, the color should closely match the surrounding skin, making the procedure virtually undetectable.