Dermabrasion is a surgery performed most commonly to improve scars due to acne, chicken pox, small pox etc. As the word implies it involves abrading the skin by various means so as to create a wound which is superficial enough to re-grow normally and deep enough to eliminate a pathology like tattoo or acne scar.
What are the indications for performing dermabrasion?
Facial scars due to Acne, Herpes Zoster, Chicken pox, trauma - Tumors like Syringoma, Trichoepithelioma - Hyper-keratotic( thickened & scaly ) lesions like Lichen simplex chronicus, Hypertrophic lichen planus - Pigmentation disorders like Melasma, Freckles and tattoos. - Other disorders like Rhinophyma and stable vitiligo.
What are the risks in the treatment by dermabrasion ?
Dermabrasion also has some risks specially if there is a laxity in the post operative care. There may be hyper-pigmentation of the operated part if it is prematurely exposed to sun.
Dermabrasion can be done using one of the following equipments:
- Manual dermabraders
- Motorized dermabraders
What occurs after dermabrasion, how much time does it take for the wound to heal?
Immediately after the surgery the skin becomes red and swollen. Pain is controlled with analgesics. The swelling subsides in 3 - 5 days, a crust forms over the abraded area and the healing begins. The crust falls off and exposes the growing epithelium. Local itching is taken care of by topical ointment. It is mandatory to take strict sun protection precautions until the normal pigmentation returns completely, which may take 3-4 months.
What is microdermabrasion ?
This is an office procedure. The superficial layer of the skin is abraded with crystals of inert aluminum oxide which are ejected with force in a controlled manner. This causes removal of the superficial layer of skin with no blood loss. It is used to treat very superficial hyper-pigmentation, fine wrinkles, mild scars due to acne, chickenpox etc. Though microdermabrasion is convenient and causes less discomfort, it remains a sub-optimal alternative to conventional dermabrasion. Multiple sittings are required.