For facial skin that has been damaged through scarring or acne, a “refinishing” technique called dermabrasion may be the optimal choice. Dermabrasion, or Dermaplaning, is a technique that employs the use of a burr or “fraise” to remove the upper layer of the skin. Like other techniques that are lightly invasive, the goal is to create a “wound” so that the skin can regenerate and refill with new, undamaged tissue. Dermabrasion is also helpful when addressing pre-cancerous growths on the skin called “keratosis.” While dermabrasion can be used for addressing fine wrinkles, there are other techniques that may be better suited, such as chemical peels, microneedling, etc.

In preparation for abrasion, the areas to be treated are marked and a topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine, may be applied. The area to be treated may need to be hardened and a spot-freezing spray may be used to prepare the area. The treatment is specific and there is some variance in depth of abrasion, abrading tools to be used. When the areas are large or the abrasion may need to be deeper than the extreme outer layers, general anesthesia may be required.

Once completed, there is little or no pain to the patient. Depending on the goals, more treatments may be required after a healing period but most cosmetic goals can be achieved in a single visit.

Dermabrasion is a time-tested and valuable technique but it is not for everyone or every condition. Dr. Humble and the staff will consult with each patient to determine the goals sough and the most effective pathway to getting there with the wide range of tools and procedures available at the clinic.

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