Are You a Candidate for Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion has helped patients throughout Washington, DC and in other parts of the country find relief for certain skin conditions or cosmetic flaws. The procedure involves the use of a handheld rotary tool to remove the top layers of skin so that new skin grows in its place. Patients have treated various conditions such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, chicken pox scars, facial pitting and skin discoloration problems. Some have used dermabrasion as a means of tattoo removal as well.

Before undergoing treatment, patients should understand the procedure to determine if dermabrasion is something they are willing to ensure. It is not the most invasive procedure on the market, but it is not the least invasive, either. The procedure is fairly simple. A handheld rotary tool with an abrasive material such as sandpaper, small wires or a sanding wheel is used to remove the top layer of skin.

Before the procedure, the skin is prepared using an antiseptic. A sedative, local anesthetic or general anesthetic is then administered to promote patient comfort. General anesthetics are rarely used, although some patients or skincare professionals may use them.

Scabbing and swelling are common in the days following treatment and the skin may feel abraded and generally uncomfortable. A pain reliever may be prescribed, as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection. Once the swelling subsides and the scabbing comes off, a pink complexion is common for the next four to eight weeks as the skin regains its natural color. Patients should avoid sun exposure as much as possible during the recovery period, and should avoid strenuous activities or any activity that may irritate the skin such as shaving.

Most patients are able to return to work just a few days after treatment, although many wait for about a week or two to let their skin heal. Makeup may be worn to camouflage the pink or red complexion once the skin has healed. Consult your doctor before wearing makeup, however, to ensure that you choose an appropriate oil-free cosmetic. Optimal results usually appear after about four to six weeks, although this may vary so consult your doctor to determine how long it may take for results to appear.

To be considered a candidate for dermabrasion, patients should be in good health and should not have experienced recent sunburn. They should also not have recently undergone radiation treatment or a chemical peel. Patients should not be suffering from active acne, either. Also keep in mind that the patients who experience the best results tend to have lighter skin.

Patients with darker skin may not enjoy the same success rate as lighter skinned individuals. Patients should not have skin sensitivities, a history of herpes or cold sores, have taken Accutane in the past 18 months or have recently suffered sunburn. For more specific information regarding your own candidacy for dermabrasion, speak with a trained skincare professional in the Washington, DC area.

Only one session is usually needed to treat fine lines and wrinkles, as well as light, superficial scarring. Deeper scarring may require multiple treatments. Insurance carriers may cover dermabrasion under certain circumstances if it is used as a reconstructive procedure to reduce the appearance of scars. Dermabrasion may also be used to remove keratoses (precancerous skin growths), in which case insurance carriers may cover the procedure.

Dermabrasion has fewer instances of pigmentation loss compared to chemical peels. It also offers quicker healing times and is more affordable than certain cosmetic treatment options. For more information about dermabrasion or certain skin conditions, contact a licensed skincare professional in the Washington, DC area, as this is often the best resource for further information.

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