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Dermabrasion: A Time Honored Procedure Still Applicable Today

Dermabrasion: A Time Honored Procedure Still Applicable Today

Dr. Don Revis, Jr. is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please visit Dr. Revis online or you may reach his office at 954-630-2009.

The desire to reverse the aging process and remove facial blemishes has generated tremendous interest throughout history. Dermabrasion, a surgical procedure to improve the texture of the skin, has been performed since 1905 in this country. The goal of dermabrasion is to remove a controlled thickness of damaged skin in order to stimulate normal healing and skin rejuvenation.

The effects of dermabrasion are similar to what can be achieved with other skin resurfacing methods, with a few important differences. Laser resurfacing and chemical peels also achieve rejuvenation of the skin, and you are encouraged to read about those alternative procedures as well. Laser resurfacing involves the application of laser energy and the generation of heat. This technique is generally the most expensive of the three options. Chemical peels involve the application of dilute acids to the skin to cause exfoliation of the damaged, outer layers. Chemical peels are generally the least expensive of the three methods.

Dermabrasion, rather than using laser energy or dilute acids, is entirely mechanical in its mechanism of action. A small, rough, spinning wheel is applied to the skin by Dr. Revis in careful strokes under magnification. Exactly the appropriate amount of damaged skin may be removed under careful control. Dermabrasion is particularly useful for deep wrinkles around the mouth that may cause lipstick to bleed and for acne scars and pits.

Following dermabrasion, the healing process begins immediately and is completed by seven to ten days. Your new skin will be more soft and supple, will appear more youthful, and will have fewer wrinkles and discolorations.

If you think you might be a good candidate for dermabrasion or other skin rejuvenation technique, this article will give you a basic understanding of the procedure and the results you can expect. However, it is extremely important to individualize treatment to your specific circumstances and goals, therefore it is recommended that you visit a board certified plastic surgeon for a personal consultation. You are also invited to email Dr. Revis with your questions, or we will mail you more detailed information regarding the procedure.

The Consultation

During your initial consultation, the plastic surgeon will inquire about your medical history, prior procedures, medications, allergies, and your motivations for seeking plastic surgery. It is very important that you be thorough when providing your medical history, as this information helps to prevent complications during your care. When asked about medications, be sure to include any vitamin or herbal preparations, as these can affect your blood pressure and clotting ability. Honesty regarding your use of tobacco and alcohol is also very important, as these may have a profound impact on your recovery period and your ability to heal following your procedure. Dermabrasion: A Time Honored Procedure Still Applicable Today

If you have a history of cold sores or Herpes simplex infection, it is extremely important to inform your physician. Facial resurfacing by any method increases your risk of a cold sore outbreak. You likely will be given a short course of antiviral medication to prevent an outbreak if you have such a history.

After reviewing your medical history, your physician should discuss your concerns, priorities and motivations for pursuing plastic surgery, as well as your fears. After examining you, he or she will be able to offer advice and options to help you achieve the appearance you desire. He or she should also explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different options you have before you. At the completion of your consultation, you likely will be given a written estimate of the cost of your procedure. At this time, you will also have the option to schedule your procedure if you so choose. The decision to undergo a procedure is a very important one, and the final decision should be given very careful consideration. At no time should you feel pressured to make a decision. You are also encouraged to bring your spouse, significant other, family member, or a friend to your consultation.

Where Your Procedure Will Be Performed

Your dermabrasion may be performed as an office procedure, or you may choose to have your procedure performed at a local hospital or outpatient facility. Any time you decide to have a procedure performed in a physician’s office, you should confirm that the physician also has privileges to perform the same procedure in a hospital. To obtain hospital privileges to perform a procedure, surgeons must provide proof of education, training, and experience. This provides an added level of assurance that the surgeon has been properly educated and trained.

Type(s) of Anesthesia

Anesthesia is an essential part of any surgical procedure and must be performed safely and effectively. Most dermabrasion is performed with local anesthetics injected by Dr. Revis to make the area to be treated numb. He may also give you an oral sedative to help you relax during the procedure Dr. Revis will discuss these options with you more thoroughly at the time of your consultation, and please ask him about anything you do not understand. Details of the Procedure

You should thoroughly cleanse your face with a nonresidue soap on the evening before and morning of the procedure. Dr. Revis will instruct you not to wear makeup, sunscreen, or any other product on your face the morning of your procedure, because these must be removed prior to the procedure being performed.

After you are appropriately anesthetized, Dr. Revis will apply the dermabrasion hand piece in careful strokes to remove the desired amount of damaged skin. Afterwards, Dr. Revis will apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to encourage healing.

After Your Procedure

Dermabrasion is performed as an outpatient procedure. You will be able to go home in the company of a friend or family member following your procedure.

You should plan to take it easy following your procedure. No strenuous activities, heavy lifting (over 20 pounds), aerobic exercises, swimming, contact sports, tennis, or golf should be planned for the first two weeks. These activities may cause you to develop hyperpigmentation, or discoloration of the treated area. You should also avoid direct sun exposure during the initial healing period of seven to ten days. During this period, keep the treated area moist by frequently applying the ointment as directed by your plastic surgeon. This encourages moist wound healing and will prevent scab or crust formation that could lead to scarring. You will be allowed to shower and gently wash your face with nonresidue soap, using fingertips only, during the first week following your procedure. After showering, you may pat your face dry and apply a new coating of ointment. As your plastic surgeon monitors your recovery, he or she will advise you when it is safe to resume specific activities. Dermabrasion: A Time Honored Procedure Still Applicable Today

The Results You Can Expect

You should be able to resume your normal daily activities the day after your procedure, and you should be able to resume all of your physical activities within two weeks of your procedure. After the first few days, you will notice that the treated area is more smooth with less wrinkles, having a more youthful appearance. Your newly rejuvenated skin should last you for years.

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