Dermabrasion and dermaplaning is a procedure intended to refine the skin’s surface through a method of controlled surgical scraping that results in a smoother appearance of the skin. Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin that has been scarred, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles. It’s also used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. Dermaplaning is commonly used to treat deep acne scars.
Dermabrasion and dermaplaning are fairly quick procedures that may be performed under local anesthesia. In dermabrasion, the outermost layer of the skin will be scraped away using a rough wire brush or burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The scraping continues until the safest level has been reached that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible.
In dermaplaning, a hand-held instrument called a dermatome is used. The dermatone has an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly skim off the surface layers of the skin that surround the facial defects. This skimming continues until the lowest point of the scar becomes more even with the surrounding skin.
After the procedure, the skin will be quite red and swollen. Tingling, burning, and aching may occur and can be relieved with medications. Swelling will subside in a few days to a week. A scab or crust will form over as the treated area begins to heal. This will fall off as a new layer of tight, pink skin forms underneath. The face may be itchy as new skin starts to grow, and ointment may be prescribed to relieve the itch. It is important to follow the detailed instructions from your Albany Medical Center plastic surgeon to care for the skin after surgery.