When home remedies and topical medications fail to fade the unsightly acne scars from your facial skin, consider visiting a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon for dermabrasion.
Dermabrasion is a type of exfoliating procedure that helps to replace the discolored skin with healthier younger skin. It is the most effective procedure for removing acne scars. Despite the effectiveness of dermabrasion as a technique for removing scars, there are certain limitations of the procedure. Your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon is the best person to say whether you are the appropriate candidate for dermabrasion.
How to Remove Acne Scar with Dermabrasion
The Right Candidate for Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion works best when it is performed on fair-skinned people. Owing to the higher risk of discoloration and scarring, dermabrasion is not recommended for people with darker complexion. This acne scar removal procedure is also unsuitable for people who have used isotretinoin for treating acne in the past six to twelve months. People with a history of scarring, immune disorder, skin disease, circulation problem and active herpes infection are unsuitable for dermabrasion. Your doctor will also take into account your sensitivity to cold before performing dermabrasion. Dermabrasion is not recommended for people who had a cosmetic surgery such as face-lift in the recent past.
Dermabrasion is done in the office of a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. The skin is first cleaned and the area to be treated is marked and numbed with local anesthetic medication. To enhance the firmness of the skin, ice packs are placed on the area to be treated for half an hour. For removing deeper acne scar, your doctor may consider applying cryogenic spray to the skin to harden it further. Once the skin is ready for treatment, with a rotating burr or brush the dermatologist removes the top layer of the skin. An ointment is then applied to the treated area or it is covered with gauze or dressing.
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Skin Care after Dermabrasion
It usually takes five to eight weeks for the new skin to appear. The treated area acquires its normal color within six to twelve weeks. During the recovery period, the facial skin should be properly cleaned to reduce the risk of infections and prevent crusting that sometimes occurs after treatment. Your doctor will recommend an ointment that should be applied regularly to the treated area to keep it moist. Use sunscreen to protect the tender skin from sunlight. People with a history of herpes simplex virus infection are usually recommended an antiviral medication to prevent herpes flare-ups.
Side Effects of Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion is considered safe when performed by an experienced doctor. Nonetheless, it may cause scarring, swelling and redness that usually clear within six to twelve weeks. Skin rashes or cysts that may develop following the acne scar removal procedure are usually treated with antibiotics or tretinoin. Dermabrasion may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight, making the treated area vulnerable to hyperpigmentation. Tissue damage following use of cryogenic spray, scarring, persistent redness, loss of skin color and infections are some of the rare side effect of dermabrasion.