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Skin smoothing surgery - series

Indication:
Indication

Dermabrasion may be offered to patients with:

  • Facial scars from acne, accidents, and previous surgery
  • Fine facial wrinkles, such as around the mouth
  • Precancerous growths (keratoses)


Procedure:
Procedure

Dermabrasion is usually done while you are awake. You will receive local anesthesia. This means the doctor will numb the area to be worked on.

A surgical instrument is used to gently and carefully "sand" the scar tissue off down to normal, healthy skin. The healing tissue is treated with ointments (such as petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointments) to reduce scab formation (crusting) and therefore reduce scar formation.



Aftercare:
Aftercare

The skin may be treated with ointment and a wet or waxy dressing. After surgery, your skin will be quite red and swollen. Eating and talking may be difficult. You may have some aching, tingling, or burning for a while after surgery. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to help control any pain.

Swelling usually goes away within 2 - 3 weeks. New skin starts to itch as is grows. If you had freckles, they may temporarily disappear.

If the treated skin remains red and swollen after healing has started, this may be a sign that abnormal scars are beginning to form. Talk to your doctor. Treatment may be available.

The new layer of skin will be a little swollen, sensitive, and bright pink for several weeks. Most patients can go back to normal activities in about 2 weeks. You should avoid any activity that could cause injury to the treated area. Avoid sports that involve balls, such as baseball, for 4 - 6 weeks.

Protect the skin from the sun for 6 - 12 months until your skin coloring has returned to normal.




Review Date: 11/20/2012
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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