Dermabrasion, also known as mechanical peeling, acts as a controlled aggression to the skin layers, regularizing depressions or reducing overlaps that may exist on the skin. It is one of the oldest and most established methods of facial rejuvenation, but it has shown great technological evolution in the last decades with the use of increasingly precise and delicate instruments, such as diamond cylindrical cutters connected to rotating pens, specially developed to treat small facial irregularities.
It is mainly indicated for the correction of facial irregularities and depressions, such as those on acne scars, fine wrinkles, such as those around the lips, or thicker, such as those on the cheeks, as well as post-accident or facial scars. The procedure is contraindicated for patients prone to develop hypertrophic scars and with any active infection on the face, such as cold sores. Before the procedure, patients are asked for preoperative examinations to look for any anemia or coagulation disorders.
The procedure can be performed with local anesthesia if the extension is small, such as around the lips only, or with local anesthesia and sedation if it reaches a larger area of the face. During dermabrasion, the surgeon molds the skin with the scorch, taking care not to reach deeper planes and lead to unexpected results.
After the procedure, the patient should follow strict sunscreen for at least three months, using factor 50 sunscreen on the face to avoid hyperchromia (darkening of the skin after contact with the sun). Other complications include hypochromia and hypertrophic scars (thick) in patients with a tendency to develop them. The definitive result will not be observed before six months and if minor irregularities remain on the face further dermabrasions may be performed after this period.
Possible complications related to dermabrasion are:
• Poor healing with the onset of keloids, mainly related to smoking;
• Appearance of dark spots on the skin;
• Appearance of redness and dilation of blood vessels.
The final result of dermabrasion, as in all cosmetic surgeries, will depend on the reaction of the patient's body and zeal with pre and postoperative indications.
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