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   home > Skin Treatments > Skin Polishing
  Skin Polishing (Dermabrasion)  
  All resurfacing treatments work essentially the same way. First, the outer layers of damaged skin are stripped away. Then, as new cells form during the healing process, a smoother, tighter, younger-looking skin surface appears. It also tightens the deeper layers of the skin and reduces the sagging appearance and wrinkles.

These techniques are often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth. They are also used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses. They are commonly used to treat scars following pimples (acne) and chickenpox. These procedures can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but neither treatment may remove all scars and flaws completely or prevent further aging.

Skin resurfacing procedures essentially comprise of dermabrasion, dermaplaning, Lasers and Radio surgery.

In dermabrasion, the surgeon scrapes away the outermost layer of skin with a rough wire brush, or a burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The scraping continues until the surgeon reaches the safest level that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible.

In dermaplaning, the surgeon uses a hand-held instrument called a dermatome. Resembling an electric razor, the dermatome has an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly "skim" off the surface layers of skin that surround the craters or other facial defects.

This skimming continues until the lowest point of the acne scar becomes more even with the surrounding skin. Dermabrasion and dermaplaning help to "refinish" the skin's top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.

In laser resurfacing, sometimes called "laser peel", a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is used to remove areas of damaged or wrinkled skin, layer by layer.

The latest technique to emerge is Radiosurgery which uses radio waves. They are totally different from radiation used in treatment of cancers. These waves are ordinary waves which are used to transmit radio signals but at high frequency and highly focused. They are totally safe even near delicate organs like eyes.

It's also important to consider the length of recovery when choosing among the skin-resurfacing alternatives. In general, the more aggressive the resurfacing procedure is, the more prolonged the recovery is likely to be. "Light" resurfacing procedures, such as superficial chemical peels or superficial laser resurfacing, offer shorter recovery times. However, these lighter procedures may need to be repeated multiple times to achieve results comparable to those achieved with more aggressive techniques.

The procedures can be performed on small areas of skin or on the entire face. They can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, Blepharoplasty, nose surgery, scar removal or revision and chemical peel.

Our center is one of the very few in India, which boast of offering all these alternatives to the patient under one roof. Dr. Patankar would select one or a combination of these procedures to suit your individual skin and the problem.

 
 
 
A quick look at your queries...
 

AM I THE RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR THE PROCEDURE ?

Before you decide to have a skin-refinishing treatment, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

Men and women of all ages can benefit from skin resurfacing. Although older people heal more slowly, more important factors are your skin type, coloring, and medical history.

The procedure would help you reduce the scars on the skin of any cause e.g. acne, injuries, surgery etc. It would also reduce the fine wrinkles, keratoses and freckles on the face.

It may not be wise to do the procedure during the active stages of acne because of a greater risk of infection. The procedure should be deferred if you have been taking certain drugs like isotretinoin. The same may be true if you've had radiation treatments, a bad skin burn, or a previous chemical peel.

Black skin, Asian skin, and other dark complexions may become permanently discolored or blotchy after a skin-refinishing treatment. People who develop allergic rashes or other skin reactions, or who get frequent fever blisters or cold sores, may experience a flare-up.

WHAT ARE THE UNCERTAINTIES AND RISKS ?

Skin resurfacing procedures are normally safe when they're performed by a qualified, experienced board-certified physician. The most common risk is a change in skin pigmentation. Permanent darkening of the skin, usually caused by exposure to the sun in the days or months following surgery, may occur in some patients. On the other hand, some patients find the treated skin remains a little lighter or blotchy in appearance.

You may develop tiny whiteheads after surgery. These usually disappear on their own; however, occasionally, the surgeon may have to remove them. You may also develop enlarged skin pores; these usually shrink to near normal size once the swelling has subsided.

While infection and scarring are rare with skin-refinishing treatments, they are possible. Skin resurfacing can activate herpes virus infections ("cold sores") and, rarely, other types of infection. Some individuals develop excessive scar tissue (keloid or hypertrophic scars); these are usually treated with the application or injection of steroid medications to soften the scar.

You can reduce your risks by choosing a qualified plastic surgeon and closely following his advice.

HOW DO I PLAN MY SURGERY ?

Because these treatments have sometimes been offered by inadequately trained practitioners, it's especially important that you find a qualified plastic surgeon who is trained and experienced in the procedure. After all, treatment usually involves the most visible part of your body-your face.

In your initial consultation, be open in discussing your expectations with your surgeon, and don't hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have.

Dr. Patankar will check on your medical history and conduct a routine examination. He would explain treatment options in detail, along with its risks and benefits, the recovery period, and the costs. He would further discuss the factors that could influence the various procedures and the results - such as your age, skin condition, and previous plastic surgeries.

When the imperfections are especially deep, your surgeon may recommend that the resurfacing be performed in two or more stages.

The final decision about the choice of treatment would be made jointly by you and your doctor.

HOW DO I PREPARE MYSELF FOR SURGERY ?

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, and on avoiding aspirin and other medications that affect blood clotting. You may also be given special instructions regarding the care and treatment of your skin prior to surgery. If you smoke, you'll probably be asked to stop for a week or two before and after surgery, since smoking decreases blood circulation in the skin and impedes healing.

HOW LONG WOULD I NEED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL?

Your treatment may be performed in a surgeon's office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. It's usually done on an outpatient basis and you may leave the hospital within a few hours. However, if you're undergoing extensive work, you may be admitted to the hospital for a day.

IS THE SURGERY PAINFUL?

The treatment may be performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You'll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. Or, in more severe cases, your surgeon may prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you'll sleep through the procedure.

WHAT IS THE SURGICAL TECHNIQUE USED ?

The procedures usually take from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how large an area of skin is involved. It's not uncommon for the procedure to be performed more than once, or in stages, especially when scarring is deep or a large area of skin is involved.

The surgeon may then treat the skin in a number of ways, including ointment, a wet or waxy dressing, dry treatment, or some combination of these.

WHAT CARE DO I NEED TO TAKE AFTER THE SURGERY ?

Right after the procedure, your skin will be quite red and swollen, and eating and talking may be difficult. You'll probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching; any pain you feel can be controlled with medications prescribed by your surgeon. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.

If you remember the scrapes you got when you fell down as a child, you'll have an idea of what to expect from this type of surgery. A scab or crust will form over the treated area as it begins to heal. This will fall off as a new layer of tight, pink skin forms underneath. Your face may itch as new skin starts to grow, and your surgeon may recommend an ointment to make you more comfortable. If ointment is applied immediately after surgery, little or no scab will form.

In any case, you surgeon will give you detailed instructions about 'how to take care of your skin after surgery'. For men, this will include delaying shaving for a while. It's very important that you understand your doctor's instructions and follow them exactly, to ensure the best possible healing.

WHEN CAN I RESUME MY DAILY ACTIVITIES AND JOIN MY DUTIES ?

Your new skin will be a bit swollen, sensitive, and bright pink for several weeks. During this time, you can begin gradually resuming your normal activities.

You can expect to be back at work in about two weeks. Your surgeon will probably advise you to avoid any activity that could cause a bump to your face for at least two weeks. More active sports-especially ball sports-should be avoided for four to six weeks. If you swim, stick to indoor pools to avoid sun and wind, and keep your face out of chlorinated water for at least four weeks. It will be at least three to four weeks before you can drink alcohol without experiencing a flush of redness.

Above all, it's important to protect your skin from the Sun until the pigment has completely returned to your skin- as long as six to twelve months.

YOUR NEW LOOK

Refinishing treatments can offer dramatic improvements in the surface of your skin, but it will take some time before you see the final results.

The pinkness of your skin will take about three months to fade. In the meantime, you'll probably want to wear non-allergenic makeup when you go out. For hiding your condition while it heals, ask your surgeon for the  tips on camouflage cosmetics. When your new skin is fully re-pigmented, the color should closely match the surrounding skin, making the procedure virtually undetectable.

 

 
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