Mr A. O. Grobbelaar  MBChB  MMed(Plast)  FCS(SA)(Plast)  FRCS(Plast)

Dermabrasion

 

Introduction

Dermabrasion can be used to smooth the skin by gradually, layer-by-layer, removing the superficial skin. This technique can be used for certain type of acne scars but can also be used to remove, for example. peri-oral wrinkles. Only the face can be treated safely and the neck should be avoided. Other methods of treatment can be more effective for certain cases for example chemical peeling or laser resurfacing. It normally involves a general anaesthetic and can be done as a day case.

Microdermabrasion is a mild variation of this technique and is normally performed by beauticians. Dermabrasion can only remove certain scars or wrinkles and in some cases it may be worthwhile to repeat the procedure after 6 months. A test patch is sometimes performed in certain individuals prone to pigmentation changes, to enable me to judge the possible response of your skin to the treatment.

The surgery

It is performed in the hospital and can be done as a day case. After the surgery the skin can be dressed with a transparent plastic membrane or left open and an antibiotic ointment applied depending on the individual case. Pain is mild and can normally be well controlled by oral medication. An oral antibiotic will normally be prescribed to prevent infection.

Complications

Until the skin is healed there is a possibility of infection and careful cleaning of the treated area is essential. Small, pinhead sized white spots may appear after a few days in the freshly healed skin and is due to the blocking of the pores of the skin and will normally clear up spontaneously. Altered skin pigmentation is possible especially in darker skinned individuals.

After the surgery

Application of a topical antibiotic ointment twice daily, after cleaning the skin with luke warm water and careful dabbing with tissue paper to dry the area,  will assist healing. The skin may crust over and should be carefully cleaned. Once healed the skin will be pink for a period of two to three weeks. To prevent skin pigmentation changes it is important to protect the skin from the sun especially during the first three months of treatment. Using water based sunblock SP Factor 15 or higher is advised until the skin has recovered completely. Camouflage make-up can be applied after three weeks if necessary.

If you require further information or want to schedule a consultation please contact Mr. Grobbelaar's secretary details on the Contact page