Dermabrasion is a procedure to improve the look of the skin involving the mechanical removal of the damaged top layer using a high speed rotary wheel.
Originally developed as a means of treating acne scars, dermabrasion can be used to treat many kinds of skin problems including scars from other types of wounds, wrinkles, skin coloration abnormalities, and other more serious conditions such as rhinophyma, a disfiguring form of rosacea that affects the nose. Although the treatment is not a cure, in that the scar or other abnormality cannot be entirely removed, dermabrasion does soften the edges of the scar or other abnormality and can radically improve its appearance.
Dermabrasion is often used in combination with other plastic surgery techniques, such as chemical peels, excisions, punch grafting, and CO2 laser resurfacing to achieve an overall smoothing of various skin abnormalities, particularly of the face.
Dermabrasion is a technique that has been used in dermatology for over 100 years. Although used much less often since the advent of laser resurfacing, dermabrasion continues to be a viable treatment that has been reported to have quicker healing times, similar rates of complications, and is more effective in eliminating some types of lesions, particularly surgical scars. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were about 60,000 dermabrasion procedures performed in 2001.
Michelle Johnson M.S., J.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,