Patients with imperfections and blemishes on their facial skin may opt for dermabrasion treatment. Dermabrasion…
The wear and tear of a busy life takes its toll on our skin. Every day, our facial skin is bombarded by pollution in the air, ultraviolet light from the sun and toxins in our diet, and this accelerates the ageing process and leads to the formation of unsightly wrinkles and blemishes.
Skin resurfacing is a general term, which covers several methods of dealing with such facial imperfections. As it states, skin resurfacing involves altering the surface of our facial skin. By removing the top layers of skin, skin resurfacing specialists and surgeons like Dr Shahidi in Sydney, can rediscover the natural beauty of a blemished face. Such procedures have a marked effect on the aesthetics of facial skin and are incredibly effective in reducing the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles.
But the positive effects of the process go deeper than mere aesthetics; there are psychological benefits to be had too. Increased levels of self esteem and self confidence are two of the effects reported by patients following skin resurfacing treatment, and a general feeling of happiness and well-being is often the outcome of such a procedure.
There are several types of skin resurfacing treatment, but most fall into three categories. The first category is dermabrasion, which involves the use of a mechanical tool that removes the top layer of skin; in the same way a sander or plane might smooth a wooden surface. The second is chemical peeling, during which chemicals are applied to the skin to remove the top layers in a controlled manner. The final category is laser skin resurfacing. Maybe the most hi-tech of the three categories, this method uses a concentrated laser beam to achieve results.
Whichever method of skin resurfacing you and your consultant choose, the aims will be very much the same. Skin resurfacing works by removing the top layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. Cosmetic blemishes, wrinkles and imperfections mainly appear in the epidermis, and so the skin resurfacing treatment effectively reduces the appearance of these undesirable marks.
However, deeper-lying imperfections also penetrate into the lower level of the skin, which is called the dermis. Deeper-acting skin resurfacing techniques penetrate to the upper-reaches of this layer – which is predominately made up of complex protein strings. By penetrating into the dermis, deep skin resurfacing treatments promote the production of collagen, which in turn helps to make skin appear more healthy and youthful.
Most skin resurfacing treatments are non-surgical procedures and can be carried out in a day clinic. This means that you do not have to have a night under observation in hospital following your treatment, and can instead recuperate in the more familiar surroundings of your home. Depending on the depth and intensity of the treatment, an anaesthetic or sedative may be required. These are usually topical or local anaesthetics, but in some cases – such as in the case of a deep-acting chemical peel or dermabrasion session – a general anaesthetic may be deemed necessary.
As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important to take appropriate aftercare measures to ensure that the results are the best they can be. Patients who opt for a dermabrasion procedure will be made aware of the risks of infection and what they can do to counter these risks before the procedure. For example, many dermabrasion and skin resurfacing specialists will recommend that patients with a history of cold sores should begin taking a course of the appropriate medication before they undergo the procedure. These patients should continue taking the medication for approximately one week after the procedure to reduce the risk of a flare up.
The key to achieving the best results from your dermabrasion procedure is to keep the treated area clean and covered to promote the healthy regrowth of skin. To do this, patients should apply dressings to the treated area for around five to seven days after treatment. You can expect the skin to appear red and sore for this period, and some swelling may occur. This is nothing to worry about, and the skin will begin to appear normal again at the end of this timeframe.
This is when most patients choose to return to work. It is also possible to cover the redness with some light makeup at this point. Skin should appear completely normal approximately one month after treatment.
Levels of aftercare for chemical peels vary depending on the method of treatment. The most common type of chemical peel – a phenol peel – usually requires no dressing to be applied, and instead patients apply aloe vera cream and use prescribed painkillers to decrease itching and discomfort following the procedure. The irritation should subside within 48 hours, but if it persists, you should contact your specialist for a check up.
Skin resurfacing takes a long time: A myth. The time taken to complete a skin resurfacing treatment varies by method but should always be completed in less than two hours (or considerably less for some milder forms of treatment). The patient will be able to recuperate at home and will not be required to stay in hospital for observation.
Skin resurfacing is a surgical procedure: This is also a myth. The vast majority of skin resurfacing treatments are simple clinical procedures and are non-surgical.
Skin resurfacing is painful: No. Low intensity skin resurfacing techniques should produce no pain whatsoever, while more intensive procedures will be accompanied by an anaesthetic to reduce discomfort. Some mild swelling and irritation can be expected for a short time after treatment.
Skin resurfacing always gets the best results: Many skin-resurfacing techniques have incredible efficacy rates, and practitioners are able to repeatedly produce great results. However, no cosmetic procedure can ever be successful 100% of the time.
I have psoriasis or eczema, so there is no point in me enquiring about a skin resurfacing treatment: This is not necessarily the case. While some patients with serious skin complaints will be unsuitable for some skin resurfacing treatments, your expert specialist will be able to advise you on alternative courses of action.