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There are three basic ways to improve skin irregularities, such as wrinkles, pigmentary changes, photo damage, texture, etc. They are dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing. Dermabrasion is literally what the word stands for: a sanding of the skin with a mechanical device. When first introduced several decades ago, sandpaper was used to abrade the skin to an appropriate depth so as it healed, certain changes took place within the dermis (foundation of the skin) and the epidermis (the surface of the skin) that produced significant, lifelong improvement. Today, things have gotten more sophisticated but the overall technique remains the same. Under a controlled situation, a diamond burr attached to a rotary device is used to burnish the skin much like a jeweler would polish a diamond. The needs of the patient determine the depth of the wound required to produce the desired outcome.

Surgical dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion, as performed by aestheticians) can be done on selected areas of the face or on the entire face except for the eyelids. It can be done by itself or in conjunction with other procedures. Since the technique is reliant on the skill of the surgeon, experience is paramount on the results obtained. Even in the best of hands, resurfacing of the skin can be fraught with healing issues. Postoperative follow-up and small changes in wound management are essential for maximal results with as little downtime as possible.


The area of dermabrasion is raw for four to seven days followed by redness for two to four weeks. The redness turns to pinkness and then to a more olive complexion at the end of the healing period. As a rule of thumb, the longer the redness persists, the better the results. Only when the body is satisfied with its remodeling effort will the redness subside. Make-up can be worn sparingly several days and/or weeks following the procedure. The results can be amazing. Most of Dr. English’s facelift patients usually have some form of skin resurfacing done to make the overall results that much better.


If you would like to look and feel your very best, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jim English, triple board certified in cosmetic procedures for the face and body. We look forward to seeing you during your dermabrasion consultation.

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