Acne! Yuck! Let’s face it, nobody likes to get acne. And while most people think of it as a problem that only affects teenagers, the truth is that it can strike at any age. Acne is probably the most common skin condition found across the globe, and it affects both men and women alike. As if a simple outbreak of acne weren’t bad enough, it’s quite typical for scars to be apparent long after an outbreak has healed. This can have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem, and make them feel less attractive. However, there is some good news in that there are many different treatments available for acne. One proven treatment is dermabrasion.
Dermabrasion for acne scars has been around for a while, and it is an option favored by a lot of people. So, what is it? How does it work? And what are the complications? All of those are fair questions and we will look at each one in turn.
What is dermabrasion? We can get a clue by breaking down the word itself. ‘Derma’ refers to the skin, and ‘abrasion’ refers to using friction of some kind. The procedure is done with a motorized tool that removes the outermost layer of the skin. You can think of it as being similar to sanding away the surface of the skin. That may not sound pleasant, but let’s answer the other questions first before making a decision.
How does dermabrasion for acne scars work? The short answer is “very well”, in most cases. Doing this causes new, and healthier, skin cells to come in and take the place of the older, less healthy cells. Because it only affects the outer layer of the skin, the treatment is most effective for scars that aren’t too deep. However, there can still be a noticeable improvement in just about any type of acne scarring. This leads to smoother, more healthy looking skin, which can be a huge boost to self-esteem.
What are the complications of dermabrasion? To begin with, it’s a procedure that should only be done by a qualified professional as it requires local anesthetic of some kind. While it is done on an outpatient basis, it is still a surgical procedure that can take from 15 to 60 minutes, or more in extreme cases. Once you are at home, you will normally need to stay in for a few days until the swelling and redness go down. Due to the discomfort associated with dermabrasion, it’s not unusual to be prescribed pain medication. Be sure to carefully follow any post-procedure instructions given to you by the doctor. Full recovery can take a few months, but it can be a very effective treatment for acne scars.
A word of caution: be sure to discuss and understand your various options with your own doctor. The above information should only be used to help you have a better conversation with your doctor, and should not be considered medical advice.