If You Are Considering A Skin-Refinishing Treatment...

Dermabrasion help to “refinish” the skin’s top layers through a method of controlled surgical scraping. The treatments soften the sharp edges of surface irregularities, giving the skin a smoother appearance.

Dermabrasion is most often used to improve the look of facial skin left scarred by accidents or previous surgery, or to smooth out fine facial wrinkles, such as those around the mouth. It is also sometimes used to remove the pre-cancerous growths called keratoses.

Dermabrasion can be performed, both on small areas of skin or on the entire face. It can be used alone, or in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift, scar removal or revision, or chemical peel.

If you are considering surgery to refinish the skin, this information, provided by Dr. Bell, who performs this surgery in his Toronto clinic, will give you a basic understanding of the procedure-when it can help, how it is performed, and what results you can expect. It can not answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Please ask Dr. Bell about anything you do not understand, when you visit his Toronto clinic for a consultation.

Considering Alternative Procedures

If you’re planning “surface repairs” on your face, you may also be considering chemical peel, an alternative method of surgically removing the top layer of skin. However, Dr. Bell uses surgical instruments to remove the affected skin layers, when performing dermabrasion while chemical peel uses a caustic solution.

Dr. Bell performs these procedures in his Toronto clinic, selecting one or a combination of procedures to suit the individual patient and the problem. Others prefer one technique for all surface repairs. Dr. Bell will explain that, in general, chemical peel is used more often to treat fine wrinkles, while dermabrasion is used to treat deeper imperfections such as acne scars. A non-chemical approach may also be preferred for individuals with slightly darker skin, especially when treating limited areas of the face, since dermabrasion is less likely to produce extreme changes and contrasts in skin color.

If you’d like more information on chemical peel, ask Dr. Bell for the ASPS brochure on that topic.

The Best Candidates For Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but neither treatment will remove all scars and flaws or prevent aging. Before you decide to have a skin-refinishing treatment, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Bell during your consultation at his Toronto clinic.

Men and women of all ages, from young people to older adults, can benefit from dermabrasion. Although older people heal more slowly, more important factors are your skin type, coloring, and medical history. For example, black skin, Asian skin, and other dark complexions may become permanently discolored or blotchy after a skin-refinishing treatment. People who develop allergic rashes or other skin reactions, or who get frequent fever blisters or cold sores, may experience a flare-up. If you have freckles, they may disappear in the treated area.

In addition, Dr. Bell won’t perform treatment during the active stages of acne because of a greater risk of infection. The same may be true if you’ have had radiation treatments, a bad sun burn, or a previous chemical peel.

Planning Your Surgery

Because these treatments have sometimes been offered by inadequately trained practitioners, it’s especially important to know that Dr. Bell is trained and experienced in all of the procedures. After all, dermabrasion usually involve the most visible part of your body-your face.

During your initial consultation, be open in discussing your expectations with Dr. Bell, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have. Dr. Bell will be equally open with you, explaining the factors that could influence the procedure and the results-such as your age, skin condition, and previous plastic surgeries.

Dr. Bell will discuss your medical history, conduct a routine examination, and photograph your face. Dr. Bell will explain the procedure in detail, along with its risks and benefits, the recovery period, and the costs. Insurance usually does not cover cosmetic procedures, however, it may cover dermabrasion when performed to remove precancerous skin growths or extensive scars. Check your policy or call your carrier to be sure.

Preparing For Your Surgery

Dr. Bell will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, and on avoiding aspirin and other medications that affect blood clotting. You may also be given special instructions regarding the care and treatment of your skin prior to surgery. If you smoke, Dr. Bell will ask you to stop for a week or two before and after surgery, since smoking decreases blood circulation in the skin, and impedes healing.

While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery at Dr. Bell’s Toronto clinic, and to help you out for a day or two if needed.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

Your treatment will be performed at Dr. Bell’s Toronto accredited surgical clinic. It is usually done on an outpatient basis, for convenience. However, if you’re undergoing extensive work, you may be required to stay overnight.

Types Of Anesthesia

Dr. Bell may perform dermabrasion under local anesthesia, which numbs the area, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You will be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. Sometimes a numbing spray, such a freon, is used along with or instead of local anesthesia. Or, in more severe cases, Dr. Bell may prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case you will sleep through the procedure.

The Surgery

Dr. Bell can performed dermabrasion in his Toronto clinic, fairly quickly. The procedures usually take from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how large an area of skin is involved. It is not uncommon for the procedure to be performed more than once, or in stages, especially when scarring is deep or a large area of skin is involved.

During a dermabrasion procedure, Dr. Bell scrapes away the outermost layer of skin with a rough wire brush, or a burr containing diamond particles, attached to a motorized handle. The scraping continues until Dr. Bell reaches the safest level that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible.

Dr. Bell may then treat the skin in a number of ways, including ointment, a wet or waxy dressing, dry treatment, or some combination of these.

After Your Surgery

Right after the procedure at Dr. Bell’s Toronto clinic, your skin will be quite red and swollen, and eating and talking may be difficult. You will probably feel some tingling, burning, or aching; any pain you feel can be controlled with medications prescribed by Dr. Bell. The swelling will begin to subside in a few days to a week.