What is the difference between dermabrasion and a chemical peel?

Question:
What is the difference between dermabrasion and a chemical peel? How does each treat the skin?

Answer:
Both dermabrasion and chemical peel are different means of resurfacing the skin. A chemical peel was performed by applying an acidic solution to the skin which penetrates and causes the skin to peel. Different levels of solution can be applied to cause differing levels of correction and improvement. These differing levels entail varying length of recoveries. Dermabrasion is a mechanical sanding wheel which removes the outer layer of the skin. It can also be done to different levels however, in general it is used for significant scarring or deep wrinkles. The recovery from dermabrasion is usually significant and while the results can be impressive it has the highest risk of scarring and loss of pigmentation.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham

Can dermabrasion improve enlarged pores?

Question:
I have enlarged pores and would like to know if dermabrasion can improve this.

Answer:
Not permanently. Pore size is a pre-programmed genetic variable. The depth of the pore is beyond what any resurfacing modality can reach. Pore size can be temporarily improved with skin tightening lasers or dermabrasion, but with time the pore size will return to its original state.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham

There are too many types of laser. Which one is the right one for me?

Question:
I’m considering laser skin resurfacing to even out my complexion and smooth out some fine lines on my face. The more research I do, the more confused I am by all the different types of laser. Can you clarify the issue for me?

Answer:
There are many different types of lasers and light devices for skin rejuvenation. Rather than go into a long discussion about all of the different types, let’s just say that most of the devices that claim to reduce wrinkles will not do so. They may be good for pigment and vessel ablation, but do not work well to reduce wrinkling. The lasers that are effective for fine lines and wrinkles all ablate or remove the epidermis and dermis. Most of these devices are either Erbium or CO2 in nature. Even narrowing the discussion to those devices there are many different brands such as Fraxel, FX, Dot and Matrix. Some of these devices are fully ablative, meaning they remove the entire outer layer of the skin to some degree and others are fractionated and leave some untreated skin in-between the treated skin in order to get a result, but with a faster healing time. Getting a consultation will allow the discussion to be narrowed to address your specific concerns.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham

I have a lot of scarring on my face from a severe case of chicken pox

Question:
I have a lot of scarring on my face due to a severe case of chicken pox when I was about three years old. I’ve been told that dermabrasion can help remove these scars. Is this true?

Answer:
Depending on your specific scars, dermabrasion may be able to help. Dermabrasion is a process by where the outer layer of the skin is sanded to produce a more smooth result. Dermabrasion is a relatively aggressive procedure that requires a significant amount of time to heal. Fractionated lasers are a relatively new procedure that can provide significant improvement in scarring with less down-time. A consultation to evaluate the level of scarring and the desired recovery will determine the best choice for each patient.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham

Comparing the results of a chemical peel and dermabrasion?

Question:
Is there a difference in the appearance of the skin when comparing the results of a chemical peel and dermabrasion? I am 37 years old and would like to have treatment on my face.

Answer:
The remaining different types of chemical peels and the depth of the peel can vary with different solutions as well as different applications of the same solution. In the same light, the depth of dermabrasion may also be varied. Therefore similar results may be obtained using each of these treatments. Dermabrasion is usually used for more significant wrinkling and requires an expert with significant experience to avoid complications. Even in expert hands, dermabrasion can lead to permanent loss of pigmentation more easily than chemical peeling. Dermabrasion is usually not indicated for a 37-year-old patient.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham

What’s the difference between dermabrasion and microdermabrasion?

Question:
I always hear the terms “dermabrasion” and “microdermabrasion” and have no idea what they mean. Could you please tell me the difference between dermabrasion and microdermabrasion?

Answer:
Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure where a sanding device is used to remove the epidermis and partial thickness of the dermis in a controlled fashion. It requires anesthetic and about 10-14 days of healing. It is useful for scars or very deep wrinkles. Microdermabrasion is a light exfoliation of the skin performed by an aesthetician. It only removes the dead layers of the skin to improve the texture temporarily.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham

Could you give me some insight information on dermabrasion procedure?

Question:
To me, when I hear the word “dermabrasion” I get a feeling of cold hard instruments poking at my face trying to fix my tainted, blemished skin. Hopefully this isn’t the case and, if not, could you please offer me a little insight and information on a dermabrasion procedure?

Answer:
Dermabrasion is a procedure used to resurface deeply wrinkled or scarred skin. It is performed by using a sanding device to remove the outer layers of the skin in a controlled fashion. It evens out the skin by allowing the adjacent areas to blend in during the healing process. You need to wear ointment on your face for about 10 days after the procedure and are limited to not wearing makeup for about two weeks.

Posted by Dr. Buckingham