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Risks and Complications of Dermabrasion SurgeryThough fast removal of acne scars is possible with the dermabrasion procedure, complications and risks are always there. Potential risks with dermabrasion surgery range from minor issues to more substantial ones. Although most complications can be avoided under the care of a qualified physician, some risks like skin pigmentation changes are inherent to the procedure.
It is for this reason that some potential patients are advised against the procedures. Before agreeing to the dermabrasion procedure for the acne scar treament it is essential for you to have a consultation with the cosmetic surgeon to see whether you are good candidate for fast removal of acne scars rusing dermabrasion and he can help you to get rid or your acne scars
Pigmentation changesMid-range skin types are more likely to have pigment changes after the procedure. Darker skin tones as well as the lightest skin tones are the least likely to have post-procedure skin color changes and therefore pose the minimum of risk with the surgery.
Skin tones that are more even tend to heal quickly and without dramatic differences between the new and old skin. Again, this should be discussed with a physician prior to the surgery, as the physician has probably had experience with all skin types and situations.
Color changes that may be associated with the procedure are varied; the skin can either become lighter or can undergo permanent darkening. Darkening of the skin, or “hyperpigmentation” of the skin, after the procedure in general can be avoided by proper post operative care of the skin, because it is usually caused by exposure to the sun in the days or months following surgery.
In patients with hyperpigmentation, early treatment with topical bleaching agents like 4% hydroquinone ointment can resolve the problem completely. If a strong inflammatory component is present as well, topical steroids can be added to the regimen.
On the other hand, some patients find the treated skin remains a little lighter or blotchy in appearance which is generally caused by the dermabrasion procedure itself. Most patients with this problem may require cosmetics to camouflage the affected area.
Some other risks of dermabrasion surgeryOther potential risks with dermabrasion vary from patient to patient. Certain patients are more prone to various skin growths — keloids, or develop excessive scar tissue or hypertrophic scars. These are usually treated with the application or injection of steroid medications to soften the scar.
Since these patients are more prone to the formation of new growths, it may not always be wise to undergo their removal. The dermabrasion may lead to further scarring and new growths may occur. People who are prone to skin growth, are generally not good candidates for the surgery, although, it is for the physician or the cosmetic surgeon to note the possibility of any such problems before the procedure during the time of consultation.
During the consultation, a dermabrasion surgeon should note if the patient experiences frequent herpes simplex infections — a.k.a. cold sores. This viral infection can be aggravated by the dermabrasion procedure. Prior to the surgery, the physician will prescribe a course of anti-viral medication in order to avoid this risk.
Another risk associated with the surgery is the formation of whiteheads. These white heads usually disappear on their own or can be removed with the use of an abrasive pad or soap. Occasionally, the surgeon may have to remove them. A few patients may develop enlarged skin pores; these usually shrink to near normal size once the swelling has subsided.
Another risk that can occur with dermabrasion is thickened skin. This can occur as the new skin grows after the procedure. Thickened skin is rarely a severe problem. It can be treated with injections by the physician or cortisone creams. Both need to be prescribed by the doctor who performed the procedure to make sure that no other problems are going on.
Risk of infectionWhile infection and scarring are rare with skin-refinishing treatments, they are quite possible if good post-operative are is not taken. Postoperative complications include infection, milia, dyschromia, erythema, and scarring, all of which can occur regardless of the resurfacing modality used. Infection, when it occurs, is usually an early complication that can be taken care of by the use of antibacterials.
Various risks with dermabrasion that occur following the surgery may be avoided if the patient strictly adheres to the post-operative instructions. A patient must be careful with the surgical area as it is very tender and needs to heal. If yellow crusty areas appear, they should not be picked at or touched by anyone other than a physician. Touching the area constantly will hinder the healing and set a patient up for infection. Careful care with the bandage (if there is one) must be a priority. The dressing may need to be changed and sterile bandages and tape should be used every time. The cleaning of the site must also be as directed by the physician.
Risk of patient dissatisfactionAnother potential risk with dermabrasion that occurs after surgery is a patient’s dissatisfaction. Sometimes the result is just not as the patient had hoped for. The doctor and the patient may have worked very diligently on compromising on a particular goal, but then the doctor did not reach the patient’s expectation. There are two sides to this issue. One, the physician may very well have not done his/her job correctly. In this case, it is advisable that a patient speak with the physician to see how the error can be fixed. And two, the patient may have unrealistic expectations. No surgery or procedure can fix all skin flaws or erase all aging spots. What dermabrasion can do is lessen the appearance of minor flaws and make a patient feel better about their appearance.
Overall, the potential risks and outcomes of dermabrasion are the same as with any surgery. Things can go wrong, despite the care. Physicians are human, and can make mistakes. But it is their moral duty to address the patient’s health issues connected to the surgery beforehand, during the consultation. It is only after the realistic goals are agreed upon, that a dermabrasion should be performed.
If the patient is realistic about the outcomes, and the surgeon is well-versed with his job, the success with dermabrasion as an acne scar treatment procedure is almost sure.
There may come a time when the patient may even want to repeat the procedure, just for its benefits, knowing well the risks that are involved. And that is completely fine. Perhaps the second round will be even better than the first.
All said and done, dermabrasion is the best treatment for acne scar removal with little risks