Skin resurfacing procedures involve controlled damage to the skin. This can be uncomfortable, which is why they are usually performed under local anesthesia. In some cases, a freezing spray may also be used to further numb the area and ensure the patient’s comfort as the dermabrasion or dermaplaning procedure is being performed.
The anesthetic to be used will depend on the extent of the skin resurfacing that is required to achieve the desired results. For more severe cases, general anesthesia may be used to allow the patient to sleep through the procedure without experiencing any pain or discomfort.
Dermabrasion uses a motorized medical instrument fitted with a rough wire brush or a diamond-encrusted wheel (also known as a “burr”) to remove the outermost layers of the skin. Dermaplaning, on the other hand, addresses skin depressions by using a razor-like surgical instrument to carefully remove layers of skin around the recessed area.
As for the actual procedure, dermabrasion is performed by carefully scraping the outer layers of the skin where the imperfections—scars, fine lines, or skin pigmentation—are located until optimum resurfacing is achieved.
Meanwhile, dermaplaning involves the skimming or shaving of the skin that surrounds the acne scars using an oscillating blade or scalpel. Layers of skin will be removed up until the doctor reaches the lowest point of the scar and achieves a more even surface around the area.
Once the resurfacing procedure is complete, the skin may be treated with a wet or waxy dressing, a topical ointment, or a dry treatment.
These procedures usually last anywhere between a few minutes to two hours, at the most.