What Can You Expect After a Dermabrasion Treatment for Acne Scars?

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If you have a lot of pigmented acne scars on your face, you may wish to undergo a dermabrasion treatment to diminish them. This procedure is typically performed in a dermatologist's office and involves abrading away the outer layers of your skin, revealing new, fresh skin that should have less pronounced scarring. It can be an intense treatment to go through since you'll be left with red, irritated skin for a few weeks afterwards, but if you're prepared for what to expect, your recovery should go more smoothly. Here's a closer look.

How will your skin look and feel?

Since numbing agents are typically used during the procedure, you won't feel discomfort immediately. However, once the numbing agents begin wearing off, you'll feel some burning and warmth in your face. Initially, your redness may be minimal, though you may have some bleeding from areas where your dermatologist abraded your skin more deeply. Over the next day or two, however, the redness will become more pronounced, and scabs will form over the treated areas. Several days after that, the scabs may begin peeling away, revealing the fresh, new, pink skin underneath. Everyone progresses at a somewhat different rate, so it may take you a week to get through the peeling stage, or it may take a bit longer.

What can you do to minimize your discomfort?

Your dermatologist may give you a soothing spray or cream to apply to your face. This may create a tingling sensation, or it may numb your face somewhat. If the pain begins interfering with your ability to complete everyday tasks, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen may help.

Make sure you avoid using any harsh cosmetics or cleansers until your scabs are completely gone. Use a non-medicated, mild cleanser to wash your face, and do not use a washcloth or sponge. (Use your hands instead). It's generally okay to apply makeup, but make sure you use a non-irritating formula for sensitive skin. Avoid acne creams and other medicated creams, rinses, and astringents.

Try to avoid spending time in the sun until your skin is completely healed. If you do go outside, apply a sunscreen first. In fact, keep up with this habit for the rest of your life after your dermabrasion treatment. It will help keep your acne scars from darkening again and should help keep additional scars and marks from developing, too.

Recovering from dermabrasion may not be the most comfortable experience, but with the advice above, you will get through it and be enjoying your new, less-scarred skin in no time.

Consult a dermatology center such as Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center for more information.