Dermabrasion of scars is a minor procedure that smooths skin irregularities. It can be performed as early as 3 weeks after surgery and is easy for the patient and the doctor. Thick skin such as on the nose is the best candidate for dermabrasion.
A specialized high-speed resurfacing tool is used to remove the outer layers of skin on the targeted area. The treated area then heals with new smoother skin.
The procedure is done in the office with topical anesthesia most commonly. Anesthetic ointment is applied to the treatment area 1-2 hours before dermabrasion and every half hour until the procedure.
Redness, mild tenderness, stinging, burning, or swelling can be expected for 4-6 hours after the procedure. Oozing and crusting will resolve within 5-7 days. Area may be pink for up to 8 weeks. Minimal care is required after the procedure.
Dermabrasion can be repeated at least 1 month later if additional smoothing is needed.
As a rule, insurance companies do not cover this procedure. The patient's cost is less than $200 for small scars and higher for larger ones.
Time is the best "dermabrader", smoothing scars over months of healing. So patience is a virtue in determining the need for dermabrasion.