Dermabrasion Questions and Answers Archive

Jan
2002

Q&A: I have pigment and indentation scar damage from hair removal products/processes. What can I do to correct this?

Question:

I have about a dozen scars on my shins due to chemical burns (from Nair Hair removal cream) and electrical burns due to bad electrolysis. All of the scars are small (about pea sized) and shallow rather than raised, and are very discolored--brownish purple while I am very fair skinned. I've tried silicone sheets to reduce the scarring, but it hasn't worked at all. I REALLY want to get rid of the discoloration, and would love to get rid of the shallowness, also, but it's the discoloration that bothers me more. What type of surgery (dermabrasion?) could help with with these scars, and what's a rough estimate of the cost? I hope you can help me. I can't go another summer in pants every day, but I can't bear to wear shorts with all of these ugly scars. Thanks for any help you can give me. Carla

Answer:

 Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Carla, The pigmentation can be readily removed with lasers although that will do little for the textural skin changes. You may wish to have the larger ones surgically removed to leave a fine scar that is level. The former should not cost too much - I charge $20 per spot per treatment with about 3 or 4 treatments required to lighten the pigmentation. The surgery costs about $200 per scar.

-- Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Jan
2002

Q&A: Will microdermabrasion remove mild-to-moderate acne scars mainly on my checks?

Question:

What kind of results can I expect from microdermabrasion? I have mild-moderate acne scarring mainly on my cheeks. I want a treatment that doesn't require much recovery time but still works. I know this is probably not your specialty but any advice or other ideas would help. Thank you!

- Jenny

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

To the contrary, Jenny, I have two aestheticians who perform at least 10 dermapeel procedures each day. The results to expect from a full course of 6 to 8 treatments spaced apart by about two weeks each would be an improvement of 20 to 30%- much the same as with a conservative surgical dermabrasion procedure. Laser resurfacing, with down-time, etc. for moderate acne scarring, would improve your scars by 70 to 80%.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Dec
2001

Q&A: What would be the most cost effective way to remove wrinkles and laugh lines on my face?

Question:

i turned 40 this year and have noticed the wrinkles around my eyes and my laugh lines are getting more noticeable, i'm wanting to do something about this soon to avoid furter signs of aging. i don't have alot of money to spend ,so i'm wondering what would be the most effective, i'm thinking maybe, chemical peel, dermabrasion, or laser resurfacing. i have alot of sun damage to my face, freckles and scaring from acne, not too survere, but noticeable,please let me know what would be the best opotion for the less money, or what these procedores cost. thank you.

- karen

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

Mild chemical peels and cosmeceutical creams are the least expensive options and go a long way to improving the texture and tone of sun damaged skin. You can find options that would work well for your skin by visiting www.skinfo.com and clicking on the skin wizard which will guide you through 3 simple questions and design a skin care program for you. There you can also find my personal favorite around the eye cream called Polyhydroxy Eye Cream. I also like Beta-Lift Peels, which most dermatologists can offer you for a fairly low fee, say around $100 each, but assume you'll need at least 3 of these. Laser resurfacing is one of the most expensive options, costing in the thousands, ditto for dermabrasion. You could try microdermabrasion which might help overall, too, and is less expensive, but adds up since you need so many treatments (often more than 6), I hope this helps!

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Dec
2001

Q&A: What treatments are there to remove dark pigment scars resulting from past acne on my back?

Question:

My questions regards bad achne scars. I have had bad achne problems through out my teenage years and now it has somewhat scared my back with dark pigments that's obvious when i take off my shirts. Its very embarassing around friends and I would like to know if there are any treatment of resolving it. Lazer treatment ?? Its an embarrassing fact and i can't seem to find someone to ask these personal problems. Where should i start looking and who can help me? Thank you much for your time...

- Jon

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

There are a few potential treatments: microdermabrasion, mild chemical peels, and laser treatments. I would start by seeing a dermatologist who is affiliated with the American Society of Dermatological Surgery by going to www.asds-net.org and seeing if you can locate someone in your area by clicking on where it says "find a dermatologic surgeon". These are dermatologists who are more oriented towards cosmetic problems and hopefully can find a solution for you. Good Luck!

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: What happened if my last microdermabrasion left me in pain, with large red peeling areas, and some bleeding?

Question:

I have been having micro dermabrasion done for several years, with no problems,but the last one was very painful and left me for several days with large peeling red areas with a small amount of bleeding in spots can you tell me what went wrong, the person that did it was filling in for someone who was out sick but it was done in a reputable plastic surgeons office.

- Antoinette

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

They went a little too deeply and too aggressively with either crystal flow or suction. I would let things heal for a few weeks. I would suggest that the microdermabrasion be done no more often than once per month for maintenance.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Nov
2001

Q&A: Would chemical peel be recommended to remove my patches of red acne scars?

Question:

I am 18 years old and have dealt with mild acne since i was 13. My skin has scarring and i would like to know if a chemical peel would be recommeded. I have little to no acne now, and would like to rid my face of the red scar patches. Is a peel worth it?

- Jennifer

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

You call them red scar patches. Does this mean they are mainly red, or red and indented. The redness makes me think you may be a candidate for a procedure called photorejuvenation, a new treatment for rosacea and sun damage. If there is red in the scar this procedure will help to remove it, plus stimulate the skin underneath to grow new collagen. Find a practitioner in your area or more about this at www.aslms.org or photorejuvenation.com or at esc-med.com. Microdermabrasion can help smooth out superficial scars (indents) but needs to be performed multiple times. Similarly, mild chemical peels would need to be done in a series. Neither peels nor microdermabrasion will help with redness.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Oct
2001

Q&A: What is the best way to get rid of acne scars and now hair on my face?

Question:

I have a couple of questions wrapped into one. When I was younger, I had pretty severe acne which left me with many scars on my face. Some of them are purplish, and others are what look like little "pits". Although they've faded quite a bit, I still find them hard to look at in the mirror each morning. What is my best bet to get rid of them? Also, I've noticed that I've been developing more facial hair (which I find disgusting) and it's to the point that I can't handle plucking and waxing anymore. I've heard of laser hair removal-what is this exactly? Is it painful? Is there any kind of miracle treatment that will cure me of my scars AND hair? If not, which should I try to clear up first? Approximately how expensive are the treatments? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

- Stephanie

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

3 of the best choices for the acne scars would be laser resurfacing with either a carbon dioxide or an erbium yag laser, surgically removing the scars and then having a more superficial laser such as photorejuvenation, mild peels or microdermabrasion, or having treatments with the Cool Touch Laser. You need to find a laser specialist and aesthetic dermatologist. I would go to the American Society for Laser Surgery and Medicine website www.aslms.com and they have listing of their members in all geographic locations. Your hair, if dark, would best be removed by a laser as well (unfortunately a different one than we use for scars). The most expensive option is laser resuracing which would probably run more than $2500 for a full face. Most of these solutions for scarring will probably run into the $1000 range. But it would be better to consult with an experienced aesthetic dermatologist and laser surgeon to determine what it best for you. Good luck!

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: How can I get rid of two dark spots on my cheeks that came from the use of an acne medicine called Dernovat?

Question:

a dermatologist proscribed me a creme called Dernovat for my acne. after use of this creme I have 2 dark spots on my sheeks ever since(almost 10 years now) how can I get ride of them?

- shukri

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

I am not familiar with the cream you name. Assuming that you had a reaction to them and developed some type of hyperpigmentation, I would attempt to use a hydroquinone containing cream (preferably a 4% hydroquinone prescription cream such as Lustra) or an OTC version (such as Bleaching cream or gel on the skinfo.com website) as well as a retinol containing cream (again such as Afirm on the skinfo.com website) and even consider some mild chemical peels or microdermabrasion. Even though they have been there for a long time, interventions such as these may help. If these do not help, find an experienced laser surgeon who may be able to help you by going to www.aslms.org and searching for a practitioner in your area.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Oct
2001

Q&A: What can I do to smooth out acne scars from bad acne when I was younger?

Question:

When I was younger I had pretty bad acne. Now I have deep and numerous pores. Is there anything I can do to smooth them out?

- Ken

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

There are a number of things you could do for enlarged appearing pores or acne scars. You could consider a microdermabrasion treatment, a very gentle "sanding" of the topmost layer of the skin. This helps the skin to smooth out over the course of a number of treatments. You could consider a few "Beta-Lift" peels, which place salicylic acid in the pores to exfoliate them and allow them to shrink. You could also start on a skin care regimen such as with a retinoid (like Retin-A or Differin- both are prescription) or you could try an overy-the counter version of retinol (such as Afirm 2X available at my website, www.skinfo.com) or a combination with an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser. Or let the skinwizard tell you what to do at www.skinfo.com- click on the skinwizard and answer 3 questions (your skin care goal would be "toning") and it will guide your selection of a skin care regimen for your individual needs.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Sep
2001

Q&A: What should I expect from dermabrasion on a scar from surgery under my left eye?

Question:

On july 10th I had moh's surgery under my left eye, it was quite extensive and I've been left w/ a diagonal scar under my left eye beginning 1/4 of an inch under my tear duct and going towards my left ear. The scar is approximately 2 inches in length and I am having dermabrasion on the 19 of Sept. I would like to know what to expect, will I be in any discomfort, will it swell, and how long does it generally take to heal. Thank you for your time. I have visited a website on dermabraision and did get some information but I guess I feel I just need a little more positive thoughts. Thanks again.

- margaret

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Margaret, I understand that you will be having dermabrasion on this scar. If the scar is narrow and not too depressed, this may help a little. In that area, dermabrasion is not the best treatment since the lower eyelid skin is very thin and fragile and does not lend itself well to mechanical abrasion. I would suggest that you visit with a plastic surgeon in order to explore the possibility of either scar revision if the scar is wide or thick and, if optimal from that viewpoint, laser resurfacing so that an adequate depth of resurfacing can be performed without danger to this very thin skin or your eye.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Sep
2001

Q&A: Is there a non-surgical option to remove stretch marks?

Question:

I was looking for information on stretch marks and how to get rid of them. I'm looking into an oitment called stretch away, does it really work? Is there a safe effective non-surgical way to get rid of stretch marks? Also if this product is somewhat effective where can I purchase it?

- Sandra

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

Stretch marks are notoriously difficult to get rid of. They are almost like a Slinky that has been decoiled, or like a rip in the lining of a pair of pants. The only thing that can be done is to attempt to stimulate the body to make new connective tissue (collagen and elastin) and there are many things which claim to do this, but very few are proven. The most scientifically proven ingredients for new collagen production are retinoids (such as Retin-A) and alpha-hydroxy acids. You could purchase products in these families on the website at www.skinfo.com (Afirm 2X is a retinol and Soft and Smooth Body Lotion is an alpha-hydroxy acid moisturizer). Expect modest improvements that take a long time (months). Other treatments to consider would be laser and microdermabrasion.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois