Some people have skin with a rough texture with some pitting as a result of acne scarring or scarring from previous soft tissue trauma. These textural problems and visible scarring can be satisfactorily improved with a technique called dermabrasion. Deep wrinkles are also very nicely treated with this deeper resurfacing technique, as the wrinkles come from the deepest collagen layers of the skin. These wrinkles are improved, often dramatically, with dermabrasion.

Dermabrasion is similar to smoothing the surface of a piece of fine furniture or wood; however, a scratch in wood can be sanded all the way to a deeper level of the wood and the scratch is removed, but this is not true for the skin. Acne scarring, for example, comes from the deepest layer of the dermis and, sanding all the way through this layer would create scarring in itself. Dermabrasion basically refinishes the top layers of the skin through controlled scraping or mechanical abrasion to allow the collagen to reorient into a tighter, smoother appearance. New skin is healed over this and the scars, although still present, are much less visible. This procedure can be performed alone or in conjunction with other facial plastic surgery.

Dermabrasion is a surgical preparation technique where abrasion is performed to reveal the dermal layer of the skin – which sits between the epidermis (top layer) and deeper subcutaneous tissues. It can also be ideal for removing wrinkles on the lips and around the mouth.  Often, Dr. Perkins performs a “perioral” (area around the mouth) dermabrasion at the same time as a facelift to correct these wrinkles. 

Women will complain to Dr. Perkins that their lipstick “bleeds” into the vertical lines around their mouth. Dermabrasion is a preferential treatment for the upper and lower lip vermillion wrinkles to minimize their visibility and lipstick bleeding. No other technique, either chemical peel or laser resurfacing, is as effective as dermabrasion.

Dermabrasion is used on top of and in conjunction with laser resurfacing where a deeper layer of treatment is indicated. Dr. Perkins commonly performs CO2/Erbium laser resurfacing for fine and medium wrinkling of the upper and lower lips. Dermabrasion is usually required for the deeper etched lines of the upper and lower lip vermilion and perioral region.