31 January 2014 (online)
For many patients, sun damage, trauma, prior cutaneous carcinomas, and aging have created a less than optimal skin appearance. There are currently multiple forms of ablative therapy to correct such concerns. Dermabrasion is a form of resurfacing that mechanically alters the skin at the level of the dermis, to promote collagen remodeling and re-epithelialization. Facial skin has a rich vascular and adnexal network, allowing the rapid healing of controlled damage because blood, macronutrients, and oxygen are readily available. Sebaceous glands and hair follicles are important in the regeneration process of the dermis. Dermabrasion can be taken down layer by layer to remove the proper level of skin, so that the desired effect is obtained. By completely removing the epidermis and penetrating into the reticular and papillary dermis, controlled damage is obtained and remodeling of the skin's structural proteins, into a more organized manner, occurs during the healing process. This abrasion technique leads to clinically significant improvements in skin structure, quality, and appearance.