Dermabrasion is a cosmetic medical procedure in which the surface of the skin is removed by abrasion (sanding). It is used to remove sun-damaged skin and to remove or lessen scars and dark spots on the skin. The procedure is very painful and usually requires a general anaesthetic or twilight anaesthesia, in which the patient is still partly conscious Afterward, the skin is very red and raw-looking, and it takes several months for the skin to regrow and heal. Dermabrasion is useful for scar removal when the scar is raised above the surrounding skin, but is less effective with sunken scars.
In the past, dermabrasion was done using a small, sterilized, electric chair. In the past decade, it has become more common to use a CO2 or Erbium:YAG laser. Laser dermabrasion is much easier to control, much easier to gauge, and is practically bloodless compared to classic dermabrasion.
Fractional Laser resurfacing is a procedure which wounds the skin using microscopic pulses of light to wound the skin. Over the course of several treatments scars are softened as the body regenerates the areas of microthermal wounding. Several lasers are now on the market such as the Fraxel Laser, Affirm Laser, and Pixel Laser.
Laser resurfacing is a technique used during laser surgery wherein molecular bonds of a material are dissolved by a laser.
Chemical peels improves and smooths the texture of the facial skin using a chemical solution that causes the skin to blister and eventually peel off. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled and scarred than the old skin.
Subcision is a process used to treat deep rolling scars left behind by acne or other skin diseases. Essentially the process involves separating the skin tissue in the affected area from the deeper scar tissue. This allows the blood to pool under the affected area, eventually causing the deep rolling scar to level off with the rest of the skin area. Once the skin has leveled, treatments such as laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion or chemical peels can be used to smooth out the scarred tissue.