Lasers vs dermabrasion (what to expect)
I had dermabrasion 1994 and lasers 2006, 2014. Dermabrasion requires a very skilled surgeon. Think about it: it is a rotating wire brush so you want a good doc who can vary depth in areas. I was put to sleep before procedure. You wake up with a face that looks like strawberry jello because of the bacitracin ointment to help with healing and minimize scaring. Healing takes time but any procedure going deep takes time. From what I remember: you look hideous and sitting up you have to hold a paper towel under your chin because you drip. That bloody goo also gets on your pillowcase. I remembered all I wanted to do was sleep. I did not want to look in the mirror. But then with cystic acne it was the same. Constant application with bacitracin until the wet scabbing finished. I think I could cover with makeup after 2 weeks because I have never had more than 2 weeks vacation. I think I did dermabrasion over the TG holidays to add days off to vacation time. When my caregiver brought me home. I scared her three year old— you will look that bad. Very visible difference in skin surface. Worth it if your scarring is deeper in some areas. Lasers - I went deep with anesthesia. You wake up with a very bad sunburn, your face feels tight and looks reddish brown. Prior to procedure docs want you to prep with a regimen to include retin A which helps skin cell turnover to help you heal faster after. My regimen was Obaji which also helped bleach skin discoloration. After procedure you use a prescribed lidocaine ointment (BioKool) to help with pain and a moisturizer which you gently put on really thick while the burned skin crusts under the moisturizer. After three days you can shower and use a water-vinegar mix to clean and disinfect from a spray bottle, then the moisturizer again. The gentle shower pressure helps remove dead skin. You will start itching. You will see what looks like whiteheads: LEAVE THEM ALONE. Keep your hands off your face unless you are applying something. Entire process before you can use makeup and sunscreen to cover redness takes about 10 days. I saw more of a difference with dermabrasion because not all areas are treated equally as with lasers. The laser used the second time was the grid type which initially leaves a grid of “dots” on your face. This fades in a few days. I think this is the Fraxel laser. The ideas is to pull up the depressed areas when the “injured” lasered dots cause increased collagen production and pull up depressed-scarred areas around it. Recommended surgeon in Dallas is George Toledo. One plastic surgeon said the docs who invest in those laser machines encourage their use because they paid for them. Dermabrasion requires a skilled doc and is much messier with the bloody goo. If you are going to go through with either procedure might as well go deep and use anesthesia make it worth the time off and the money. Good luck.