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Preparing for Dermabrasion

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Where do I start... I'll be having dermabrasion in early December, and punch elevation a month before that. I have 2 more weeks of Accutane (3 months total @ 80 mg/day). I need some suggestions on type of products or vitamins, oral or topical, to use from now until a day before dermabrasion, perhaps even after dermabrasion to accelerate healing. So far I know that Retin-A is a proven method for re-epithelialization following dermabrasion. I've included an article below which states some of the changes that Retin-A imposes unto and into the skin.

Then there are Copper Peptides, Amino-Plex spray, Emu/Mineral oil, Aloe Vera Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid, bleaching agents such as hydroquinone (Eldoquin Forte, Melanex, Solaquin) and kojic acid, Intense gel, salicylic acids and vitamin C solutions or cream, etc... Other than the Retin-A, which I will certainly be using, which of these other products, mentioned or not, may compliment or enhance the dermabrasion, both before and after the procedure? Also, of the three Retin-A strengths, 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1%, which would be most beneficial, the highest? I understand that the gel absorbs better than the cream. Is this true?


"The therapeutic effects of topical Retin-A on skin have been recognized for at least the past 35 years. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin known as Retinol; derivatives of this, including Retin-A, are known as the retinoids. Retinol is available in our diet as the vitamin itself or as precursors known as the carotenes, Beta-carotene (found in carrots) being the most popular example. These vitamins are absorbed through the intestines and stored in the liver. Retinol is the actual protein in the cells of the retina that react to light, and Vitamin A has been used for over 3000 years to treat visual disturbances, especially night blindness. Vitamin A also maintains specialized epithelial surfaces such as the mucous membranes, skin, the intestinal lining, and other organs. More recently, Retinols have been discovered to play a role in the development of tissues and organs, tumor growth suppression, and the immune system. Retin-A has been used for acne treatment since the late 1960's, triggering the revolution in non-surgical treatment and rejuvenation of the skin. Available in creams or gels in different strengths, Retin-A produces a mild superficial peel of the epidermis and affects not only the surface (epidermis) but also deeper layer of the skin (dermis). In the epidermis it affects the dispersion and depletion of melanin, as well as thickens and strengthens the actual tissue. At the dermal layer, it activates collagen-producing cells, increases blood vessel development and nutrition, and causes cells to divide faster. FDA approved for use on photodamaged skin in the late 1970's, Retin-A stimulates repair, cell division, and collagen thickening, and decreases clogged pores. It improves acne, lightens spots, and smoothes wrinkles. Minimal side effects include temporary peeling, redness and sun sensitivity, requiring that Retin-A be used in conjunction with a sunscreen. In the 1980's, Retin-A became a part of other cosmetic procedures such as peels and dermabrasion. Later, as we learned more about the benefits of Retin-A, physicians began to incorporate it into aggressive skin treatment protocols that provide for very safe and predictable skin rejuvenation. Often, the goal is a careful combination of three products; Retin-A, hydroquinone, and glycolics in a very specific physician-supervised program. The program can improve pigmentation, smooth wrinkles and prepare the skin for cosmetic surgery, accelerate the healing after surgery, and accelerate their effect of bleaching creams."

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I would ask Dr. Y what he suggests you use. He is the expert on this.

Have you ever used retin-a? You will most likely experience an initial break-out that could possibly cause more scarring.I'm not sure if you want to purge your skin right now.

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falnhart, You really should ask your doctor what to use! He/she may want you to "prep" with a retinol or something a few months before. Just set up a consult and bring a list of questions; they always make some time in their schedule for you in those.

Copper Peptides may help out a little as far as reepithelization. At least I read some study that "proved" it can help. Vitamins rarely do anything for anyone, IMHO, unless you have a deficiency due to poor diet or disease. Most of the other garbage people put on their face just blocks pores and irritates the skin. Not that it's always a bad thing. Are you using something like the regimen btw? It works quite well, and it would probably be nice to have clear skin for the doc to grind on. I have read many times that The Retin-a gel does penetrate more than the cream also. (Same as Tazorac, which I use the 0.05% cream version of)

This is probably a bit off the beaten path for a “treatment�, but there are some pillows that might be wise to grab, unless you always sleep on your back. I bought one from http://www.facesaverpillow.com and another from http://www.contourliving.com/Scripts/prodV...sp?idproduct=37. They both work very well. There is another one http://www.savemyface.com but it is way overpriced. I sleep on my side usually and I got it to help save my Restylane and also to help with acne.

It would be awesome to see some before/afters, since the only time people can usually see those are the versions that docs want to show you. (I.E. the pics that look the best) You can easily photoshop out the eyes and nose like I did with mine. (oldguy = coward) heh

Best of luck with all of it!

P.S. I’m glad I refreshed the page before adding this novel. About what emmanuel just said about initial break-out: 2 different derms at 2 different times had me use Retin-a for months, and the results were disastrous! I broke out badly and it never improved even after months of sticking with it. Retin-a totally blows in my book.

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Definitely Vitamin C orally.

I'd probably go with Amino-Plex afterward.

I don't think you would, but just a reminder not to use anything harsh on your face while on Accutane. I am sure you probably already know this though. smile.gif

Lots of water to keep yourself hydrated and nourish yourself as best as you can by eating proteins, fruits and veggies.

I absolutely agree that you should consult your Dr. about this.

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Yes, Tamara is right! I forgot about the diet--so important IMO. Lots of fruits and veggies. Eat a green salad daily. Just try to eat really healthy-- no processed or junk food. It will help make you healthy for the surgery, not to mention provide you with vitamins in their best form.

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Thanks for the input everyone. Having been on Accutane for the past 10 weeks, and having gone through the "initial breakout" phase, do you think Retin-A will cause another breakout, since Accutane has already surfaced the few acne I had, shrunk the oil glands, and is an oral equivalent, although stronger, to Retin-A?

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Hiya Falnhart,

I read somewhere that Retin-A is good to use to prep the skin up before dermabrasion and it was said that it helps the skin heal faster.. Hmm, I will try to find that link for you.. I read about it two weeks prior to my dermabrasion and I just used it for two night then stopped because I started breaking out and I really didn't want to be breaking out still on the day of my dermabrasion..

Yeah, as Emmanuel said, just eat healthy.. drink plenty of water.. I also started taking 1000 mg of Vit. C, 50 mg of Zinc, and 100 mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid everyday for two weeks prior to my dermabrasion and I'm still taking it now (13 days post-op).. I plan on taking it for at least another 2 weeks.. When I had the consultation with Dr. Y, I told him what I was taking and he said that it was good smile.gif I think it really helped me to heal fast.. but of course, I haven't tried having dermabrasion without taking those vitamins so I have nothing to compare it to.. hehe..

Here's some of what it does.. I got this directly from the bottle.. tee~hee..

Vit C.- "provides protection for healthy cells and body systems..vital to production of collagen"

ALA- "helps neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. Free radicals contribute to oxidative stress, which plays a role in the premature aging of cells"

Zinc- "helps the immune system and is essential for cell division and growth"


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falnhart- i didnt know one could have a scar treatment so soon after stopping accutane, i thought u had to wait a year or so? im confused..hope everyone is having a good day! tongue.gif

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Just wanted to add my 2 cents since I'm bored at work. I have been on Retin-A micro for about 3 weeks now, and haven't had any breakout from it. Of course, this might change..I hope not. So, it doesn't cause breakouts for everyone. I followed my dermatologists advice to a T though. I started using the Retin-A every 3 days, then switched to every other day, and just started using every day beginning last Sunday. I'm not sure of the concentration I am on, but will check when I get home.

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