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All the other posts had such great information and advice. I know while I was researching dermabrasion, I had a lot to read through. So this is a cheat sheet for dermabrasion with Dr. Y. Any additional advice from those who have had it done would be greatly appreciated:

- These are pointers and advicefrom various posters such as Leopard, John_Sydney, Sword, Poe, Love, Portlandboy, Wildcard, and others who have detailed their experience.

Dermabrasion:

The outer layers of skin are carefully cut away with a rapidly spinning disk moved over the treatment area. The remaining tissue builds a scab, which remains for about a week as new skin grows. When the scab comes off, the skin is healed but very pink. Infection and excessive bleeding are rare and easily controlled. Discoloration and swelling may occur for several months while the skin fully heals. To balance and blend skin colors, a hypoallergenic makeup is usually recommended. Occasionally, small white bumps may develop, but these are temporary.

Meds for the surgery:

ACYCLOVIR 400MG (GENERIC FOR ZOVIRAX) - 30 TABLETS - COMBATS/PREVENTS OUTBREAK OF COLD SORES - TAKE 1 TABLET BY MOUTH THREE TIMES A DAY STARTING 2 DAYS PRIOR TO SURGERY.

MEDROL 4MG DOESPAK - (NOT SUITABLE FOR GENERIC) - REDUCES SWELLING - 21 TABLETS - BEGIN TAKING MORNING OF SURGERY. INSTRUCTIONS ARE RIGHT ON THE DOES PACK (TAKE 2 BEFORE BREAKFAST, 1 AFTER LUNCH, ETC... ) YOU USE LESS AND LESS AS THE DAYS GO BY, AND ON DAY 6 IS YOUR LAST DOSE.

FLURAZEPAM 30MG - (GENERIC FOR DALMANE) - 10 TABLETS - TAKE 1 CAPSULE BY MOUTH IF NEEDED FOR SLEEP.

Procedure with Dr. Y

Dr. Y only does the surgery on Mon and Tues. The following three days require dressing changes so you have to stay at least 3 days after the procedure. For people coming from overseas, it is suggested to stay up to two weeks to make sure any problems can be treated. In addition, it's best to have your own dermatologist in your home country to monitor conditions when you return home. I assume it is the same for people coming out of state in the US.

He does punch floats for ice-pick scarring that is up to 4mm in diameter. This is done approx 3 weeks prior to dermabrasion.

Step by step:

- Shot in hip with demerol to relax you

- Valium under tongue (is this mandatory?)

- Ice your face

- Apply light TCA peel under eyes to blend demarcation lines

- Sprays topical anasthetic on skin

- Abrasion begins.

- After this, the nurse will cleanse your skin and put the dressing on

Go back to Dr. Y three days in a row to have dressing changed.

Make up can be worn after 10 days to 2 wks.

Make-up

- MAC green colour corrector mixed with sunscreen has been recommended on this post, as has derma-blend make-up.

Post-surgery:

- Breakouts (milia) may/may not occur with some ppl (they form due to the Vaseline that is used in the beginning).

- Sleep a lot

- Face will be very swollen

- Scars will look great, until the 3rd week mark when swelling goes down and some scarring returns

- Cannot eat solid food through the mask for first three days. Advice - stock up on juice, yoghurt, liquids.

Getting around NO:

United Cabs - (504) 522-9771

- It’s a $28.oo flat rate to or from the airport with any cab company

Vitamins and Supplements:

advice from poster:- I took vit. C and 50mg Zinc , before hand every day. Right after surgery you can begin taking ANYTHING YOU WANT. I take 1,000 mg of Vit. E, 50 mg Zinc, Grapeseed extract(antioxident), Vit. C (very important for collagen), Vit. A., and Ester-C ( also for collagen support).

Zinc and Vit. C are the most important before and after to help with healing and rebuilding new cells

Vit. E is an anticoagulant (like aspirin), so that is why it should be avoided before surgery.

Asian Skin

- More susceptible to hyperpigmentations and redness, a cream called Tri-luma (hydroquinone) can be prescribed for the hyperpigmentation.

Risks:

From speaking to Dr. Y, he outlined the 2 main risks are infections and additional scarring. Though the additional scarring is rare and can be diagnosed when there is splotchy pinkness where a scar is trying to form. He treats it using tape with cortisone on it.

Infections are rare, for him in about 1000 treatments, it only occured 2 or 3 times and those times were due to ppl being stupid,ie. putting makeup on after 3 days on bloody skin, etc.

Sub-dermal Tunneling - This sounds a little scary. Formed by cysts that never came to the surface but did damage under the skin, apparently abrading over the skin with these 'tunnels' may lead to further scarring.

Please correct me if I am wrong on the above, it is mainly from what I have understood from reading posts.

Anyone else with further advice?

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Queenie--thanks so much for compiling all of the great information in such succinct form. The few tweaks I would make are the following:

You never actually form a scab after the dermabrasion, because the abraded skin is kept moist either with vigilon gel pads and/or vaseline until the skin heals (this moist occlusion takes the place of the scab).

The topical anaesthetic that he spays on is not properly speaking an anaesthetic, but rather a freezing spray (frigiderm), that temporarily freezes the skin to make the skin more firm and to preserve the contours of the scarring when it is stretched for the abrasion. However, it does have an anaesthetic effect as it is cold enough to numb the skin.

One other risk is the possibility of pigmentation problems (more common in Asian and Latin/Mediterranean skin than in very pale or very dark skin)

Finally, in addition to the cab company, there's also an airport shuttle that will take you to your hotel and back from it to the airport for a round trip of (I think) $26.00.

Thanks again for this helpful post.

--leopolda (or "leopard" as you called me ---raarrr!! =)

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One other risk is the possibility of pigmentation problems (more common in Asian and Latin/Mediterranean skin than in very pale or very dark skin)

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Post-surgery:

- Breakouts (milia) may/may not occur with some ppl (they form due to the Vaseline that is used in the beginning).

- Sleep a lot

- Face will be very swollen

- Scars will look great, until the 3rd week mark when swelling goes down and some scarring returns

- Cannot eat solid food through the mask for first three days. Advice - stock up on juice, yoghurt, liquids.

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I didn't have milia either. Keep in mind to bring along shaving foam to clean your face with (Dr. recommends Colgate brand - REGULAR shave foam). The Dr.'s office provides plenty of gauze pads. I'd also recommend bringing a tube of vaseline (white petrolatum) so that you don't have to go to the drug store after the procedure to purchase some.

I ate scrambled eggs/bacon/biscuit and juice each day. Like Annabell I just cleaned up a couple of small areas around the mouth. Don't suffer on an all liquid diet, there's no need to!

Lots of luck to y'all undergoing the procedure!

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I think I can add to this that the second one is far easier than the first! Less in terms of worry, redness, breakouts everything.

By the way Queenie that is a very comprehensive and helpful list.

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Thanks for the additional advice (and sorry to leopolda for getting your name wrong! I was writing down the names from memory...)

I will be undergoing the surgery on April 26 so have gone through most of the pages on dermabrasion and basically cut and paste advice and tips into a document.

Thanks again to all those ppl who have had dermabrasion and have been back to tell us of your experiences and advice. It is definitely much appreciated.

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I'm eight days post, and here are my two cents:

1. You definitely can eat solid food with the dressing on, but I thought it was difficult and it felt gross. I didn't like the feeling of the food touching my raw skin or the edges of the mask. Also, the vigilon dressing inside the bandages is moist, and I thought it felt DISGUSTING eusa_sick.gif when eating, kind of like slime rubbing against my skin as I chewed-- so much so that after doing it once, I stuck to sucking smoothies and soup through straws (say that three times fast razz.gif ). So, my advice is, just in case the feeling bothers you as much as it did me, stock up on soup, fruit and stuff to make smoothies with, and straws. Or, maybe I'm just a big wuss. redface.gif

2. DO NOT TRY TO POP THE ZITS!!! eusa_naughty.gif I had one on my cheek that was really tender and looked easy to get rid of. I tried to squeeze it, pretty gently, and not only did it not work, but I ended up with a blood red mark about an inch by 1/2 inch. shock.gif At this point, all my new skin had come in so the color of the rest of my face was pinkish. Where I squeezed, it looked like I had burst a whole mess of blood vessels or something. It scared the crap out of me! I was so worried I'd scarred myself, but thankfully I had a follow-up that day, and Dr. Y said it would heal ok, and he injected it with cortisone and gave me an anti-inflammatory cream to put on it 4 times a day. I'm still not completely convinced, though, that I didn't cause permanent damage. So, no matter how tempting it is, or how much the little suckers hurt, resist the temptation!

Hope this helps.

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I have United Healthcare Insurance...they do not cover dermabrasion for acne scarring because it is considered "cosmetic" and unnecessary. They will cover dermabrasion for removal of skin cancer if other methods haven't worked. And yes, it is outpatient.

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Dr. Y's office does not even bill the insurance.  They won't do it as they consider it to be non-medical necessity.  Other doctors will try billing the insurance though, in my experience.

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When I had my Erbium-CO2 laser resurfacing I had to take Zovirax 2 times a day for five days. The first two days were ok, but then I got a major swelling on my eyes. I didn't have swelling right after the treatment but as I read that this could happen, I thought that by swelling was because of the laser. But then, on the third day I started getting little red spots on my legs and stomach, kind of like chicken pox. Some of them got infected and got relly big, i mean realllly big, and red, when I scratched them (sorry) and the scabs came off there was a lot of pus in them. So finally I called my doctor and said what was going on. As it was already the fifth day I stopped taking Zovirax anyway. Next day my doctor prescribed me some allergy medicines and antibiotics. She said I was allergic to Zovirax. The swelling subsided the same day, but I still have a few spots on my body and a lot of marks left by them (it's been two weeks). I have been taking antibiotics for the spots now for 10 days (before I took another antibiotic to protect the new skin) and applying an antibiotic ointment on them, too.

So if you're allergic be sure to let your doctor know about it and when you notice some symptoms consult him immediately. I think it is quite rare to have an allergic reaction like that, but still.

I am very happy though that I didn't get the spots on my face.

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