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Are you embarrassed by scars or wrinkles? A lot of people are trying to look years younger – apparently 40 years old is the new 30 years old. With plastic surgery being so common for older men and women, it is not surprising that dermabrasion (skin refinement) is so popular today.

Dermabrasion is a form of plastic surgery that is meant to refinish skin and give it a smoother, fresher look. This procedure is most often used to treat skin that has been left pitted and scared after severe bouts of acne but the procedure can also be used to treat wrinkles, scars, pre-cancerous growths and it has even been used to for tattoo removal.

The severity of the procedure will depend on the severity of the problem. Some dermabrasion treatments can be done under a local anesthetic on an outpatient basis, while others require that a general anesthetic be used. In the latter case the patient is usually required to remain overnight in the hospital.

Usually the dermabrasion procedure lasts about an hour and a half, but for patients who have severe scars covering a large area the procedure may take longer.

Generally the first step in the dermabrasion procedure requires that the patient go in for a consultation with a plastic surgeon. After the patient goes in for this consultation a surgery date is usually set. The surgery usually takes place at a hospital, surgical center or at an office facility.

During the surgery the surgeon uses a hand-held tool affixed with a rough, rotating head to sand down the areas where the skin appears damaged or scarred. The first few layers of skin are removed in this fashion to eventually facilitate the growth of a new, smoother layer of skin.

After dermabrasion surgery the skin typically appears red and swollen. Most surgeons will prescribe ointment to reduce scabbing and pain medication to eliminate discomfort.

Because dermabrasion involves the removal of layers of skin, the recovery process can seem prolonged. Any scabbing may heal after about 10 ten days, but often the skin needs a few months to completely heal and repigment itself after the procedure.

People who choose to undergo this procedure are often reminded to refrain from shaving, tanning, swimming, drinking alcohol and playing contact sports for a few months until they have completely healed.