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Dermabrasion has been used for decades to “refinish” and refresh the skin. It is a minimally invasive surgical process that removes several layers of the skin, and can treat deeper scars, lines, and wrinkles when compared to other methods of skin resurfacing. It is also used to remove pre-cancerous lesions, tattoos, and pigmentation.

What is dermabrasion?

Sometimes called “facial sanding,” dermabrasion makes your skin smoother and can improve scars (including acne scars), fine lines and wrinkles (especially around the mouth), dark spots, sun damage, rhinophyma, and actinic keratosis. The procedure can be performed on your entire face, or on specific areas.

Dermabrasion Palo Alto

How am I prepared for the treatment?

Prior to the procedure, we will apply an anesthetic and/or ice for about 30 minutes to numb your skin. If you prefer and, depending on the extent of the treatment, the area will be numbed. Our goal is always to have you be as comfortable as possible during any type of treatment.

Elbert & Jacqueline Cheng MD A family of Surgeons

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What is the recovery period?

After the procedure, we will give you instructions for changing the dressings and cleansing. You will also be given ointments to speed healing and soothe the skin.

You will probably experience some redness, swelling, itching, burning, tingling, and crusting of the skin. Non-prescription medication can be taken to ease the discomfort as you heal.


Most patients return to work and other activities in about two weeks. Swimming and active sports can be resumed in about a month. You can use makeup again when new skin covers the treated areas. Your skin will be much smoother, but it might have a pinkish tone for a few months as you fully recover.

What is dermabrasion?

Sometimes called “facial sanding,” dermabrasion makes your skin smoother and can improve scars (including acne scars), fine lines and wrinkles (especially around the mouth), dark spots, sun damage, rhinophyma, and actinic keratosis. The procedure can be performed on your entire face, or on specific areas.

Dermabrasion Palo Alto

Are there any precautions I should take as I heal?

As you heal, your skin will be more vulnerable to sunburn. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is recommended, since it will shield your skin from the direct rays of the sun. A sunscreen of SPF 30 or more should also be worn when outdoors. Although a hat will protect you face from the direct, overhead rays of the sun, you will still be susceptible to the reflective rays that bounce off sidewalks, cars, and other parts of the environment. In general, it would be good to avoid sunlight as best you can until after the pinkish color has faded.

FAQ

What is rhinophyma?

Rhinophyma is a disorder of the skin that causes the nose to become red, enlarged, and bulbous; rhino, from the Latin, meaning nose, and phyma, from the Greek, a small nodule or rounded tumor. Dermabrasion can eradicate the surface appearance of rhinophyma, allowing healthy skin underneath to take its place.

What is actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a scaly or rough patch on the skin from overexposure to the sun; actinic refers to a chemical reaction from radiant energy, and keratosis, skin bumps. With dermabrasion, our providers gently remove the unwanted appearance of actinic keratosis.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with dermabrasion?

As with virtually any surgical procedure, there will be some redness and swelling at the site of the treatment area. Following Dr. Cheng’s guidelines for post-procedure healing will ensure your risk of infection or complications will be substantially lowered. Both will begin to decrease within a few days to a week after the procedure.

Will I need more than one treatment?

More than one treatment might be required, depending on the extent of the treatment area. Your doctor will discuss this with you during your consultation, so you completely understand the rationale and can prepare, logistically, for the complete treatment program, since total healing can take as much as six to twelve months. This is the time it could take for the pigment to completely return to your skin rather than the fading away of the pinkish color from the procedure.

Dermabrasion Palo Alto

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Practice Policy Update from Cheng Plastic Surgery Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Monday, January 4, 2021:

We are open!

We cannot wait to see all of our amazing patients in our office! We are currently working with a more limited schedule than before, so please be patient as we navigate through this, together.

There are a few key changes we’ve made to our appointment protocol to ensure we are maintaining social distancing and following strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols - for you AND for us.

  1. Call our office from your car once you’ve arrived for your appointment. A staff member will come out to greet you, take your temperature and conduct a short COVID-19 health screening to make sure you are in good health prior to entering the building. Our doors will remain locked during normal business hours to ensure only those who have been screened can enter.
  2. Please arrive at your appointment wearing a mask or protective face covering. We will not be able to bring you inside the office without one.
  3. We will not have more than one patient in the lobby at a time.
  4. You will be greeted by Dr. Elbert or Dr. Jacqueline wearing their Personal Protective Equipment deemed necessary by your specific treatment. (N95 mask, gloves, face shield or protective eyewear, etc.) We ask that you leave your mask on during the procedure, and only take it off if necessary to complete the treatment.
  5. All necessary transactions will be done in the room your treatment is being performed. This will avoid unnecessary back ups in the lobby.
  6. You will then be walked out through the back door of the office. This is the best way to keep all staff and patients socially distanced while maintaining one steady flow of traffic throughout the building.

And of course, all rooms will be heavily disinfected immediately after you leave just as we have always done prior to the pandemic. Each room is equipped with an air filter as an added safety measure. We will place a major focus on high-contact areas such as chairs, doorknobs, counter tops, mirrors and more.

We are still continuing to conduct Virtual Consultations if you prefer a quicker and no-contact experience.

Virtual Consultation

For the safety of our patients and staff, we ask that you reschedule your appointment and do not enter our office with any of the following conditions:

  1. You have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  2. You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  3. You traveled more than 150 miles or have been in close contact with someone who has traveled in the last 10 days.
  4. You are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
    • fever or chills
    • cough
    • shortness of breath
    • fatigue
    • muscle or body aches
    • headaches
    • sore throat
    • loss of taste or smell
    • nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting

Concerned about getting the Moderna vaccine after having recently received filler treatment? In some studies, it has been observed that a small percentage of the vaccinated groups experienced localized inflammation (swelling) after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. In said cases, all studied reactions were temporary immune responses. It has been suggested that patients refrain from getting filler two weeks before and after the vaccine. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office!

Thank you for your continued support and we can't wait to see you again!

Kindest Regards,,

Dr. Elbert, Dr. Jacqueline and staff at Cheng Plastic Surgery


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