Dermasanding low-tech, effective approach to wrinkles

July 1, 2006

Dr. Crotty places dental rolls under the patient's upper lip in order to stretch out the skin, and, using an extra-coarse fraise, makes a superficial abrasion by gently rubbing the fraise back and forth.

Scottsdale, Ariz. - While the marketplace fills with an ever-increasing array of laser options, dermatologists still have the relatively low-tech, low-cost tool of dermasanding to address problems such as acne scarring and fine lines, Christopher Crotty, M.D., says.

Dr. Crotty demonstrated his dermasanding approach to treat a patient's facial rhytides in a video presentation at a recent meeting of the Skin Disease Education Foundation.

Value in tried and true

After cleaning with acetone, Dr. Crotty applied trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to the treatment area.

"Some may suggest just using the TCA and stopping there, but I don't feel that TCA alone makes a good de-wrinkler," says Dr. Crotty, a clinical assistant professor in the division of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of South Florida.

"In addition, the TCA gets me through the epidermis, so I don't have to be too aggressive with the dermasanding," he adds.

Dr. Crotty places dental rolls under the patient's upper lip in order to stretch out the skin, and, using an extra-coarse fraise, makes a superficial abrasion by gently rubbing the fraise back and forth.

Following the dermasanding, the patient is given topical xylocaine soaks with epinephrine and instructed to heavily moisturize the treatment area as it heals.

Dr. Crotty says that in cases such as this one, he likes to see patients back for the following few days to make sure proper healing is taking place.

Low-tech still has a place

While dermasanding may not be the most cutting-edge approach to facial rhytides, Dr. Crotty says it still holds a place among the most simple and low-cost treatments, and can also be helpful for defects like scars or skin grafts.

"I think it's helpful to remember some of the tools from yesteryear, which maybe aren't used as much," he says.

"This is yet another alternative to keep in mind and you can offer your patients a lot if you just don't forget those techniques."