Sandpaper Dermabrasion for Treatment of Acne Scars and Amateur Tattoos in Dark Skinned Individuals


ABSTRACT:BACKGROUND:Dermabrasion is an abrasive process used to remove the epidermis and superficial dermis to treat a variety of skin conditions.OBJECTIVE:To evaluate sandpaper as a tool for dermabrasion for the treatment of acne scar and amateur tattoo.PATIENTS AND METHODS:This is an open labeled therapeutic trial. It was conducted at the outpatient department of Dermatology and Venereology - Baghdad Teaching Hospital, during the period between January 2003 and December 2004.Ten patients (seven males and 3 females) were enrolled in this work. Their ages ranged from 20-34 years with the a mean ± SD of 26.80 ± 4.34 years. Five with acne scars on their faces and 5 with amateur tattoos in the upper extremities.. From each patient history was taken and physical examination was performed. Pre-operative medications and instructions were given to each patient. The procedure was done under local anesthesia. Postoperatively all patients were instructed to use steroid-antibiotic ointment and hydroquinon-tretinoin thereafter. Follow up was done after 1weak, 1month, and 3 months. Repeated sessions may be needed 1 month apart.Acne scars: Lesions were assessed for correction of contour (unchanged, partially changed, or completely changed), and for complications that might follow.Amateur tattoos: Lesions were assessed for percentage of pigments removal (70%, 80%, 90%, and 100%), and for complications that might follow.RESULTS:Ten patients completed the study.Acne scar group: Three patients achieved partial change of contour after 2 sessions, while complete change of contour was noticed in 2 patients after 4, and 6 sessions respectively. The procedure resulted in very fine, less noticeable scar with smooth contour of the skin which was acceptable in all patients.Amateur tattoos group: Complete removal of pigments was achieved in one patient, more than 90% in 3 patients, and more than 80% in 1 patient.No significant complications were seen apart from mild erythema and mild infection in one patient with amateur tattoo. Temporary post inflammatory hypopigmentation in two patients with tattoo. Three patients had mild scar after removal of tattoo.CONCLUSION:Sandpaper dermabrasion is an effective mode of treatment for acne scar and amateur tattoo. It is safe in dark skinned people.