[Skip to Navigation]
October 1987

Improvement of the Appearance of Full-Thickness Skin Grafts With Dermabrasion

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology and Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(10):1340-1345. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660340102029

• A series of 192 full-thickness skin grafts of the nose, periorbital area, and ear were examined, using age- and site-matched controls, to determine whether the appearance of the graft was improved by performing dermabrasion six to eight months after grafting. Dermabrasion is helpful in specific situations in adjusting the level of the skin graft to the level of the edge of the recipient site. The greatest improvement was obtained from dermabrasion of elevated grafts located on the nose; however, patients having elevated grafts in all locations were more likely to have resolution of the elevation following dermabrasion than the control subjects. Control subjects experienced most of their improvement six months after the operation, but 27% of the elevated grafts continued to improve between six and 18 months. Grafts that were depressed six months after the grafting procedure remained depressed at 18 and 24 months regardless of whether dermabrasion was performed. In the additional time the subjects were followed up, no further improvement was noted beyond that achieved 12 months after dermabrasion. The data presented in this report and the conclusions drawn from these data may allow physicians to more carefully select subjects who will benefit from dermabrasion after skin grafting.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:1340-1345)

Add or change institution