What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion Treatments are a very commonly used skin treatment that is a machine-assisted skin exfoliant. Contrary to its other, more invasive resurfacing methods like dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing; microdermabrasion treatments are known for its advantage in low risk and quick recovery.
This treatment is known for surface skin corrections. It improves imperfections on the surface of the skin such as fine lines, sun damage, age spots, and scarring. Although the treatments are known to improve issues with the face, it is also used to treat any skin area including the hands, back, and neck.
For most skin types and colors, microdermabrasion is considered a safe procedure. You might consider microdermabrasion for many types of skin concerns such as:
- Acne and acne scars
- Enlarged pores or blackheads
- Sun damage
- Fine lines and/or wrinkles
- Hyperpigmentation, age or brown spots
- Uneven skin-tone and texture
Is It Painful?
Microdermabrasion treatments are considered painless. It is a noninvasive, skin rejuvenation procedure using different types of applications to the skin. A vacuum, fine hard tip or crystal is applied for removing the multiple top layers of skin. There is no pain-management or needles required for this procedure. Speed and pressure is adjusted based on the patient’s skin sensitivity and tolerance.
Some describe the procedure to feel like a cat’s tongue licking your skin or a gritty facial massage. Your technician can also adjust the pressure of the application to your tolerance and comfortability.
There is no recovery time required post-treatment and the patient can resume daily activities immediately. Even makeup and skin care products can be applied after a microdermabrasion. The Microderm helps remove impurities of the skin and helps new skin regenerate in approximately 30 days.
During the appointment, a provider will use a handheld device to gently spray on particles or sand away the outer layer of skin in the specific or targeted areas. After the treatment, sunscreen and a moisturizer will be applied to the treated areas.
Types of Microdermabrasion Treatments:
In 1996, microdermabrasion treatments were first approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. And since then, a multitude of microdermabrasion devices have been created. Each device creates a different way to do the procedure.
Fine crystals are gently sprayed on the outer layers of skin and rubbed away, removing the top layer and skin debris. These crystals are shot from a small tune and simultaneously vacuumed up. Dead skin cells are suctioned off immediately as the skin is exfoliated. These crystals can be different types and may include aluminum oxide and sodium bicarbonate.
Diamond-tip hand piece
If you’re looking for a crystal-free experience, a diamond tipped wand can be used to exfoliate instead. This hand-piece is designed to exfoliate dead cells in your skin and like the crystal microdermabrasion, are also suctioned off immediately. The pressure of the diamond-tip hand-piece can affect the depth of the abrasion and how long it remains on the skin.
This option is typically used on more sensitive skin areas.
This method is a newer development as a microdermabrasion treatment. It mixed a crystal free exfoliation with a dermal infusion. Which helps increase collagen production and blood flow to the skin. Which increases the nutrition delivered to skin cells.
Additional nutrition delivered to the skin helps improve cell production, which also improves skin elasticity and tone.
Benefits and Results?
Studies show that removing the few top layers of the skin can temporarily help the skin increase permeability of the skin, especially for topical medications. Typically skin regenerates every month, keeping up treatments at an average of two to four weeks will continue improvement. In combination with avoiding long term sun exposure, and making sure to apply sunscreen and other skin care creams.
Microdermabrasion treatments are a great consideration for people with mild and very superficial skin issues, such as surface acne scars, pick marks, spot or discoloration, and dull skin. This treatment helps without having to worry about harsh side effects and downtime.
Patients with deeper scarring, can benefit with a longer series of treatments or a more invasive skin treatment altogether.
There are almost no skin-type limitations. Common reasons to consider this procedure would be to brighten your skin, to reduce fine lines, superficial acne scars and wrinkles, unclog pores or remove blackheads and/or whiteheads, and looking to maintain healthy, clear skin.
Treatments: Before, During, and After
There’s not much to do to prepare for the microdermabrasion procedure. Before the treatment you may be given eye pads or goggles to protect sensitive areas and your eyes from any of the derbis. The skin may also be prepared to remove excess oil or makeup and clean all areas for the procedure.
During the procedure, the skin may be stretched to create tension in order to be the most effective with the vacuum and abrasion. Which, depending on the area, up to four passes may be moved over the skin for treatment.
After the procedure, which can take anywhere from five to sixty-minutes, you may experience mild pinkness of the skin. This side effect may only last up to a few hours and fade after your appointment. Minor side effects can be anything from tenderness to swelling. It also has been known to have a little exfoliation post-treatment and if so, applying moisturizer or ointment will help in the exfoliation process.
Sunscreen will usually be provided and recommended after treatment. Patients may experience mild-sunburn-like sensations for up to a few days. However, sunscreen will help with increased photosensitivity after the procedure.
In the results of the treatment, skin will get help in rejuvenation by stimulated collagen production. This helps to reduce fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. Which will enable the skin to look more even, smoother, with a full healthy glow.
How Many Treatments Do You Need?
Treatments can be scheduled as frequently as a week apart. Depending on your skin concerns and tolerance, up to eight weeks. Monthly maintenance is considered a regular regime to maintain the results of the treatment.
The skin naturally rejuvenates itself every 30-days so for continued improvement, monthly appointments are ideal.
The amount of treatments will determine the clarity and elasticity of your skin, which is recommended for people in their early stages of aging, between 35 and 50.
What About Acne?
Originally, microdermabrasion treatments were developed as an anti-aging treatment. But for those individuals with mild breakouts, such as blackheads, microdermabrasion helps to reduce inflamed skin and clean out the pores.
Unclogging the pores is only a portion of the benefits of acne treatment but is also for those patients that deal with mild acne scarring, pick marks, or raised skin. Microdermabrasion can help reduce the texture of the skin and speed up acne clearing.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation. Where the skin creates brown or tan spots throughout the face. Melasma is mostly common in women. It can be caused by sunlight, and/or hormonal changes within the body.
In combination with microdermabrasion, acid peels, and creams, multiple treatments can help with the best results in improving the look of dark spots. In addition to avoiding the sun and generous amounts of sunscreen to protect the skin.
Microdermabrasion Treatments Vs. Chemical Peel
Because Microdermabrasion and chemical peels both can improve skin tone, and clarity, by removing the top layer of skin, they both can be used. However, they should not be performed at the same time. It is recommended they are used a few weeks apart, if at all.
The effectiveness of a chemical peel is dependent on the strength of the acid being used on the skin. There are light, medium, and deep chemical peel treatments. Based on the concerns and the chemicals that are formulated to be used.
A chemical peel can be used to achieve the same results, however, it depends on the individual and if they are willing to endure prolonged downtime. As opposed to a microdermabrasion which has notably no downtown and very little side effects.
Chemical peel side effects can occur days after the procedure. It can cause irritation, peeling, and light flaking. It can also take up to six weeks for the skin to return to normal. Deep chemical peels are considered more of a surgical procedure and can leave after effects on the skin for up to three months.
The downtown on microdermabrasion procedure is nothing a good moisturizer couldn’t handle. The skin may turn pink and stay dry or flaky for a few days but nothing out of the ordinary, It is also noted that after many of these treatments, individuals are able to wear makeup or face creams almost immediately after a procedure. Returning back to a daily regime is not interrupted for one of these treatments.
Who Should Not Consider Microdermabrasion Treatments?
Before the procedure, the dermatologist will conduct an exam and review the medical history of the patient. With this the doctor can discuss expectations, risk, and expected outcomes for the treatment.
The dermatologist will consider potential concerns for patients who have recently had chemical peels, or other skin procedures before receiving microdermabrasion. Including the use of exfoliating creams and other products prior to treatment, avoiding sun exposure, waxing, and types of cleansing face washes for the face and neck before treatments.
The dermatologist may also not consider candidates that have:
- Active onset acne
- Uncontrolled Diabetes
- Open Sore(s) or any patients susceptible to cold sores
- Fragile Capillaries / Vascular Lesions
Talk to your doctor to discuss scheduling an appointment for a microdermabrasion. Getting professional help is more effective than any at-home machine or kit. Having a technician with extensive skin care knowledge keeps you safe from issues that could arise, such as possible bacteria getting into freshly abraded skin. As well as giving you the knowledge and tools to maintain treatments and results after each procedure.