Microdermabrasion is a clinical exfoliation technique that quickly improves the appearance of your skin. If your skin has become dull or damaged from aging or exposure to the elements, it may be a good time to perform a thorough exfoliation with a series of microdermabrasion treatments.
Using suction and gentle abrasion, microdermabrasion buffs away dead skin cells to improve your complexion. The results are comparable to a light chemical peel. This treatment is very popular because it is simple, there’s no downtime, and it has a low risk of side effects. Plastic surgeons recommend microdermabrasion for patients who exhibit conditions such as:
- Mild sun damage
- Uneven skin texture
- Dull complexion
Imagine a very fine sand blaster and you'll get a picture of how microdermabrasion works. It uses microparticles, or a diamond-tipped wand, to slough off the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and stimulate new skin growth. This technique also helps to thicken your collagen, which results in smoother and younger looking skin. There is almost no discomfort in microdermabrasion, meaning you won't need a topical or local anesthetic and there is no recovery or downtime.
Is Microdermabrasion right for you?
Facial microdermabrasion is sometimes performed with no medical oversight, often in conjunction with facial spa treatments. You can minimize your risks for complications and achieve optimal results by visiting a qualified plastic surgeon. Although the surgeon may not perform the procedure, you can rest assured that the surgeon's employees are properly trained and supervised.
Microdermabrasion is an excellent choice if you want to improve your complexion but don't have the time to recover from a laser treatment or medium depth chemical peel.
How Microdermabrasion Works
There are two kinds of microdermabrasion treatments. One approach involves a hand-held device that streams tiny crystals across your skin. An attached vacuum simultaneously suctions those exfoliating crystals back into the machine, along with the dead or loosened skin. The newer approach uses a diamond-tip wand that is gently moved across your skin to exfoliate.
Each treatment will last about 30 minutes. You may feel a mild scratching as the procedure removes the superficial skin cells. Additionally, you'll notice a vibrating sensation akin to a massage. There is also a suction mechanism to lift off the dead skin.
Afterwards, your plastic surgeon may recommend a special moisturizer or facial product to enhance and prolong your result. But there is no down time or recovery period.
Special Considerations, Risks and Recovery
Any discomfort experienced as part of microdermabrasion is usually short-lived. This can include redness and swelling, which should subside within a few hours. Later, you can expect the skin to be flaky and dry for several days. Additional risks include the following:
- Mild post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
- Bruising which can occur from the suction, which may last several days.
- Your skin will be more sensitive to sun exposure. Be sure to use sunscreen, especially immediately following a microdermabrasion session.
After microdermabrasion, you can return to your routine immediately. Compared to a laser treatment or dermabrasion, the abrasive mechanism of this treatment is very gentle. You can expect a minor improvement with each treatment session. After the series, you should notice a significant improvement in your overall appearance.