“Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure used to renew overall skin tone and texture. It can improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, melasma, and other skin-related concerns and conditions.” Like many minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, the goal of microdermabrasion is to deliver the best possible results with the least possible discomfort, expense, and downtime for patients. Unlike many other minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, microdermabrasion treatments effectively remove the top layer of skin, yielding truly transformative results.
With this in mind, today we will aim to answer the question what is microdermabrasion by defining the term and some high level information on the treatment, identify some different types of microdermabrasion therapies, and finally by answers a few commonly asked questions about microdermasion and other similar procedures.
Another definition of microdermabrasion is “treatments us(ing) a mildly abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer…this type of skin rejuvenation is used to treat light scarring, discoloration, sun damage and stretch marks.” In other words, microdermabrasion is a more advanced method of mechanical exfoliation which aims to remove impurities and imbalances from the surface of the skin. Microdermabrasion can be used to yield any and all of the following results:
- Reduce the size of pores
- Mechanically exfoliated skin which is “refreshed”
- Reduce the visible signs of blackheads and age spots
- Reduce the visible signs of uneven skin tone including hyperpigmentation
- Improve the visible appearance of stretch marks
- Minimize facial scars from small injuries, acne, etc.
Different Types of Microdermabrasion
There are two primary types of microdermabrasion:
- The more traditional method of microdermabrasion involves the usages of tiny exfoliating crystals alongside a suction device. The crystals are used for mechanical exfoliation, gently removing dead skin, dirt, and debris from the surface of skin. At the same time, a vacuum is used to suck up the crystals so no residual materials are left behind. The “used” crystals are discarded safely and are never recycled for further treatments.
- A more recently discovered method of microdermabrasion utilizes a wand with a diamond-encrusted tip. Instead of many crystals, practitioners use this singular wand to gently scrape the skin, achieving similar results. One of the reasons many microdermabrasion treatments are moving this direction is that there is less of an opportunity for hygienic concerns from a single, solid item than there is from a multitude of tiny crystals.
Is microdermabrasion the same as dermabrasion?
As the names might suggest, these two procedures are quite similar. Yet they are certainly different enough to be considered two wholly separate types of procedures. Dermabrasion is more invasive, uses different tools, and frequently is associated with more patient discomfort/downtime. Additionally, microdermabrasion is appropriate for individuals with all skin tones while dermabrasion is generally only suitable for those with fair skin.
What should I expect after a microdermabrasion procedure?
For most patients, there is no downtime (missed work, time spent recovering, etc.). Common side effects directly after a procedure involve a slight pink/red coloration of the skin and mild swelling. Many patients describe these symptoms as similar to a common sunburn. Symptoms generally dissipate in one to two days. Speaking of sunburn, the primary self-care after a microdermabrasion involves sun protection and moisturization.
How many microdermabrasion treatments will I need?
While the answer to that question will vary from person to person, it is typical for patients to require five (5) or more treatments to see optimal results. This is offset by the fact that treatments are minimally invasive, come with little to no discomfort, and zero downtime.
How long do the results of microdermabrasion treatments last?
The results of microdermabrasion treatments are temporary. Again, microdermabrasion can be thought of more as a very well-done exfoliating treatment rather than a procedure which will permanently alter the condition and/or appearance of your skin. The flip side of that coin is that microdermabrasion treatments carry very low risk. Where some individuals may hesitate to undergo cosmetic procedures, there is less of a reason to hesitate with a procedure like microdermabrasion.
The Latest Microdermabrasion Tech will be at SCALE 2020!
To learn more about beauty trends, beauty theory, non-invasive procedures, laser tech, and much more, join us from July 22-25, 2020 for our annual Music City Scale Conference! SCALE is the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States. Join other industry professionals to discuss industry trends, emerging technologies, and much more.
What started as a small gathering amongst colleagues 14 years ago has turned into the biggest party of the year within the field of aesthetic dermatology. Join us alongside hundreds of attendees and industry vendors to find out what you’ve been missing!
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