What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion treatments use a minimally 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.
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 remove the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and stimulate new skin growth. Microdermabrasion helps to thicken your collagen, which results in a younger looking complexion. Collagen is a protein in your skin that’s abundant when you’re a child and makes skin appear taut and smooth. Collagen production declines as we age, resulting in looser, uneven skin.
- Improve age spots and black heads.
- Improve hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin).
- Exfoliate your skin, resulting in a refreshed appearance.
- Lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Reduce or eliminate enlarged pores.Treat acne and the scars left by acne.
Consultation and Preparing for Surgery
During your consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your microdermabrasion options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of microdermabrasion and any risks or potential complications
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon questions. It’s very important to understand all aspects of microdermabrasion. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
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 a half hour. 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 healthcare provider may recommend a special moisturizer or facial product to enhance and prolong your result. But there is no down time or recovery period.
Risks and Safety
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:
- Bruising, which can occur from the suction and may last several days.
- Your skin will be more sensitive to sun exposure. Be sure to use sunscreen, especially immediately following a microdermabrasion session.
Your polished new look should be long-lasting, depending on the severity of your skin damage and the number of treatments that you receive. Many people have two microdermabrasion treatments per month at first and then one per month as part of a maintenance plan.
Prices for elective procedures can vary. The cost of microdermabrasion may be based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment, the type of procedure used, time and effort the procedure requires, as well as geographic office location. Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.