While microdermabrasion is often grouped with dermabrasion, there are significant differences between the two procedures. Microdermabrasion, of the two, is a more superficial treatment that produces significantly different results.
Concisely, microdermabrasion targets the outer layer of skin – the epidermis – of a patient’s face, neck, chest, and other areas. The procedure, which works by exfoliating dead skin cells, can have positive benefits for conditions like brown sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. It can also help to combat visible signs of aging, oversized pores, dry skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.
During a microdermabrasion treatment, a trained cosmetic technician places a handheld device flush against the patient’s skin. As the device moves across his or her face, it expels minute aluminum oxide crystals, which ablate and remove any dead or damaged skin. Much more pleasant than a chemical peel, a microdermabrasion session lasts between 20 and 40 minutes and generally causes minimal discomfort. In most cases, patients are able to return to work immediately after treatment.
After treatment, your skin will look and feel demonstrably healthier, smoother, and refreshed. Typically, in order to achieve ideal results, most patients book a series of four to eight treatments at intervals of one to three weeks. A majority of patients report more even skin tone and texture after treatment. Although results can be subtle, patients also normally find that their skin is more radiant and makeup is easier to apply successfully.
Patients are advised to discontinue certain topical and oral medications, particularly including Retin-A and Accutane, for four weeks prior to a microdermabrasion session. Microdermabrasion may be inappropriate for patients with undiagnosed lesions, warts, active weeping acne, active rosacea, unstable diabetes, a recent history of herpes, or certain autoimmune disorders.
Microdermabrasion will not eradicate deep scars, including some acne scars. Similarly, other treatment modalities may be more appropriate for tattoo removal and treating deep wrinkles or other surface abnormalities.