What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is also known as microderm. It is considered to be an effective anti-aging treatment that has many benefits. It is sometimes used before other procedures are completed. It can help smooth coarsely textured skin, decrease* the appearance of scarring and poor size, and reduce* superficial hyper-pigmentation (age spots). It can help build collagen, giving aging skin a more youthful appearance.
A microdermabrasion device has a compressor that sucks air through a hand-held wand. A vacuum is created when the wand touches the skin. Corundum (aluminum oxide crystals) are blasted across the surface of the skin, picking up dead skin cells. The dead skin cells are quickly sucked away using a different tube attached to the same wand. The skin cells are collected in a disposal bag.
Who Should Consider Microdermabrasion?
Patients with dull or sallow skin may want to consider microdermabrasion. Those suffering from mild acne, discoloration due to acne, pink marks and superficial acne scars may also benefit from it. Microdermabrasion is an excellent choice for patients with superficial skin problems and busy lifestyles. Individuals who have deeper acne scars can receive microdermabrasion treatments, but should expect a much longer series of treatments and should consider physician-performed surgical dermabrasion or laser resurfacing.
There are no specific age or sex restrictions for microdermabrasion treatments. Children under the age of 12 and adults over the age of 65 are not the best candidates. Mature skin over the age of 70 is at higher risks of bruising and skin abrasions. Children under the age of 12 will sometimes receive treatment under the care of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
How Does Microdermabrasion Work?
A crystal microdermabrasion system is used. The pump is connected to a handheld device (or a vacuum. The pump creates a high-pressure stream of inert crystals. Aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate may be used. Dead skin cells are vacuumed from the skin. Inert crystals can be replaced by the roughened surface of a diamond tip alternatively.
Diamond microdermabrasion systems do not produce particles from the crystals like the crystal microdermabrasion systems. Particles can be inhaled into the patient’s nose or blown into his or her eyes, making diamond microdermabrasion safer to use around the eyes and lips. Slower movement of the hand piece and repeated number of passes over the skin typically create a deeper treatment.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Microdermabrasion?
There are minimal possible side effects of microdermabrasion. It is generally considered to be a very safe procedure. Microdermabrasion only affects the epidermis (the outer most layer of skin). Minor side effects may include tight skin, redness, bruising and sensitivity. In order to avoid side effects, it is important that you check on the training of the person who will be doing the procedure beforehand. Results very often are dependent on the technician’s expertise and experience. Bad technique may lead to abrasions and pin-point bleeding. In cases such as these, treatment was too aggressive.
People with extremely sensitive skin, diabetes, vascular conditions such as rosacea, skin inflammation, bacterial infections, lack of tactile sensation, keloid scarring, cuts and abrasions, or patients who have received Botox within the 72 hours should not get microdermabrasion. Sunburn, viral infections (such as herpes simplex) and acne are other contraindications to microdermabrasion. You should also avoid microdermabrasion if you are taking anti-coagulant drugs. Patients should stay out of the sun and use sunscreen after treatment.
What Home Remedies Can Produce Results Like Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is an aggressive form of skin exfoliation. There are now some home microdermabrasion kits available on the market. Some home methods include spraying tiny crystals across the skin and lightly sanding off the top layer of skin. Kits are available for the body or more specifically for the face.
At-home kit prices vary. Price is usually dependent on which technique is used. Typically speaking, creams are the most inexpensive. Microdermabrasion creams contain tiny crystals mixed in with a moisturizer. Creams should not be applied by hand or they may clog your pores. Microdermabrasion kits include a resurfacing tool, which spins or vibrates to exfoliate. There are also more professional kits available for home use. These are probably the most expensive option.