Microdermabrasion is one of the newest skin treatments to make it’s way from Hollywood to the mainstream. It offers amazing results quickly and is advertised as an “instant facelift”.
They also say microdermabrasion has a lot of beneficial effects for the skin — some would say miraculous — and is extremely useful in combating some skin problems.
Microdermabrasion is effective in reducing fine lines, “crow’s feet,” age spots and acne scars. It stimulates the production of skin cells and collagen.
But what exactly is microdermabrasion? Does it work? Is it safe?
What is microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion should not be confused with dermabrasion which is is a true surgical procedure typically performed only in a professional medical setting by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon trained specifically in this invasive procedure.
Microdermabrasion is a form of exfoliation, where tiny grains buff away the surface layer of skin. It only affects the top layer of skin, not the lower layers.
The process involves removing or breaking up the surface of the skin, called the stratum corneum fooling the body into thinking that there is a mild injury. The body rushes to replace the lost skin cells with new healthy ones. This beauty treatment usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
As microdermabrasion temporarily removes some moisture from the skin, it is always followed by the application of moisturizing creams.
Find out more about microdermabrasion treatments.
Does microdermabrasion really work?
With the surface layer of skin gone, the skin’s surface is improved. The healing process brings with it new skin cells that look and feel smoother. Some of the skin’s visible imperfections, like sun damage, blemishes and fine lines, are removed.
Also, without the surface layer of skin acting as a barrier, medicinal creams and lotions are more effective because more of their active ingredients and moisture can find their way down to the lower layers of skin.
Early studies suggest that repeated microdermabrasion treatment at regular intervals may influence the way the lower layers of skin grow, as well, removing deeper blemishes over time. Some evidence seems to indicate that the rapid loss of skin moisture may be what triggers the lower skin layers to work overtime in speeding healthy cells up to the surface.
To achieve best results it is recommended several sessions of treatment while using skin care products with anti-aging properties at the same time. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery benefits include:
- Virtually no side effects.
- Gives the skin an overall fresh, healthy-looking glow.
- Nonsurgical, safe, effective “lunch hour” procedure.
- Effective on all skin colors and types.
- No anesthetic required.
- Excellent for skin sensitive to chemical procedures.
- Normal activities can be resumed immediately.
Who is microdermabrasion suitable for?
Microdermabrasion is suitable for almost everyone unless you have certain conditions (see below).
It is a great solution for clogged pores. It is also a great alternative for patients whose skin is too sensitive to use anti-acne drugs like Retin-A.
Who is microdermabrasion unsuitable for?
Here’s a list of the conditions that make someone unsuited for microdermabrasion:
- Active rosacea
- Fragile capillaries
- Vascular lesions
- Widespread acne
- Herpetic lesions (herpes)
- Open sores
- Skin lesions
- Anyone who takes anti-coagulants
- Diabetes mellitus
Is microdermabrasion safe?
Research shows microdermabrasion , if done correctly, is a safe treatment.
The skin is not harmed and does not require a recovery period. In the first hour after treatment, the removal of the top layer of skin causes mild edema (swelling) and erythema (redness).
Depending on the individual, these side effects can last anywhere from an hour to two days. If done incorrectly professional microdermabrasion can bruise or discolor the skin.
The vacuum action tends to cause blemishes if the skin tension uneven. The lip area is particularly susceptible to bruising. The eyelids should never be treated with microdermabrasion.
If the treatment is too deep or intense it can cause permanent discoloration to the skin.
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