If you don’t want to worry about a cosmetic procedure that takes a lot of time, microdermabrasion may be the ideal treatment to rejuvenate a dull complexion. In the hands of skilled dermatologist, microdermabrasion is quite safe. However, microdermabrasion’s effectiveness depends on the cosmetic concerns you wish to address–and the results you expect from this treatment.
Microdermabrasion shouldn’t be confused with dermabrasion, which is far more complicated–and painful. Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure in which a dermatologist sands down your skin with a rotating wire brush. It uses a wounding technique, so an extended healing time is to be expected. Dermabrasion can remove tattoos, deeper scars and precancerous lesions. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is a gentle nonsurgical procedure that lightly polishes the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer, says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
How It Works
To envision the process of microdermabrasion, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) suggests thinking of a fine sand blaster. This tool is used to deliver fine particles onto the skin–usually aluminum oxide crystals–after which they’re suctioned away. Microdermabrasion encourages collagen production in your skin, reports the ASPS, which gives you a more youthful appearance. Microdermabrasion isn’t painful, and there’s no need for even a topical anesthetic. Also, the ASPS says that you won’t experience any downtime after the treatment.
What To Expect
Microdermabrasion usually takes less than an hour, says the AAD. Prior to the procedure, you’ll be asked to cleanse your skin to remove makeup and oil. Contact lenses are taken out if necessary and eye protection offered. During the procedure, you may feel a light stinging or sanding sensation. After the treatment, your dermatologist will remove any excess particles and apply a moisturizer or ointment. Your face might be slightly red for a day, says the AAD, but this goes away in about a day. Using sun protection is extremely important after this treatment. Your dermatologist will give you a plan of care that outlines what you need to do to protect your fresh, new look.
The Best Results
According to the AAD, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get the results you want with only one treatment, especially if aging skin is a big concern. Usually between five and 16 microdermabrasion treatments are required, every week or every other week, for the most noticeable results. Additionally, the type of abrasive substance used to buff the skin may have some bearing. The federal Health Finder website indicates that more aggressive microdermabrasion using coarse-grit diamond results in better collagen production than aluminum oxide crystals.
Trust Your Dermatologist
Skip the home microdermabrasion kit, if you want a safe, effective treatment, says the AAD. Your face is better off in the hands of a dermatologist skilled in the delivery of this procedure. Keep in mind that microdermabrasion may yield subtle results; it’s for those who want to reduce the appearance of fine lines, shallow acne scars, dull skin, uneven skin tone and slight discoloration. To make sure that microdermabrasion will live up to your expectations, talk to your dermatologist about all your treatment options.
- close-ups beauty woman face image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from Fotolia.com