What Is Microdermabrasion?


Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical treatment which can refresh the appearance of the skin, helping to diminish sun damage, iron out fine lines and wrinkles, reduce enlarged pores, and smooth coarse textured skin. The treatment uses a powerful device to spray fine, hard sand-like aluminium dioxide microcrystals across the skin’s surface which blasts away the uppermost layer of dead skin cells. This exposes the fresh skin beneath and also stimulates the production of collagen. A microdermabrasion treatment takes 20-30 minutes and involves little or no recovery time. It can greatly reduce the appearance of blemishes, whiteheads and blackheads, as well as reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance. Some stretch marks also respond well to this treatment. Microdermabrasion can be uncomfortable, but is not normally painful. It is usually performed in a dermatologist’s or doctor’s office and can be performed on the face neck, chest, back and hands. Your microdermabrasion doctor may recommend a series of 5-10 treatments for best results.

You may be a good candidate for microdermabrasion if you are in good emotional and physical health, have realistic expectations and have:

  • Sun damaged skin
  • Age spots
  • Dark pigmentation
  • Small scars
  • Surface acne
  • Enlarged pores

You may not be a suitable candidate if you have:

  • Active keloids
  • Undiagnosed lesions
  • Recent herpes outbreaks
  • Warts, active
  • Active acne
  • Active rosacea
  • Unstable diabetes
  • Auto-immune system disorders

Microdermabrasion is not a cure for heavily-damaged skin.

Microdermabrasion is a very safe treatment with little or no risks and side effects. However, as with all treatments some unwanted side effects can occur. These can include: redness or a feeling of being sun burnt or wind burnt.

Microdermabrasion risks and complications are uncommon, but if the microdermabrasion machine is used at too high a power, it may cause:

  • Hyper pigmentation
  • Perforation
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Your skin will first be prepared and thoroughly cleansed. No anaesthesia is necessary. The microdermabrasion machine gently exfoliates your skin with a precise stream of crystals directed onto the skin’s surface using a hand piece. The machine’s pressure will be adjusted for your comfort. The sloughed off skin cells and left over crystals are then suctioned off to reveal a fresh, new skin surface. The benefit from your microdermabrasion treatment is usually immediately obvious. However, optimal results will not be visible until all the recommended treatments have been completed. Rehydrating skin products will be applied to your skin prior to leaving the treatment office.

A course of treatments can yield better results. It is safe to have microdermabrasion every week and between five and 10 sessions are recommended.

Your microdermabrasion practitioner will discuss your medical history and examine your facial skin. You may also be given specific instructions regarding the care and treatment of your skin during the series of microdermabrasion procedures. You should notify them of any medicines or skincare products that you use or have used in the past month, and if you have any chronic skin conditions such as eczema. Avoid getting sunburn prior to treatment.

There is virtually no microdermabrasion recovery time, and you can return to work and your normal activities immediately.

You will probably experience some redness on your skin after the microdermabrasion treatment, though this only lasts a few hours. Your skin may also feel slightly sun burnt or wind burnt, and moisturizer will help to ease this.

Use a high factor sunscreen whenever you go out, and avoid direct sun for seven days after microdermabrasion treatment. It is advisable that you do not have any further skin treatments for at least three days after microdermabrasion, including facial peels and exfoliations.

You should also avoid applying foundation to the skin for 24 hours, though eye makeup and lipstick may be safely applied immediately.