Microdermabrasion (sometimes referred to as “lunchtime peel”) is a cosmetic, minimally invasive method that aims at flattening wrinkles, fine lines and scars through removing the surface layer of dead skin cells (skin resurfacing). Thanks to its qualities, it is stated that it can be carried out using a home kit, although having it performed by a certified doctor is definitely the appropriate way to get the optimum results.
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How Does Microdermabrasion Work?
Dermabrasion employes a power driver hand-held device to sprinkle a high pressure flow of aluminum oxide crystals onto the treated area skin. That process is perceived by the patient as constant, mild pressure, during which the outer layers of skin are removed (“exfoliated”) and then vacuumed back (as dead skin cells) into the dermabrader, allowing for new, smoother skin to crop out.
Depending on the treated area, general or local anesthesia may be required. A session most typically lasts between for 20-30 minutes, but in some cases the depth and the extent of the treated area may call for more than that. Prior to the main procedure, the treated area is cleansed, and the same process takes place after Microdermabrasion is finished.
After the treatment, the skin may be sensitive for a few days, but in general, downtime is supposed to be limited, while the patient may need to use a special ointment to speed up the healing process. As a rule, 6-10 separated sessions (in weekly, at least, intervals) are required before the treatment starts to pay dividends for the patient.
Several advantages are associated with a series of Microdermabrasion sessions:
- Smoother looking skin, less blotchy and with improved texture
- Triggering of collagen production, which promotes skin rejuvenation
- Moderation of fine lines
- Therapeutic effect on mild acne scars
- Treatment of acne scars
- Generally safe procedure due to the fact that the removal of the skin does not affect the tissue underneath
- Comparatively low-cost method
- Swift and relatively trouble-free session
Being a very mild procedure, Microdermabrasion can deliver effective skin resurfacing without provoking serious side effects. Still, no cosmetic treatment is completely free of adverse reactions, the most notable of which are:
- Redness, which however dwindles after a day
- Changes in pigmentation and the skin’s color balance in the form of dark patches
- Scarring, skin injuries or infections (very rare)
- Tingling/burning sensation and sensitivity
- Slight skin tightness
- Dryness, which fades after some days
- Enlarged pores
- Scarring in case the operation has been performed deeper than necessary
To avoid exacerbating some of those side effects, the patient should refrain from cosmetics usage (which is considered by many women as a means of concealing the emerging redness) for at least two weeks, until the new skin entirely covers the treated area. In addition, exposure to the sun should also be avoided for some weeks in order to protect the skin against unwanted color changes.
Areas To Be Treated
Evidently, the face is the area which Microdermabrasion applies on most commonly, but that is not always the case. In fact, areas the like neck and the hands, even the chest and the back, can be benefited from a series of Microdermabrasion sessions.
Microdermabrasion has began to gain popularity thanks to its proportionately affordable cost. Ranging from about $80 to $300, and with an average price tag of $200 (as displayed on Realself.com), this particular operation is cheaper than other cosmetic procedures (e.g. botox injections). Obviously, this number corresponds to a single treatment, which is rarely sufficient if someone wishes to attain fairly noticeable results; still, that is quite reasonably priced.
Despite its promising features, not all Microdermabrasion users seem to be pleased with the final outcome. Moreover, the feedback coming from actual patient’s testimonials is relatively sparse, therefore proper assessment of the method cannot be extracted (on the other hand, that is perhaps the reason for the lackluster results). All the same, the actual procedure is described as pleasant, resembling the feeling of gentle facial massage, and many people comment positively on the “lick of a cat’s tongue” sensation. Few others, however, report they experienced moderate pain, whereas discomfort, burn, swelling and itchiness (as the new skin grows) are the most common side effects. For detailed reviews on microdermbarasion click here!
Before and After Photos
In general terms, Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure which can be recommended for men and women encountering scar issues, age spots or dark pigmentation problems and want to have their skin smoothened and rejuvenated. However, in order to undergo it, they should ideally have a medical record free of psoriasis, diabetes mellitus, lupus, warts, active rosacea, herpes, auto-immune system disorders, undiagnosed lesions etc.; moreover, people who have been on accutane recently should also abstain from a procedure like this due to skin sensitivity, while the same applies to pregnant or nursing women due to hormonic imbalances.
Nevertheless, taken into consideration that the effectiveness of Microdermabrasion is not exceptional (at least judging by the currently available data), it is imperative that a thorough research be done beforehand in order to bring off the best possible results. In addition, a potential Microdermabrasion user should discuss his / her expectations with the clinician so as to narrow down the chances of an unsatisfactory outcome.
And never forget that such options can possibly bring about a rejuvenating effect, but noone can escape aging. Before opting for such procedures please check our article on the ethics of aesthetics!