Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical, non-invasive procedure that uses a spray of microcrystals to remove the outermost layer of dry, dead skin cells and reveal younger, healthier-looking skin. Microdermabrasion also encourages the production of a new underlying layer of skin cells with higher levels of collagen and elastin, which further improves your skin’s appearance. Microdermabrasion is much gentler than dermabrasion. Dermabrasion is a more intensive procedure used to treat deeper facial lines, extreme sun damage, and scars.
Your skin is exposed to environmental elements every day. Over the years, the sun’s rays, pollution, and other damaging agents can take a toll on your skin. Microdermabrasion treatment can help reduce or eliminate the wrinkles and fine lines, “crow’s feet,” age spots, light acne scars, and undesired pigmentation that may appear on the skin over time.
The ideal candidates for microdermabrasion are healthy adults who have relatively minor skin conditions or imperfections and realistic expectations about what microdermabrasion can and cannot do. Because microdermabrasion is a mild, non-invasive procedure that cannot remedy sagging skin or correct deep facial creases or folds, such issues must be addressed with procedures such as face lift, laser skin tightening, and Thermage®.
Microdermabrasion for Acne
Microdermabrasion can be used to treat acne and the scars that acne causes. Microdermabrasion treatments can eliminate or greatly reduce the appearance of lighter scarring. However, for deep acne scars (known as “pock marks” or “ice-pick acne scars”) microdermabrasion may not be able to provide desired results. Deeper scars can usually be effectively treated with dermabrasion or an acne chemical peel. Patients with active acne may also benefit from microdermabrasion treatments, which exfoliate the skin and clear clogged pores of oil and dirt. Because the polishing action of the crystal and the removal of skin cells can aggravate acne, however, a consultation with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon is advised to help determine whether a patient’s acne or acne scars can be effectively treated with microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion for Rosacea
Rosacea is a chronic inflammation of facial skin characterized by redness, prominent blood vessels, swelling, and/or skin eruptions that look similar to acne. Microdermabrasion can be used to decrease the redness associated with rosacea. However, if you have been diagnosed with rosacea and are considering microdermabrasion, you should consult a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon prior to treatment because microdermabrasion can negatively affect active rosacea.
Who Is Not a Good Candidate?
Microdermabrasion is not recommended for people who have deep scars, active keloids, undiagnosed lesions, a recent herpes outbreak, warts on the face, active acne (stages 3 and 4), an auto-immune system disorder, or unstable diabetes. Pregnant women should not undergo microdermabrasion. Candidates who have had a recent chemical peel or other skin procedure such as collagen injections should wait a two to three weeks before undergoing microdermabrasion. Prospective patients should also refrain from waxing or tanning the skin to be treated for a few weeks before microdermabrasion treatment. Individuals with deep scars, facial creases, or other moderate-to-severe skin defects should consider a stronger treatment such as a chemical peel, dermabrasion, or laser skin resurfacing.