Microdermabrasion is a technique used by dermatologists, skin care technicians, and beauticians to improve the look of facial skin. This is achieved noninvasively by mechanically exfoliating the skin and then “vacuuming up” the top layer of dead, exfoliated skin cells to expose live, healthy tissue. The procedure is also thought to enhance the production of collagen, a feature of younger skin. Patients leave the procedure in as little as one hour, with skin that is smoother, firmer and younger looking. Microdermabrasion can diminish fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tones, and reduce the appearance of shallow acne scars. Some technicians believe that the procedure allows other skin ointments to penetrate the skin better, so that moisturizers, vitamin treatments, makeup, and sun screens work more effectively.
The risks associated with microdermabrasion are slight and usually resolve themselves within a few hours of the treatments. These side effects can be fairly accurately predicted by qualified skin care professionals who know the skin types of their patients. Some clients, especially those with darker skin tones, may notice that their skin has a blotchy or uneven appearance in the hours directly after microdermabrasion. Clients with fairer skin may notice areas of redness that usually resolves in a few hours. Skin may also feel itchy, flaky, or unusually dry. Some clients of the procedure may have an “outbreak” of rather mild acne in the days following a treatment. This occurs because pores once clogged are suddenly opened and exposed to bacteria, or it may be a natural occurrence of skin that is irritated by the procedure. All of these side effects are usually mild and can be treated at home with gentle cleansers and moisturizers that do not clog pores. Most clients find microdermabrasion to be a convenient, relatively painless way to achieve skin that is visibly “fresher” or younger looking. Patients with severe acne, rosacea, hyper sensitive skin, or other skin ailments should seek the advice of a qualified dermatologist before exposing skin to this procedure.