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What Is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a fairly new skin resurfacing treatment that uses special doctor-handled machines or specifically-formulated cream kits for home use, in order to rejuvenate and restore natural glow to your skin. The micro dermabrasion procedure is simple and painless, equally effective to other surgical options like laser skin resurfacing procedures.

Microdermabrasion goes back, in fact, to Ancient Egypt. Egyptian women, eager to remove minor skin flaws, used to peel the outermost derm (skin) layers by using fine sand and abrasive masks with alabaster particles.

Since then, women have used hundreds of substances and methods to exfoliate, cleanse and naturally freshen and lighten their skin. In more recent times, dermabrasion, chemical peels (glycolic acid peel and alpha hydroxy acids, for example), laser resurfacing and active balms proved to be extremely effective, but they also showed potential for serious complications.

As a result, dermatology experts became increasingly concerned with finding safe, non-invasive facial skin rejuvenation and resurfacing treatments that actually work.

In 1985, an Italian specialist performed microdermabrasion, as we understand it today, for the first time. Hundreds of people all over the world now treat skin problems with microderm abrasion because it has proved effective but, more importantly, because of its quick post-treatment recovery and low health risk.

How Microdermabrasion Works

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported in 2005 that microdermabrasion is the second most popular non-surgical dermatological procedure in the US, with more than 1 million patients in the previous year.

Micro dermabrasion was originally performed by plastic surgeons who used hand-held machines, similar to sandblasters, to spray and circulate high pressure crystal flow onto the skin.

Microdermabrasion machines are made of a compressor and a pump that mix gentle abrasion with suction in order to remove the outer skin layer (10-15 microns). The entire procedure, unlike dermabrasion or laser skin surgery, doesn't take more than 30-60 minutes and can be successfully used on the face, neck, chest and hands.

But what if you don't have the time or money to see a plastic surgeon, go to a beauty salon or medical resort? Many home microdermabrasion kits (Neutrogena, Mary Kay, L'Oreal, etc) are now available on the market but choosing a particular brand may prove tricky.

Micro dermabrasion, be it at home or at a physician's office, is a painless procedure. Most patients report a tingling sensation during the abrasion treatment and a windburn-like sensation afterwards. Your skin may look a bit pinkish in the first 24 hours, but you should not feel any pain or discomfort.

The main benefit of microdermabrasion is that while it's equally effective to other skin procedures, it allows you to get back to your daily activities immediately after. For best results, you may need between 5 and 12 microdermabrasion treatments, scheduled 1-2 weeks apart.

Why Choose Microdermabrasion?

Microderm abrasion, the so called 'lunchtime procedure' is similar to a facial massage. It revitalizes dull skin, reduces enlarged pores, erases fine lines wrinkles, and acne scars, diminishes mild pigment irregularities (hyper pigmentation), stretch marks and age spots. Current feedback from dermatologists, patients and home kit users suggests that micro skin abrasion is:

When Is Microdermabrasion Not Suitable As Skin Treatment?

Before considering microabrasion as skin treatment, a word of warning. Micro skin abrasion may not be suitable for you if you suffer from certain medical conditions. Talk to your doctor about your medical history and use his advice wisely.

For example, hormones may modify the effects of microdermabrasion in pregnant or nursing women while treatment on active herpes lesions or malignant skin tumours (warts) has no visible effect.

Microderm abrasion is not recommended to keratosis sufferers, people with undiagnosed lesions, active rosacea or acne, weeping acne (stages 3 to 4), diabetes, auto-immune disorders, fragile capillaries, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or lupus. Recent laser surgery or Accutane acne treatment may also be sound reasons for your doctor not to recommend micro dermabrasion.

Best microdermabrasion candidates are acne prone individuals or those with blotchy skin, fine scars, rhytides, enlarged pores, milia or sebaceous hyperplasia. Sun damaged skin or uneven texture may also improve as a result of microdermabrasion treatment.

Bottom line, microdermabrasion has treated skin problems in many people in the US and around the world but whether it will have the effect you hope for is a question only your doctor and the outcome of the skin abrasion treatment can answer.

Micro Dermabrasion Treatment Guide

What Happens During Dermabrasion Treatment

Your skin will most likely be sore, red and swollen immediately after a dermabrasion session. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers and possibly antibiotics to prevent infection. You may also experience scabbing and uneven pigmentation, but that is completely normal. That may not sound very appealing, but here is what then happens a few days later.

Several days after dermabrasion treatment, the swelling, redness and pain begin to fade and the outer most skin layer simply falls off, leaving your skin looking better, if not a little pinkish. Approximately 2-3 months later, the skin starts regaining normal colour and you can see the first results from your dermabrasion treatment.

Your doctor should see you a few times in the first three months to monitor the healing process and make sure no complications occur. Specialists say each dermabrasion treatment helps improve the appearance of your skin by 20-50%, depending on its condition, your doctor's experience, dermabrasion machine used during treatment, your skin type and lifestyle.

Dermabrasion results are permanent, making it an effective solution for acne scar, skin growth and tattoo removal. Take into consideration, however, that derma abrasion cannot prevent the appearance of new wrinkles in the natural aging process.

Dermabrasion is a permanent solution in as much as its effects are long-lasting (up to 12 months or more). Some people may want to repeat the dermabrasion treatment later in time. Unfortunately, you have to let your skin heal completely and that can take up to 12 months, according to patient reports.

Now let's compare dermabrasion with micro dermabrasion treatment.

What Happens During Microdermabrasion Treatment

Micro dermabrasion is not as effective on deep wrinkles and scars, because this skin resurfacing procedure only removes the very top skin layers.

Microdermabrasion results come, therefore, in small steps and only become visible after 6 to 12 micro abrasion sessions. You may also need maintenance sessions every 2-3 months, once a first series of microderm abrasion sessions has been completed.

Immediately after microdermabrasion, the skin looks slightly pinkish, but usually only for the first 24 hours. Swelling and scabbing are a rare occurrence but, if they do appear, can be easily treated by your doctor.

You shouldn't experience any pain during micro dermabrasion which is why no anaesthesia is required during the procedure. You can return to your daily activities as soon as the microdermabrasion treatment is complete.

To sum up, dermabrasion is more invasive and involves some risk, but has more dramatic results. Microdermabrasion has virtually no down time and is less invasive, but it is effective only on superficial scars and wrinkles.

Dermabrasion is a one-session treatment, requiring another yearly session for maintenance. Microderm abrasion treatment consists of 6 to 12 sessions, scheduled 2 weeks apart and usually requires a once every 2-3 months session for maintenance. However, both dermabrasion and microdermabrasion have things to avoid during treatment.

Important Rules To Follow During And After Abrasion Treatments

Dermabrasion Treatment Do's And Don'ts

Dermabrasion is a complex skin resurfacing treatment which comes with several do's and don'ts recommendations. For example, don't smoke or drink alcohol for 72 hours after dermabrasion treatment and avoid using any make-up on your face during the first 3 days. Taking Retin-A should also be avoided for a month after dermabrasion.

The aggressiveness of dermabrasion means your skin needs at least 10 days to recover before you can return to work. Avoid taking products that may contain aspirin or ibuprofen for at least 7 days after dermabrasion, avoid active sports for 6 to 8 weeks as well as shaving or waxing the treated areas for at least 2 weeks after dermabrasion treatment.

Derma abrasion makes your skin very sensitive to UV rays which can cause significant damage. Staying in the sun should, therefore, be avoided for 6 months after dermabrasion. Stay protected by always putting sunscreen (minimum SPF of 45) when going out.

Microderm abrasion, on the other hand, is not so strict. You are strongly advised to use lots of sunscreen every time you go out, because micro abrasion increases photosensitivity. Staying in the sun should be avoided, but only for 7 days after treatment because UV rays slow down recovery and speed up the skin aging process.

Exfoliation products and glycolic acid based cream used in the first 3 days after micro dermabrasion can damage treated areas and slow down the recovery process. Avoid waxing the treated areas for at least 30 days after the microdermabrasion procedure.

Your doctor may recommend types of cream, gel or ointments to help relieve any irritation, tenderness or burning sensation that may occur after microdermabasion. These topical skin treatments not only help the skin recover quicker but ultimately help enhance the final microdermabrasion results.

As you can see, dermabrasion has a fair number of after-treatment don'ts. For some people, it may make dermabrasion unrealistic and generally not suitable as a skin resurfacing treatment. Microdermabrasion on the other hand, is much more accessible for this very reason -- it has very few things to avoid after treatment.

Micro Dermabrasion vs. Dermabrasion


Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion may sound alike but few people know that they are two significantly different dermatological skin treatments. So what makes micro dermabrasion different?

Brief Dermabrasion Background


Dermabrasion and phenol peeling (a chemical peel) were, for more than 50 years, before laser, collagen and botox had yet to be invented, the only recommended skin resurfacing procedures (for treating scars, wrinkles and age spots).

Invented in Italy, dermabrasion was first used to treat burn and acne scars. Performed by a surgeon and with appropriate post-procedure treatment, derma abrasion proved effective. Most specialists in aesthetics and dermatology today, however, no longer recommend it because it is considered to be invasive, expensive and a source of possibly severe skin complications.

Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is in a way the younger and less aggressive sister of dermabrasion. This rather new skin refinishing procedure is becoming more and more popular with patients all over the world, because it is less invasive, less painful and virtually no side effects have yet been reported.

Difference In Micro And Dermabrasion Procedures


First of all, dermabrasion is a mechanical procedure that uses a power driver, a hand-held device equipped with a rotating metal wheel, a diamond fraise or a wire brush to remove the top skin layers. This type of skin abrasion requires general or local anaesthetic, depending on the skin area being treated.

Before treatment, the treated area is cleaned with antiseptic cleaning gel. The doctor then starts the skin-peeling process using the rotating wheel until the desired depth of the dermis (skin) is reached.

Dermabrasion may last a few minutes up to two hours, depending on the size of the treated areas and the depth of the skin resurfacing. After the procedure, the skin is red, swollen and extremely sensitive for about 10 days.

Micro dermabrasion, as suggested by the name, is, in many ways, an entirely different procedure. When performed at a specialist clinic, micro abrasion involves the use of similar equipment to that used in dermabrasion but it is not as aggressive on the skin. Here's how it works.

The doctor uses a hand-held, sandblaster-like device to spray and circulate high pressure flow of aluminium oxide crystals onto the skin. The crystals gently exfoliate the very top layer of the skin.

The main difference between the two skin treatments is that microdermabrasion exfoliates only the top 10-15 microns whereas dermabrasion exfoliates thicker skin layers. Dead cells and used microdermabrasion crystals are then vacuumed back in the device, leaving the skin cleaner, smoother and shinier.

Microderm abrasion, unlike dermabrasion, can also be performed at a beauty centre or at home, using a personal at-home microdermabrasion system. This home micro derm abrasion kit replaces the spraying-and-vacuuming device with your own fingers to massage the skin with specially formulated fine powdered foam or cream.

A typical microdermabrasion treatment performed at a clinic takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the surface of the skin treated. In order to achieve the desired results, you may need 6 to 12 treatments, performed around two weeks apart. Dermabrasion, on the other hand, requires significantly more time since it is a surgical skin resurfacing technique.

Post Dermabrasion Recovery


Your skin may need around 8 weeks to fully recover after dermabrasion treatment. Natural skin colour usually returns after about two months and only then will you be able to see the results and make an accurate assessment. In the first 3 months after dermabrasion, you should not expose yourself to the sun, regardless of how high the SPF you are using.

Eight weeks is a significant period of time to recover from treatment. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is a 'lunchtime peel', because it has virtually no downtime. You can return to your daily activities as soon as you leave the doctor's office. Your skin may look a little pinkish for the first 24 hours, but you can camouflage that under mild make-up.

Micro Abrasion and Dermabrasion Results


Dermabrasion can bring visible improvement in skin appearance. It can treat deep wrinkles, scars, different skin lesions and hyper pigmentation. Its popularity, still significant despite competition from other treatments, shows that it is a great way to resurface the skin, despite long recovery times and relatively high cost.

Microabrasion is not as effective for deep wrinkles and scars, because the procedure only removes the very top layer of the skin. Therefore, microdermabrasion results generally come in small steps and are only visible after 6 to 12 sessions.

The gentle skin exfoliation through microderm abrasion can help remove fine lines, acne, superficial scars, stretch marks, age and sunspots. Micro skin abrasion also gives your skin a healthy looking glow.

Another advantage of microdermabrasion is the fact that, unlike dermabrasion and other procedures (laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, etc), it can be used on the neck. The skin on the neck area is very sensitive and has an increased risk of scarring.

To sum up, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion are both, in effect, skin resurfacing techniques but the results, cost, procedure and risks make them significantly different. Choose your resurfacing treatment wisely.

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Is Crystal-Free Microdermabrasion Better?


Microdermabrasion started changing a few years ago. According to specialists and patients, crystal-free microdermabrasion is becoming the skin treatment of choice in spas and medical clinics across the US. But why are diamonds better than aluminium oxide or sodium bicarbonate micro crystals?

The number of people who try microderm abrasion for skin resurfacing grows by the thousands each year. Why so many so fast? Lack of side effects, low costs and visible improvements brought by several micro dermabrasion treatments seem to be very convincing.

Companies that produce and sell microdermabrasion machines and kits feel compelled to innovate and improve the micro abrasion procedure every year in order to remain competitive and appreciated by consumers. This is how micro dermabrasion was reinvented a few months ago.

For the sake of both safety and effectiveness, micro crystal dermabrasion machines (with aluminium oxide or sodium bicarbonate micro-crystals) are slowly replaced by crystal-clear devices (diamond or aluminium oxide crystal-free tips).

Crystal-free microdermabrasion appears to have the same skin-resurfacing results as the regular skin sanding procedure, while being safer for the patient and easier to use for the doctor. But what is the difference between diamond and crystal microdermabrasion?

The micro-crystal micro dermabrasion technology involves the use of a special hand-held device that propels a high-speed flow of aluminium oxide micro-crystals onto the skin. At the same time, the vacuuming system included in the device clears the skin of all debris, dead cells and used micro-crystals. It sounds perfectly safe, right?

Well, even though most specialists agree that aluminium oxide is not dangerous when ingested and safe for use in skin treatments like microderm abrasion, medical controversy on its side effects seems endless.

Some companies involved in the micro abrasion industry have, therefore, started producing diamond microdermabrasion machines. The machines usually come with several tip sizes and coarseness for different types of skin and levels of resurfacing.

This revolutionary system replaces the micro-crystal flow with a disposable or reusable diamond tip wand. Areas closer to the eyes and mouth can that way be treated more successfully. The crystal-free microdermabrasion treatment removes dead skin, wrinkles and blemishes the same way traditional microabrasion does, without any risk of inhalation or ingestion. This is how the actual procedure works.

The tip of the wand used in micro dermabrasion is made of natural diamond chips, which polish the skin and remove dead cells. The hand-held device contains a vacuuming system that sucks the skin against the abrasive wand tip. Dead cells are then being vacuumed into a waste filter. The result is smooth, shiny and healthy looking skin. The natural diamond tip is preferred by many professionals, because it is easier to control and it doesn't irritate the skin.

Rapid (and Honest) Comparison


Crystals Used In Microdermabrasion


Aluminium oxide crystals have been the most commonly used abrasive agent for the last 20 years. No wonder they were the agent of choice in microabrasion. Aluminium oxide is the second hardest mineral (diamonds are in pole position).

The irregular crystal shape makes them suitable for effectively treating several skin problems through micro dermabrasion. Aluminium oxide is also an inert material, causing no allergic or adverse reactions. It is not toxic for ingestion and is non-carcinogenic.

Sodium bicarbonate crystals are an organic alternative to aluminium oxide crystals but they are a lot softer and less effective in micro abrasion. They are used on patients with hyper pigmentation and can be easily washed off after treatment, since sodium bicarbonate is water-soluble.

Diamond (Crystal-Free) Microdermabrasion


Crystal-free tips and natural diamond tips are easier to use and don't bear the risk of leaving tiny particles in your eyes, nose or mouth. But a crystal-free microdermabrasion machine isn't completely safe.

Bacteria from exfoliated skin remains on the tip and can be unknowingly spread to another areas of the face or body. Crystal-free microdermabrasion is also not as effective on irregular surface areas -- since there are no crystals to fit the exact irregularities of the skin.

Is Diamond Microdermabrasion A Girl's Best Friend?
And if you were to chose? Micro-crystals or diamond tipped micro dermabrasion? Well, both procedures seem to be as effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, acne scarring, clogged pores and hyper pigmentation.

Both types of microdermabrasion take around 30 minutes and have virtually no downtime recovery. But with crystal-free microderm abrasion, you don't risk leaving the doctor's office with tiny particles stuck in your nose or your skin.

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Benefits And Advantages Of Microdermabrasions

Microdermabrasion was 2004's second most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States. According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports, more than 1 million patients used micro dermabrasion to treat their skin. Why would all these people consider microdermabrasion a better option than other skin resurfacing techniques?

Top Advantages Of Microdermabrasion

One major microderm abrasion advantage is minimum risks and side effects associated with this type of micro abrasion. Performed in a doctor's office, spa or beauty salon, microabrasion uses hand-held devices to spray and circulate high-pressure micro crystal flow onto the skin. A microdermabrasion machine uses compressors and pumps to mix gentle skin abrasion with suction in order to remove the outer skin layer (10-15 microns).

Micro dermabrasion, unlike dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing, takes no more than 30-60 minutes and can be successfully used on the face, neck, chest and hands. If time or money are an issue, the procedure is also available as a cheap home microdermabrasion kit (well known brands include Neutrogena, Mary Kay, L'Oreal, Oil of Olay, etc). Starting to see the advantages of microderm abrasion, are we? Let's take them one at a time.

First of all, I should tell you that because microdermabrasion removes only the very top skin layer, it is considered to be the least invasive cosmetic procedure. Risk of skin injuries or complications is, therefore, very slim. You also needn't worry about intrusive chemicals or scalpels touching your skin because microabrasion uses micro crystals.

Unlike micro laser peel or dermabrasion, the procedure doesn't require anaesthesia, because micro dermabrasion doesn't hurt. Most patients report nothing more than a mild tingling sensation during micro abrasion.

A major advantage of microdermabrasion over other cosmetic procedures is that it has virtually no down time after treatment. You can return to your daily activities as soon as you leave the doctor's office. Your skin may look a little pinkish for the first few hours after microderm abrasion, but everyone would simply assume you've suffered mild sunburn, not taken a skin resurfacing treatment.

The maximum duration of a micro dermabrasion session is 60 minutes, if treated areas includes your entire face and neck. If only certain areas of your face are being treated, the procedure lasts less than 30 minutes.

Another important advantage is that microdermabrasion can be performed on all skin types and colours without risks and side effects. Many cosmetic procedures (like laser resurfacing and chemical peels) are not recommended for skin types 4, 5 and 6 (dark skin), because they are invasive and could affect the pigmentary equilibrium skin causing complications. What about micro abrasion contraindications?

Few contraindications are another of micro dermabrasion's advantages. Microabrasion is not for you if pregnant or nursing (hormones may interfere with final results) or if you have keratosis, undiagnosed lesions, active rosacea or acne, weeping acne (stages 3 to 4), diabetes, auto-immune disorders, fragile capillaries, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or lupus. Recent laser surgery or Accutane acne treatment may also be sound reasons for your doctor not to recommend micro dermabrasion.

Another thing to take into account if interested in microdermabrasion is minimum pre and post-treatment rules and recommendations. You don't have to specially prepare your skin for micro dermabrasion nor do you need any medication after the procedure. Just stay away from the sun and be generous in hydrating your skin to prevent flaking.

What Does Microdermabrasion Do? - Benefits Of The Procedure

What can microderm abrasion do for you? Micro abrasion can improve appearance of acne-prone or blotchy skin, remove fine scars or wrinkles, rhytides, milia or sebaceous hyperplasia and minimize enlarged pores. Sun damaged skin or uneven texture may also improve as a result of microdermabrasion treatment.

Don't forget that, for best results, you may need around 10 microdermabrasions. Most beauty salons and cosmetic facilities offer discounts if you commit to several treatments. Home micro dermabrasions are different.

Micro abrasion is one of the few cosmetic procedures that you can perform at home. All you have to do is consult with your doctor to safely choose the best microdermabrasion product for your skin.

To sum up, microabrasion has quite a lot of advantages and benefits: it improves skin appearance, involves lower prices, less risks, side effects and contraindications, it's painless, has virtually no down time and last but not least, microdermabrasion can be performed at home.

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Risks and Drawbacks Associated With Microdermabrasion

The advantages microdermabrasion has over other skin resurfacing procedures (dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing) are well known, hence its popularity with consumers. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the drawbacks and side effects of microderm abrasion. Any cosmetic technique has contraindications and risks you should be aware of before trying them. Fortunately, with microdermabrasion, things are somewhat simpler and here's why.

Skin Type Is Essential In Assessing Microabrasion Risks

Before talking about how micro dermabrasion affects you, let's see which of the following six skin types best describes your skin:

  1. Your skin is white; it always burns in the sun and never tans.
  2. Your skin is white; it usually burns in the sun and tans with difficulty.
  3. Your skin is white; it burns mildly in the sun and tans moderately.
  4. Your skin is moderate brown; it rarely burns and tans easily.
  5. Your skin is dark brown; it rarely burns and tans very easily.
  6. Your skin is black; it never burns and tans very easily.

The above is called the Fitzpatrick Scale and it helps dermatologists predict how your skin might react to different cosmetic procedures and establish which techniques are best suited for it. For example, a Fitzpatrick Type 1 patient who wants her wrinkles removed responds better to laser skin resurfacing than a Type 4.

Many cosmetic procedures are not recommended for skin types 4, 5 and 6, because they are invasive and could affect the pigmentary equilibrium of the skin. Scaring and pigmentary changes are common complications for other skin rejuvenating techniques, like laser resurfacing, dermabrasion and chemical peels. How does microderm abrasion affect the skin then?

Most dermatologists consider micro abrasion safe for all skin types because it is non invasive. Microdermabrasion causes superficial skin injury and only removes the very top layers of the epidermis. If performed properly, micro dermabrasion can't tamper with the pigmentary equilibrium in your skin. Lack pigmentary changes aside, microdermabrasion still has some drawbacks.

Drawbacks of Microderm Abrasion

First of all, the best microdermabrasion results require multiple treatments and maintenance sessions. That translates into time and money.

Micro dermabrasion also has limited effectiveness. Being a mild (micro) abrasion technique, microabrasion cannot cause severe changes in skin appearance. Micro abrasion is effective on mild age spots, large pores, superficial acne scars and fine wrinkles, but it cannot treat deeper scars or wrinkles. Dermabrasion or laser resurfacing of the skin have, however, proven effective in these instances.

Post-microdermabrasion treatment recommendations include using lots of sunscreen every time you go out as well as using hydrating cream or gel during the first few days after micro dermabrasion. These drawbacks may seem relatively unimportant but the following risks and side effects aren't.

Micro Dermabrasion Risks and Side Effects

Dermatologists and patients alike agree that there are few risks associated with microdermabrasion. Nonetheless, there are things that could go wrong during or after microderm abrasion. If the microdermabrasion machine is not properly handled or has not been properly sterilized, hyper pigmentation and infections may occur as a result of the procedure. But these cases are extremely rare according to authorities in the field.

It is also possible to inhale micro crystals from the microdermabrasion machines used during the procedure. Aluminium oxide crystals, however, (the most commonly abrasive agent used in micro dermabrasion) cause no allergic or adverse reactions. They are not toxic for ingestion and are non-carcinogenic. Ingesting micro crystals in extremely large quantities, however, may cause respiratory problems (but so would dust) but that cannot happen during microabrasion treatment.

A few years back, some patients reported eye problems after stray micro crystals from microdermabrasion machines found their way into the eyes during micro abrasion. In the 21st century, however, all plastic surgeries, spas and beauty salons offer special eye protection during microderm abrasion, so chances of that happening are extremely slim.

You may also experience temporary discoloration of the treated area after micro dermabrasion as well as sun sensitivity, flaking and redness. These are not abnormal reactions, but you should discuss them with your doctor if they occur.

To sum up, compared to other cosmetic procedures, there are few drawbacks, risks and side effects associated with expert microdermabrasion treatment. Home microdermabrasion kits help eliminate most problems, though at the expense of effectiveness. Always consult with your doctor to make sure you've chosen the right abrasion kit.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Is Microdermabrasion?
  2. What Does Micro Dermabrasion Involve?
  3. What Is The Difference Between Microdermabrasion And Dermabrasion?
  4. Is Aluminium Oxide Safe?
  5. Where Is Microabrasion Performed?
  6. Who Can Perform Microderm Abrasion?
  7. How Much Time Does Micro Dermabrasion Require?
  8. What Should I Ask At The First Microdermabrasion Consultation?
  9. Is Micro Abrasion Suitable For Me?
  10. What Can Micro Dermabrasion Do For Me?
  11. How Many Treatments Are Required?
  12. Will I Experience Any Discomfort During Treatment? Does It Hurt?
  13. How Do I Prepare For Microderm Abrasion?
  14. How Soon Can I Return To Work?
  15. When Do Micro Derm Abrasion Results Become Visible?
  16. Is There Maintenance Treatment After Microdermabrasions?
  17. What Should I Expect After Treatment?
  18. Can I Try Micro Skin Abrasion At Home?
  19. Are There Any Microderm Abrasion Contraindications?
  20. Are There Any Risks Involved?
  21. What Can't Micro Abrasion Do?

Q1: What Is Microdermabrasion?

A: Microdermabrasion is an effective, non-surgical way to get rid of acne scars, fine wrinkles and sunspots by exfoliating the top layers of the skin. No chemicals or laser beams are used, only aluminium oxide micro crystals that gently sandblast your skin, leaving it smooth and fresh. Micro dermabrasion also stimulates collagen production, helping your skin rejuvenate faster than normal. Also called the lunchtime peel, microderm abrasion takes no more then one hour and requires no downtime.

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Q2: What Does Micro Dermabrasion Involve?

A: A nurse first clears your skin with a special cleansing gel. The doctor then starts the micro abrasion procedure using a hand-held device. The aluminium oxide micro crystal flow is sandblasted through a small tube pressed against the skin which, at the same time, vacuums back dead skin cells and used micro crystals.

The crystal flow starts as soon as the microderm abrasion wand touches your skin. The doctor slowly moves the wand across your entire face and not just treated areas, so that you don't experience inconsistence in skin texture or colour. After microdermabrasion, your skin is soothed with a special nourishing sun blocking cream, allowing you to go back to your daily routine immediately after treatment.

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Q3: What Is The Difference Between Microdermabrasion And Dermabrasion?

A: Dermabrasion is a mechanical procedure that uses a power driver hand-held device to remove the top layers of the skin. It may require general or a local anaesthetic, depending on the treated area. Derma abrasion lasts between a few minutes and two hours, depending on the depth and area of the skin resurfacing. After dermabrasion treatment, the skin is red, swollen and extremely sensitive for about 10 days. Dermabrasion can offer visible improvement by treating deep wrinkles, scars, and hyper pigmentation.

Microabrasion is much less invasive. It can be performed in an beauty centre, doctor's office or at home, using a personal home micro dermabrasion kit. A doctor uses a sandblaster-like hand-held device to spray and circulate high pressure flow of aluminium oxide crystals onto the skin. Used crystals and dead skin cells are then vacuumed back into the microdermabrasion machine, leaving the skin clean and smooth.

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Q4: Is Aluminium Oxide Safe?

A: Aluminium oxide crystals are perfectly safe and non-toxic if ingested. They don't cause adverse skin reactions and they are not carcinogen. During microderm abrasion, your eyes are protected by special glasses, to prevent micro crystals from getting in your eyes. The special wands in microdermabrasion machines used in cosmetic saloons are designed to vacuum back all micro crystals released during micro dermabrasion. That way, chances of inhaling the aluminium oxide are fairly slim.

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Q5: Where Is Microabrasion Performed?

A: Microdermabrasions are available in cosmetic centres, spas, dermatology clinics or at home by using a home microdermabrasion kit. Either way, you should consult your doctor to help you decide if micro derm abrasion is suitable for you and which kit or system would be best for you.

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Q6: Who Can Perform Microderm Abrasion?

A: Microabrasion used to be performed only by trained plastic surgeons. Many dermatologists and beauty specialists, however, are now specially trained to perform microderm abrasion. A home microdermabrasion kit allows even yourself to perform micro dermabrasion treatment on yourself. Simply follow the instructions that come with the abrasion kit.

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Q7: How Much Time Does Micro Dermabrasion Require?

A: A typical micro derm abrasion face treatment takes between 20 and 30 minutes. However, if you want your neck or other parts of the body treated, it may last up to an hour. Home microdermabrasion takes a only few minutes, including the pre-treatment cleansing and micro abrasion applicator maintenance.

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Q8: What Should I Ask At The First Microdermabrasion Consultation?

A: A first microderm abrasion consultation doesn't take more than a few minutes. Discuss your medical history with the doctor and help him decide whether microdemabrasion is right for you. He will establish your skin type, explain what's involved and help you set reasonable goals and expectations. Ask about any contraindications and involved risks. Also ask to see other patients' 'before and after' photos and his qualifications to perform microdermabrasion. You should also let him know that you feel strongly about him using sterile equipment. Ask the doctor to tell you any pre-treatment requirements and finally, set the date for the first session.

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Q9: Is Micro Abrasion Suitable For Me?

A: If the goal is to get rid of superficial acne scars, blotchy skin, large pores, age or sun spots, fine wrinkles or uneven skin tone and texture, you are a perfect candidate for micro dermabrasion. All skin types and colours can be treated with microdermabrasion. But before you go ahead, talk to a specialist about your medical history because there are conditions which may make microderm abrasion unsuitable for you.

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Q10: What Can Micro Dermabrasion Do For Me?

A: Microderm abrasion can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, helps fight acne and remove acne scarring, evens skin tone, eliminates white and black heads, minimizes large pores and revitalizes dull skin. Microdermabrasion helps skin regeneration by increasing its elasticity and collagen production. The skin looks fresh and feels smooth as soon as treatment is over. With micro abrasion, there is no recovery time and no discomfort.

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Q11: How Many Treatments Are Required?

A: Your doctor can give you a rough idea of the number of microdermabrasions required for best results. Major changes are obvious after the fifth session, even though most patients say they observed improvements after the first two. Most doctors suggest 6 to 10 microabrasion treatments, scheduled around two weeks apart, so the skin has time to recover between micro dermabrasion sessions. After the recommended number of sessions, you may have to schedule another abrasion once every two or three months, to maintain the effects.

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Q12: Will I Experience Any Discomfort During Treatment? Does It Hurt?

A: Micro abrasion treatment is painless. Some patients have reported some itchiness or stinginess when micro crystals came in contact with their skin. You may feel some discomfort around the eyes, but as microdermabrasion treatment continues, your skin gets used to crystal flow. It feels like the mild facial massage from a special wand. Your face may appear a little pinkish in the first 24 hours, but you should not experience any itchiness or pain.

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Q13: How Do I Prepare For Microderm Abrasion?

A: One of the advantages of microdermabrasion is minimum pre-treatment requirements. No pre-medication is required but your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin-based medicines, Retin-A, Renova, Differin or glycolic acid products. Stopping smoking a week before microdermabrasion is also recommended to improve blood flow and so is avoiding sunbathing and waxing.

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Q14: How Soon Can I Return To Work?

A: You can return to work the minute you leave your doctor's office. If your skin looks reddish, like after a mild sunburn, you can cover it up with some light make-up.

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Q15: When Do Micro Derm Abrasion Results Become Visible?

A: That depends on your skin and the micro dermabrasion machine used by your doctor. Some patients reported changes after the first treatment. Your skin will look cleaner and healthier after a few microdermabrasions, but major changes (like reduction of wrinkles and scars) become visible after five treatments.

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Q16: Is There Maintenance Treatment After Microdermabrasions?

A: After a complete series of micro dermabrasion treatments, you may want to keep your skin looking smooth and younger by scheduling a microdermabrasion-maintenance session once every 3 months.

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Q17: What Should I Expect After Treatment?

A: You will receive a sunscreen hydrating moisturizer after microdermabrasion, to avoid sun damage after leaving the doctor's office. Some redness might occur on treated areas, but they generally disappear after a few hours. During the first 24 hours, your skin may feel dry, similarly to effects of a mild wind or sunburn. Use lots of moisturizer during the first few days. Avoid sun exposure for at least a week after the treatment, don't use any peeling products for the next 3-4 days and avoid full-face make up (liquid foundation or pressed powder).

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Q18: Can I Try Micro Skin Abrasion At Home?

A: Yes, you can try a home micro dermabrasion product, but not before you discuss it with your doctor. All major cosmetic companies have at least one at-home microdermabrasion kit, which use different systems, foam, cream, sponges or treatments for your face or for the entire body. Home microabrasion systems, however, don't match the effectiveness of professional microderm abrasion treatment.

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Q19: Are There Any Microderm Abrasion Contraindications?

A: Microderm abrasion is not recommended to keratosis sufferers, people with undiagnosed lesions, active rosacea or acne, weeping acne (stages 3 to 4), diabetes, auto-immune disorders, fragile capillaries, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or lupus. Recent laser surgery or Accutane acne treatment may also be sound reasons for your doctor not to recommend microdermabrasion. Discuss your medical history to your doctor if unsure.

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Q20: Are There Any Risks Involved?

A: Micro dermabrasion is virtually risk-free. It is non-invasive and mild, so you have nothing to worry about. Make sure, however, that the medical staff sterilizes the equipment or changing the disposable pieces before use. That way, the risk of infection is practically zero.

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Q21: What Can't Micro Abrasion Do?

A: Microdermabasion can not cure severe scarring or deeply spotted areas on your face and body. Microderm abrasion works well at the very top layer of the skin. It cannot reconstruct the epidermis like laser surgery or dermabrasion treatment can. Don't expect microdermabrasion to remove tattoos, make darker pigmented areas disappear or treat severe burn scars.

 

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