Microdermabrasion used to be reserved solely for Hollywoods elite and the wealthiest of clients – it was the favorite skincare secret of the upper crust. In the simplest of terms, microdermabrasion is the use of tiny rough grains against the skin to sand or buff away the dull, damaged outer layer and reveal the newer tighter skin layers underneath. Think of it like extreme exfoliation.
For patients who suffer from acne, clogged pores, or have skin that is too sensitive for acne drugs (like Retin-A, tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, etc.) microdermabrasion can be a wonderful chemical-free solution.
The goal of facial aesthetics and the endpoint to the series of treatments of chemical peels and microdermabrasion is to promote exfoliation of the epidermis (thinning), induce wounding of the dermis, and allow for increased lymph flow which provides cleaning, toning and reduced redness. By wounding the dermis, the dermal layer will heal itself by producing more collagen that in turn will reduce or reverse dermal thinning, thus improving tone, texture, tonicity and reducing wrinkle precursors.
Microdermabrasion Q & A
What happens during a microdermabrasion treatment?
Like all of our treatments, microdermabrasion begins with an in-depth assessment of your skins current state. We will ascertain the degree of skin aging as well as the type and extent of the damage. Finally, we will explain what we have found as well as what treatments and aftercare we recommend and what results you can reasonably expect.
After the assessment is done, your face will be cleaned and prepped and you will be made comfortable in one of our treatment areas. The microdermabrasion tool is used in a steady even manner over the areas to be treated. You may feel some suction and a slight sensation of friction. After two or three passes, your treatment will be finished by the application of a soothing cream as needed.
How long does it take?
Plan to be with us for between 1 and 2 hours, though the treatment time itself is much shorter.
When should I get help for acne?
Generally speaking, an occasional blackhead or whitehead won’t require medical treatment. However, if your acne is persistent, frequent, painful, or resistant to over-the-counter medications and appropriate daily hygiene, you should schedule an appointment.
Acne can also impact your social and physical well-being when left untreated. If your breakouts are affecting your self-confidence or other aspects of your life, it might be time to get help.
Does it hurt?
Most of our patients feel a sensation almost like a small vacuum across their skin. There may be some mild discomfort but pain is generally not associated with the microdermabrasion treatment.
How long is the recovery time?
Most people have no need for any downtime microdermabrasion, though some redness and swelling is normal. If there is any pain after treatment, it can be controlled with over-the-counter medication. Your skin should be protected from the sun, however, so it is recommended that you stay indoors and out of direct sunlight after treatment. You will be given specific aftercare instructions based on your individual skin and its needs.
Is it safe?
When done correctly, microdermabrasion is very safe. Untrained technicians should never be allowed to perform microdermabrasion treatments using professional tools as it can cause bruising and discoloration if done incorrectly, especially in sensitive areas such as the upper lip. This discoloration can be permanent if it is extensive. Microdermabrasion should not be done over the eyelids under any circumstances.
Can anyone do it?
No. if there are any active breaks or tears in the skin, microdermabrasion is not possible. It is also not recommended for people who bruise and bleed easily or have fragile capillaries, anyone with a bleeding disorder or currently on anti-coagulants, anyone with warts or active oral herpes or herpes lesions, anyone suffering from eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis, lupus sufferers or anyone who has lupus or diabetes. Exceptions can be made for some of these counter-indications if the patient is cleared by a physician.
Is microdermabrasion covered by insurance?
Because microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure, it is not covered by health insurance.
How many treatments are needed?
Results will be visible very quickly after a single microdermabrasion session. If you are using microdermabrasion to treat a specific skin issue, more than one session will likely be needed.