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What Is Microdermoabrasion?

Microdermoabrasion is a procedure that improves the skin's texture and appearance. It includes a stream of fine microparticles which are blasted across the face and collected with the assistance of a type of skin vacuum cleaner. Microparticles used in the procedure vary and may include crystals of aluminium salts, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chlorine crystals etc.

By moving these particles across the face the outermost layer of the skin is partially removed. The effects are similar to the effects of sandpaper. Once the outermost layer of the skin is removed the underlying layers engage in regeneration and produce new skin cells. Damage to the skin is minimal and the appearance of the skin improves significantly once the old cells are replaced with new skin cells.

Who Is a Suitable Candidate for Microdermoabrasion?

Microdermoabrasion is a very effective treatment for people suffering from fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, in some cases microdermoabrasion may improve the appearance of stretch marks. However, the effects are only noticeable in case small portions of the skin are affected by these skin lesions. Microdermoabrasion may be also effective in people suffering from brown spots on their skin. The very procedure is sometimes combined with chemical peel or certain skin creams.

Microdermoabrasion is not suitable and is considered ineffective against deeper wrinkles, scars and deep pigmentation problems. It is also not effective in people suffering from broken capillaries in the skin.

The procedure is actually suitable for all types of skin. However, it is essential to pay attention to people who are suffering from acute and active skin infections (for example cold sores), people with a history of skin healing as well as people who have taken isotretinoin within the last 12 months. In such cases microdermoabrasion is contraindicated.

Microdermoabrasion - the Procedure

Prior to microdermoabrasion the practitioner will investigate a person's medical history and discuss all the positive effects as well as potential side effects of microdermoabrasion with the patient. Patients with a history of herpes simplex infections (cold sores) may be given antiviral drugs as a measure of precaution.

The practitioner first cleans the skin and the person puts on the goggles which protect the eyes from any strain crystals. Crystals are directed onto the face and almost immediately removed with a specific vacuum. Together with crystals the vacuum removes the loosened superficial layer of the skin. Already used crystals are never re-used. After the procedure the practitioner explains the patient what to do and how to help healing of the treated skin.

Risks and Complications of Microdermoabrasion

The treated skin is always red, but it soon restores its natural color. Microdermoabrasion is generally painless and never leads to excessive irritation of the skin. Tightness is a normal sensation that develops after the treatment. Similarly to redness tightness soon withdraws. In some cases the skin may remain red for a day or so and sensitive skin around the eyes may be a bit swollen. Swelling is reduced with cold compresses.

Microdermoabrasion of scar tissues and stretch marks may cause spotting of blood and the healing may extent to 3-4 days. And finally, the procedure carries a small risk of pigmentation and scarring.

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