Microdermabrasion & Dermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a popular procedure and is classified as very superficial dermabrasion, or exfoliation. This method employs tiny aluminum oxide crystals which are sprayed onto the skin and immediately sucked up along with dead skin cells. Although not scientifically proven to improve the appearance of skin, many patients report that their skin feels smoother. It is also popular because it is painless and there is no recovery time after the procedure. Microdermabrasion is safe on any skin color or type.

What is microdermabrasion used for?

Most patients report improvement in acne, uneven skin color, and skin texture. Patients like the fact that makeup goes on more smoothly after microdermabrasion.

What does microdermabrasion feel like?

During the micrdermabrasion treatment, tiny crystals are sprayed out and vacuumed up through a hand piece. There may be some mild discomfort, described by some as similar to an emery board against the skin. Some patients report that the experience is similar to a facial massage.

How long does microdermabrasion take?

Normally, microdermabrasion takes between ten and thirty minutes, depending on the area being treated.

How many treatments will I need?

On average, 5-9 microdermabrasion treatments, spaced one week apart, are required. Most people who use microdermabrasion require a maintenance program to maintain the effects.

How long do the results last?

Typically, the microdermabrasion results last a few months.

What are the risks of microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is safe. There may be facial redness for about an hour after the procedure but no recovery time is required.

What is dermabrasion?

Mechanical resurfacing of the skin has been in use for about 50 years and involves the use of abrasive tools to remove the outer layers of the skin to produce improved appearance. Dermabrasion has been used for the treatment of photoaging (from sun damage), wrinkles, scarring, acne, precancerous lesions, and discoloration (called dyschromia). Superficial and deep techniques are available. There are two layers of the skin; the outer layer is called the epidermis and the inner layer, the dermis. Superficial dermabrasion removes portions of the epidermis and deep dermabrasion removes all of the epidermis and portions of the dermis. Deep methods are the preferred method for treatment of scarring and other less common skin conditions (i.e. epidermal nevi, rhinophyma, and benign tumors). It has also been used for removal of resistant tattoos. Deep methods are more effective but generally require healing time and carry a higher risk of complications.

What is the procedure like?

Motorized dermabrasion is a medium deep or deep procedure and employs the use of a motorized brush or diamond cylinder. These tools are used to remove the outer layers of the skin in a controlled setting. Local anesthesia and sometimes general anesthesia is used for pain control during the procedure.

How long does the procedure take?

Depending on the size of the area being treated, dermabrasion can take from 30 to 90 minutes.

What will my face feel like after the procedure?

Dressings usually need be worn after the procedure and temporary facial swelling and pain is normal. Within 7-10 days, the skin has healed but is often very red. Complete healing may take up to one month and collagen remodeling may continue for months after the procedure.

How many treatments will I need?

Usually one treatment is adequate but you and your physician will decide what is needed for you.

How long will the results last?

Improvement in scarring can be permanent. Improvement in photoaging can last years with good sun protection.

What are the risks of dermabrasion?

Complications are rare but include infection, prolonged healing, discoloration, and scarring. Not everyone is a good candidate for dermabrasion. You and your physician need to decide if dermabrasion is the right procedure for you.

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