Medical microdermabrasion is the process of resurfacing the top layer of the skin to a precise depth by the combination of an exfoliation and vacuum process. By removing dead skin cells and stimulating blood flow, the deeper dermal level is stimulated to produce collagen and fibroblasts (collagen producing cells), giving the skin a more supple, elastic appearance. The result is fresher, healthier, rejuvenated skin with enhanced surface quality.
Virtually anyone can benefit from microdermabrasion. It is a safe, non-invasive resurfacing technique that can be used on all skin types.
Clinical studies have shown microdermabrasion to be effective for acne, hyper-pigmentation (brown blotches), sun damage, fine lines, thick leathery skin, acne and superficial skin disorders. It can also be useful as part of combination treatments (with laser and light therapies) for sun damaged skin, as well as mild scarring.
The number of microdermabrasion treatments a patient requires can vary. I recommend six to 12 treatments, depending on the severity of the problem, with a maintenance treatment around once a month.
Microdermabrasion is a very superficial exfoliating treatment that is very comfortable, even relaxing.
The concept of microdermabrasion is very old. Ancient Egyptians applied abrasive masks of alabaster particles. For millennia, various substances have been used to peel, exfoliate, and rejuvenate the skin. Modern microdermabrasion was developed in Italy in 1985. Its use became widespread in European countries, then in the US and beyond.
How does microdermabrasion compare to other treatments?
Skin resurfacing techniques such as dermabrasion, chemical peeling and the more recent technique of laser resurfacing have a history of working, but also the potential for significant complications such as scarring, pain, and days to weeks of downtime and infection. By contrast, microdermabrasion does not carry these risks.
The advantages of microdermabrasion include the following:
• The treatment is painless. Anaesthesia is unnecessary.
• The treatment can be repeated at short intervals.
• The procedure is simple and quickly performed.
• The treatment does not interrupt the patient's life.
Not all microdermabrasion treatments are the same, so look out for a good nurse or therapist. A good microdermabrasion treatment of the face should last a minimum of 30 minutes. If it's the face and neck, it should last up to 45 minutes. A quick "once over lightly" will not give you the results that this treatment can deliver.
Ask the therapist if she has a medical grade machine. In the end, you will know whether you are getting results, and that will help you decide whether to go back.
What is Medical Microdermabrasion? PDF (209KB)
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