What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion (often referred to as Microderm) is a cosmetic procedure popular in day spas, doctors' practices, and medical spas, in which the stratum corneum (dead outermost surface of the skin) is partially or completely removed by light abrasion. Different methods include mechanical abrasion from jets of zinc oxide or aluminum oxide crystals, fine organic particles, or a roughened surface. Particles and removed material are vacuumed off through the wand/hand piece through which the abrasive particles come. Microdermabrasion is used to remove sun-damaged skin and to remove or lessen scars and dark spots on the skin. The procedure is not very painful and requires no anesthetic. Microdermabrasion can be used medically for scar removal when the scar is raised above the surrounding skin, but is less effective with sunken scars. There is very little, if any, evidence that microdermabrasion stimulates collagen formation. Microdermabrasion can also be used for treatment of acne, but must be repeated periodically to be effective. Microdermabrasion should not be used on patients who have taken the medication Accutane (Isotretinion) in the previous six months.
Microdermabrasion a relative newcomer to the United States. This technique was first used in Europe and adopted by United States in the late 1990s. Today, Microdermabrasion is used effectively to treat fine wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars left from moderate to severe acne. The term dermabrasion refers to the more severe medical procedure carried out under general or twilight anesthesia.
Procedure No.1: Peeling
Instead of using harsh chemicals such as zinc and metal oxides, microdermabrasion peels capitalize on the power of debris-leeching micro-crystals. They shouldn’t be painful, but rather very comforting like a deep tissue massage. Microdermabrasion peeling can be done easily and quickly in an outpatient clinic, at a spa or even at home as mentioned earlier.
The device is a hand-held machine which deeply exfoliates and cleans the skin’s surface. Regimens normally consist of 4-6 peels within 1-2 week intervals and then followed by a conditioning peel every 6 weeks or thereabouts where necessary.
In simple terms, a sand jet or sandblaster shoots fine sand particles onto the surface of the skin in an oscillatory motion. The friction that this motion creates abrades the surface of dead skin cells on the upper-most layer of the skin.
Procedure No.2: Corundum and Aluminum Crystal Machines
The most commonly type of crystal used in microdermabrasion machines are corundum or aluminum oxide. The reason for this is that they are firstly, great materials for cutting and abrading because of their coarse, un-even surfaces. Second, their hardness is second only to diamonds, but cheaper. Third, they don’t cause allergic skin reactions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or itching they don’t interact chemically and are not absorbed by the skin. Finally, the crystals have a bactericidal property which is a plus for treating acne as acne is most commonly due to bacterial infection.
Procedure No.3: Other Crystal Machines
Other crystals instead of corundum can be used for microdermabrasion, and these include, sodium chloride crystals, sodium bicarbonate crystals, and magnesium oxide crystals. The benefit of using these methods is that it is cheaper overall, however be weary of the efficacy compared to standard crystal techniques.
Does Microdermabrasion Hurt?
When selecting any ImageMicroDerm microdermabrasion machine you can be assured that your patients will never feel any pain. You will be able to get all the areas of the face including the eyelids and all around the eyes, the crystals will flow only where they are applied. The patient normally works up a level as they go to increase the penetration to the skin and their skin may feel a little hot and appear a bit red for the first treatment but will be perfectly fine that same day. A normal microdermabrasion treatment varies depending on your patients' skin and the sensation of the procedure has been attributed to the sensation of a slight windburn.
Many have hailed microdermabrasion as the miracle cure for Acne. Yes it can remove many of the scars left by Acne. It can clear out clogged pores and remove all the excess sebum (oil). It will invigorate the skin making it far healthier looking. However it is very important that microdermabrasion is never used on skin that has an active outbreak of acne. A well trained professional may be able to work around your acne but you should NEVER use a home microdermabrasion kit while you have an outbreak. Sadly micro-dermabrasion can not remove deep scars but it can reduce them greatly so that they are no longer as visible as they once were. Even better is the fact that microdermabrasion has been proven to stop acne from coming back! Yes, it will help bring it under total control but only if a maintenance course is adhered to.