Microdermabrasion is one of the most popular methods of superficial skin resurfacing. It is used to treat acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, superficial skin discolorations, and other blemishes.
Traditional microdermabrasion softly abrades the skin by passing crystals over it at high speed. More recently introduced devices use a rotating diamond tip. At SOMA Skin & Laser, we offer both styles of microdermabrasion. Your treatment provider will select the best option for you based on your preferences, the area to be treated, and the results desired.
Microdermabrasion gently damages the superficial layers of the skin and is helpful for fine lines, shallow scars, and superficial marks. Deep wrinkles and scars require additional treatments such as lasers or chemical peels. Microdermabrasion is usually performed in a series of 4 to 12 treatments spaced a week or two apart. The procedure has very limited down time and is a favorite “lunch time” procedure.
For crystal-based microdermabrasion, a high-pressure stream of crystals (usually aluminum oxide or salt crystals) is forced over the skin and then cleared with a vacuum that also whisks away exfoliated skin. The depth of treatment depends on the flow of the crystals, how many passes are performed, and how fast the handpiece moves over the skin. In diamond tipped devices the coarseness of the grit and speed of rotation determine the aggressiveness of the treatment.
Prior to microdermabrasion, the area to be treated is gently cleaned and eye protection put in place. One or two passes are typically performed, with more aggressive treatment on scars or thicker skin. After the microdermabrasion treatment, excess crystals are wiped off and moisturizer and sunscreen applied. The skin will be red for a few hours, and possibly a sunburn-like appearance will persist for several days.
Microdermabrasion is a good choice for superficial skin problems for those willing to commit to a series of treatments. For deeper skin problems or quicker results, other procedures are preferred. Microdermabrasion is best when performed in conjunction with a full treatment regimen prescribed by your dermatologist, which will include treatment of underlying skin conditions and evaluation for other treatment modes such as lasers, botox, fillers, and chemical peels.