Your skin is one of the most easily damaged organs in your body. It is easily exposed to dirt, grime, and the sun aside from the natural effects of aging that would take toll on the skin. However, you might also like to ask “what is microdermabrasion?” and how it can help your skin. This is one of the newest techniques used to treat skin imperfections without letting your skin experience the harsh effects of the treatment. A little basic knowledge about what micro dermabrasion is can help you prepare yourself about what is in store for you if you have this skin care treatment. The best thing that you should get from this is that you know just how safe and beneficial this kind of skin care treatment is for you.
Microdermabrasion as Skin Care Treatment
It is a technique that is now becoming more popular in taking care of the skin. This aims to remove the dead skin cells formed at the outermost layer of the skin. This treatment can help get rid of the fine lines, wrinkles, acne, acne scars, sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and other skin imperfections. Microdermabrasion products have exfoliating agents in the form of creams with crystals in them. If you want to use a microdermabrasion machine, you can choose between crystal or diamond microdermabrasion. By removing the topmost layer of the skin through exfoliation and vacuuming, which can be done by the device, your skin will have more collagen and fibroblasts. This will result to improved blood flow, supple skin, and a healthier look. This will certainly enhance the quality of the skin’s surface. It is certainly considered as an effective anti-aging skin treatment.
History of Microdermabrasion
This treatment originated from Italy where it was developed in1985. This was only brought to the United States in the 1990’s. In 2005, it already ranked as one of the top five cosmetic treatments in the US.
However, the concept of skin abrasion for skin rejuvenation has been around since 1500 BC, as used by Egyptian physicians. Back then, they used sandpaper for smoothing the scars and other skin marks.
In the 1900’s, Kromayer came up with a device that has rasps and rotating wheels to do the exfoliation of the epidermis, or the outer layers of the skin. However, this is a mechanical device that makes it hard to use.
In the mid-1950’s, there was a motorized device with wire brushes for dermabrasion. However, this was met with several problems. Dermabrasion is a painful procedure so it needs anesthesia for the patient. It has a long downtime because it takes longer a few weeks to heal the skin. Oftentimes, it also results to scarring if it is not done properly. It is quite a hassle to take care of the skin’s wounds after dermabrasion. The process also exposes the patient to a high risk of infection.
However, the modern micro dermabrasion machine was invented in Italy by Drs. Mattioli and Brutto. It was a closed loop machine, wherein the exfoliated skin was stored in a dirty container. This new machine was introduced to the US in the mid to late 1990’s by Mattioli Engineering.
Now, there are more than a hundred different kinds of microdermabrasion machines in the market. Some of these machines can even be used for microdermabrasion at home treatment, particularly those which are certified as Class 1 medical device by the FDA. These are devices which can be sold without making it necessary to demonstrate clinical efficacy. These can also be used without medical supervision. Even those users without medical training can operate these microdermabrasion devices.
How Microdermabrasion is Done
The human skin has two layers, the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the outer layers of the skin while the dermis is composed of the inner layers. The top layer of the epidermis is the stratum corneum, the part of the skin which is most exposed to skin problems like blemishes, wrinkles, acne and the like.
The idea behind the use of microdermabrasion along with chemical peel, dermabrasion or laser resurfacing is that the stratum corneum has to be removed to get rid of the skin imperfections. Microdermabrasion uses the rough grains of the crystals for the exfoliation of the skin. In return, the body will react to the abrasion effect by producing new skin cells, just like how the body responds to normal skin injuries.
When the skin loses its outer layer, all the fine lines, wrinkles, acne and other imperfections are taken away too. This makes the new skin smoother, younger-looking and healthier. Moreover, the new skin cells can retain more moisture. Aside from the home use kits, other skin care products like lotions and creams can work more effectively on the skin. Microdermabrasion helps maximize the effects of these skin care products.
Regular treatments can eventually lead to a glowing skin. This also removes the damaged layers of the skin. Once more, you can have the healthier skin that you have wished for.
If you opt to have professional microdermabrasion, the plastic surgeon would use a device for the resurfacing of your skin. This machine blasts abrasive crystals onto the skin through a hand piece. These crystals are usually made of baking soda or aluminum oxide. They are dispersed to the skin through the machine’s hose. Abrasion can be done by letting the hand piece massage the skin back and forth. The same device can also be used to suck in the excess crystals and the dead skin that is left on the surface.
If you want to do it at home, you can still find a machine that is safe for home use. Aside from learning what is microdermabrasion, you have to know how to use this machine properly as well. The machine’s hand piece can be used over the skin are that needs treatment. Use the other hand to keep the skin taut so that the treatment can cover more skin area and layers. It is important that the hand piece should only be moved in single direction, but it can pass over the same skin area several times as prescribed by the dermatologist. You might want to read the manual of the device first before you use it. The area with a thicker skin needs more pressure from the device while those parts with more sensitive skin needs less pressure. The thicker skin also needs more speed and passes to make the treatment effective.
Microdermabrasion is effective in helping avoid heat build-up. This can polish the skin in the process as the newer skin cells are still free of imperfections. Usually, a single session with a machine like Nubrilliance microdermabrasion lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. A complete treatment needs more than one session though, with six to twelve sessions each. This depends on your skin condition, as assessed by the dermatologist. Professional and even home treatment can be done with a gap of two to three weeks to allow the skin to heal. Even if you might want to compare microdermabrasion vs chemical peel, there are some cases when both skin care treatment have to be combined. It may also be combined with other skin resurfacing techniques.
What to Do Before Microdermabrasion
Before microdermabrasion, the doctor gathers information for your medical history. Your skin will be examined as well. Be ready to answer questions about your skin to make sure that you will get the right kind of treatment. There are different kinds of products that are available in the market. You just have to choose which is best for you.
There are certain things that you need to do to make sure that you will be ready, such as the following:
• Tell your dermatologist about the skin care products that you are using or medications that you are taking in the past month. It would be important to let your doctor know if you have certain skin conditions.
• To avoid complications, stop using other exfoliating products. These can affect the effects of your professional or at-home microdermabrasion. There might be some microdermabrasion side effects that would come out of different combination of products.
• Always make sure that your arms and legs are straightened up before the treatment is done. This will ensure proper blood circulation for your skin in addition to the help that you can get from a device. Proper posture is really necessary.
• Research about the necessary aftercare products such as a moisturizer to keep your skin from getting uncomfortably dry. Other common aftercare products are sunscreen, moisturizing cream and a vitamin-rich ointment.
• Look at reviews for the different home microdermabrasion kits. The Internet is a rich source of reviews and ratings about these products. Moreover, you can also look at microdermabrasion pictures online to see just how much the treatment can help you too. Friends and family who have already tried this skin care treatment would be a good source of information as well.
• Use only non-alcoholic cleaners weeks before microdermabrasion. Astringents usually dry up the skin excessively that your skin will lack the right materials that it needs to make it look healthy. It is best to use a pH balanced product especially for acne-prone skin.
• If you are about to have microdermabrasion in the summer, avoid tanning naturally or with the use of a self-tanning product. The procedure tends to remove all the top facial skin cells that cause a darker complexion. However, exposure to the sun after microdermabrasion does not have the same adverse effects as the other types of skin resurfacing techniques.
What to Do During the Microdermabrasion Appointment
The actual process must be done right to avoid unnecessary yet painful complications after the treatment. The skin should be free of makeup, oils and dirt. By removing these things off your skin, it can breathe easier. Before the treatment, the skin will have to be cleaned by several types of purifiers. If you have allergies though, avoid those purifiers with chemicals that can trigger these allergies.
You need to put on protective eye pads especially for the part where the machine blasts crystals onto the skin. These crystals will initiate the exfoliation of the skin, particularly its top layer. This is not painful though even if you will feel the sanding effect of the crystals. The machine’s wand will pass over the face, cheek, neck and other skin areas to be treated. It is expected that you will feel the scratching and vacuuming effect of the device on your skin. The skin areas to be treated have to be massaged by the wand at least twice. It might need up to three passes if the area has a thicker skin.
What to Do After Microdermabrasion
Your skin will be a bit rosy and at this time, extra sensitive to dirt or other particles. It might not be a good idea to continue with your activities, especially when it involves meeting with people or traveling which exposes you to dirty air. Spend more of your time at the cleaner parts of your home, not the garden or the lawn. Your exposed pores would find it hard to combat dust and dirt.
An even more important reminder would be to avoid applying any makeup right after the treatment. Stop applying acne medicine or lotion as well within the crucial 12-hour period after the treatment. Sensitive pores make your skin extra tender to these products. During the restoration process, which is within eight to twelve hours after the procedure, you have to pamper your skin. A mild cleanser can be used though.
In some cases, your acne might become worse in the next few days. This is part of the cleansing process that your skin has to go through before skin rejuvenation happens. Within a week after treatment, the level of your acne problem might be more manageable.
Do not be too impatient with your treatment. On the average, it takes three to four sessions before you can see its effects on your skin. You might want to take pictures to compare the difference in your skin before and after each treatment. Some dermatologists may also suggest combining your treatment with other products or techniques to maximize their effect on your skin.
Another thing that you will have to deal with would be the side effects. There are certainly other things that are worth knowing about more than the cost. However, you can deal with these side effects better if you know how to remedy them:
• Itching. You can stop this by applying moisturizer on your face, neck and the concerned skin area. Do this only after applying the cream or using the machine. When you wash your face after the treatment, use only moisturizing soap and rinse it well.
• Flaking. The flaking of the skin is usually caused by being more sensitive to sunlight. Its symptoms are just like the effects of sunburn. To avoid skin flaking, apply sunscreen on your face. The greater its SPF, the better it is for your skin. Avoid tanning and stay in the shade as well.
• Redness and soreness. These are normal effects on the skin after the abrasion effects on the top layer of your skin. These will just go away in a few days or even after a day. To let these fade away quickly. You can use a sunscreen and moisturizer. Protect your skin from sunlight too.
• Dryness. Apply an emollient cream to avoid extra dryness on your skin. Use it at least three times a day. Find a cream that does not cause skin irritation.
• Spot formation. This is usually an effect of unclogged pores, which is called as purging. During this process, the bacteria causing the growth of acne are brought out and they show through the spots on the skin. However, this will not last long so you can get back to your clear and healthy-looking skin.
Motivating Factors to Have Microdermabrasion
What is microdermabrasion, you may ask. Aside from explaining what the process is and what you need to do before, during and after the treatment, you might be curious as to why this has become popular. There are many reasons that serve as motivating factors in taking microdermabrasion. These factors include the following:
• It can improve the tone and texture of the skin. It has an anti-aging effect because it can give your skin a youthful glow. In fact, this can help remove fine lines and wrinkles.
• It removes blackheads, dull skin, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, fine lines, and dry patches. It unclogs pores or minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores. These kinds of pores are usually caused by age spots, oily skin, mild acne scars, hyperpigmentation, brown spots, and rough skin texture.
• It does not have a long downtime because your skin can easily recover after the treatment. This is the skin resurfacing technique with the least discomfort involved after the procedure. If you compare microdermabrasion vs chemical peel or dermabrasion, you will encounter fewer side effects with it. It is safer for home use too.
• It gives immediate improvement for the patients in terms of skin texture, tone and pigmentation. This is because the process promotes the production of collagen for healthier skin.
• It still allows the skin to be treated by other exfoliation therapies after the procedure is administered. In fact, you can continue using retinoid drugs after microdermabrasion without any skin irritation.
• It can be combined with chemical peel to give much better results. These combined efforts can increase collagen production and hasten the recovery of the wounds created by the skin.
• It can still be used even for skin that has ingrown hairs or razor irritation due to shaving or waxing.
• It is quite a safe procedure especially if it is done with board certified plastics surgeons and dermatologists. There are class 1 devices for microdermabrasion which are safe for use at home.
• It can improve the appearance of stretch marks because it stimulates the growth of new skin cells to hide the stretch marks. This can give better results if this is used with microdermabrasion creams.
• It is a non-invasive, mild procedure, which is why it is preferred by more people over dermabrasion, chemical peel and laser resurfacing. It is less time consuming as well.
• It is an effective cleansing treatment to get rid of blackheads or whiteheads. This is in fact one of the most effective benefits of this treatment.
• It is much cheaper than cosmetic surgery and other skin care treatments.
Types of Microdermabrasion Treatments
Even if it is the least expensive option, you can still choose among three types of treatments, such as the following:
• Medical microdermabrasion. This is the most expensive treatment that is supervised by a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist, though this can also be done by registered nurses and medical technicians. A single session can cost $100 to $200, but this price can be combined with other treatments to minimize its cost. A complete treatment may cost you as much as $25,000.
• Spa and salon microdermabrasion. This is done with machines and supervised by aestheticians. The machine can do the application of the cream and vacuum the debris and dead skin from the surface. This can cost you $100 to $140 per visit to the beauty salon.
• Microdermabrasion at home. This is the cheapest option. There are many home microdermabrasion kits that you can buy from department stores and even in online shops. Each kit can cost you $20 to $155.
Many people wishes to have youthful looks and this is possible with healthy, glowing skin from microdermabrasion. There are several ways of conducting this treatment so you can get the satisfaction of achieving the results that you want for your skin. It is a fairly safe skin care procedure and as long as you have it done or do it properly, this can improve your skin.