As most people know, your skin is exposed to tons of environmental pollutants and harmful substances every day. As you age, the sun’s UV rays, chemicals from your favorite cosmetic products, pollution and other damaging agents could damage your skin. This could lead to age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet and other skin issues you don’t want to deal with.
There are various solutions available to get rid of these skin issues. One of the favorites in this arena is the microdermabrasion treatment.
Are you curious about what this treatment can do for your skin? Here are 17 things you should know about microdermabrasion treatments, before and after, as well as the costs, safety and everything in between.
1. First, Let Us Understand How Your Skin Works
Before you look into the science of microdermabrasion, it is first important to understand how your skin works to make the treatment more effective.
Your skin is made up of two main layers: the epidermis and the dermis.
Epidermis is the topmost layer of your skin and often the most abused. In the epidermis, there is a layer called stratum corneum. It is the topmost layer of the epidermis that acts as the barrier between the lower layers of your skin and the outside world. Consequently, this layer stops even the smallest molecules from getting deeper.
The microdermabrasion targets the stratum corneum and doesn’t go deeper. It is able to treat skin problems like fine lines and wrinkles without permanently embedding tiny grains into your skin.
Read below to find out more about microdermabrasion treatment.
2. Getting Up Close and Personal With Microdermabrasion
There are many cosmetic procedures available to treat and get rid of any skin condition. One of the popular and favorite treatments among women these days is microdermabrasion.
What is this treatment anyway?
Microdermabrasion is a type of non-invasive and non-chemical procedure that uses microcrystals to remove the outermost layer of the skin. Once the thick, dry, and dead skin cells are out, new, younger, and healthier-looking skin cells come in. Microdermabrasion treatment also encourages production of new skin cells by thickening your elastin and collagen, thereby improving your skin’s appearance.
3. Your Beautiful Skin vs. the World: Microdermabrasion Treatment Benefits
Now that you know what this procedure is, you might ask what it can do to your skin.
Microdermabrasion gently sands your skin to:
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles on your face.
- Treats acne and the scars it left behind.
- Improves the appearance of age spots and blackheads.
- Exfoliates your skin for a fresher look.
- Reduces, if not eliminates enlarged pores.
- Lessens the appearance of stretch marks.
Here’s the thing: microdermabrasion is often interchanged with other cosmetic procedures. The next few sections will tell you about the difference of microdermabrasion with other skin treatments.
4. Understanding the Thin Line Between Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
You often hear or read about dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. Oftentimes, you interchange these two concepts too.
Did you know that these concepts are different from each other?
Just like microdermabrasion, dermabrasion is a type of procedure that gets rid of skin blemishes and imperfections. However, the difference lies on the type of skin issue it could treat. Microdermabrasion is effective against shallow or superficial wrinkles and scars. If you want something that goes deep into your skin, then dermabrasion is the solution.
In other words, dermabrasion treats deep scars, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and other serious skin conditions to improve the appearance of your skin. This procedure uses hand-held device with strong rotating metal wheel or wire brush to peel off your skin. Depending on the area being treated, your doctor will use local or general anesthetic.
It is also more expensive, which ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 depending on the size and depth of the peeling. However, this doesn’t include the cost of anesthesia, doctor’s fee, and other expenses related to the procedure, which means additional $2,000 to $4,000.
5. Microdermabrasion vs. Chemical Peels Treatment: Know The Difference
Now that you know the difference between microdermabrasion and dermabrasion, it’s time to know how different it is from chemical peel.
How are these two treatments different from each other? After all, their main purpose is to exfoliate your skin and improve the appearance of those imperfections such as dull complexion, age spots, and uneven skin tone.
Just like dermabrasion, chemical peel treatment is effective in serious skin problems like deep scars and wrinkles. Depending on the required strength, it removes the damaged uppermost part layer of your skin to improve your skin. It can also be used both for cosmetic purposes or to remove pre-cancerous growths, which is why the use of anesthetics is required especially for deep peels.
Here’s what set chemical peels apart from microdermabrasion:
- Comes with three different strengths: mild, medium, and deep.
- Your recovery period may take up to three months.
- The use of bandages, antibiotics and painkillers are required to facilitate recovery.
- Side effects may include burning and permanent changes on the color of your skin.
6. The Perfect Candidate: Who’s In and Who’s Out in Microdermabrasion
Fact: people will have skin issues at one point in their lives. It could be as simple as fine lines or wrinkles or something more serious such as stretch marks, scars, and rosacea. Does this mean you are a good candidate?
So, who are ideal candidates? Healthy adults who relatively minor skin conditions or imperfections are ideal for this kind of treatment. If you have mild acne, slight discoloration, superficial acne scars, and pick marks, then this treatment could help solve your condition.
In other words, microdermabrasion is recommended if you have superficial skin issues and busy lifestyle with limited side effects and no downtime.
Keep in mind that this treatment cannot correct sagging skin or deep facial creases, which is why it is important that the ideal candidate for microdermabrasion treatment has realistic expectations.
7. How It’s Done: The Procedure Involved in Microdermabrasion
Imagine sandpaper on your skin, but this time, the sanding process is fine and less harmful. That is how microdermabrasion works.
Know Your Options: The Two Kinds of Microdermabrasion Treatments
The first type of treatment is the common way of doing microdermabrasion. In this procedure, your dermatologist uses a handheld device and streams aluminum oxide crystals across your skin. These crystals exfoliate your skin and get rid of the dead, dry, and thick skin cells. Thereafter, the vacuum will suction those exfoliating crystals together with the dead and loosened skin.
The second type of microdermabrasion treatment is the newer approach to this treatment. It uses a diamond-tip wand, which is gently moved across your skin to exfoliate.
The two procedures may use different devices, but the results lead to the same thing: to produce not just thicker but also healthier skin layers. Both treatments last for 30 to 60 minutes, which is why it is referred to as the “Lunch Hour Facial.”
As to how many times you should have microdermabrasion treatment, read the next section to find out.
8. Let’s Talk About Frequency: How Often Is Microdermabrasion Treatment
Here’s the truth about cosmetic procedures: one session will never be enough. Most of the time, you will need more than two sessions before you notice an improvement in your skin. The same goes with microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion makes your skin thicker and healthier while getting rid of the dead skin cells sitting pretty on your face. However, you will need more than one session to make sure that this treatment will work. After all, multiple treatments encourage production of new skin cells that contain collagen and elastin, important skin components to improve your skin’s overall appearance.
So, how many treatments do you need?
Approximately, you will need five to 12 sessions done two to three weeks apart to reap the benefits of this procedure. You better prepare your pocket.
9. What to Expect: Microdermabrasion Treatment Before and After
Microdermabrasion could help stimulate the production of collagen to keep your skin healthy and rejuvenated. However, a visit to the doctor is crucial to make sure that you microdermabrasion is the best treatment for your skin condition. As soon as your doctor gave a go signal, here’s what happens before starting with the treatment:
- Your doctor requires you to use eye protection, such as goggles or eye pads.
- Skin is prepared for cleaning to remove makeup and oils.
- There will also be some stretching to provide some tension on your skin to achieve the most effective abrasion and vacuum.
- The handheld device is moved over your skin with repeated single smooth pass. Two to four passes per area is enough.
After the treatment, here’s what to expect:
- Mild pinkness of the skin, which usually fades within minutes to hours from treatment.
- Your skin goes through mild exfoliation.
- Mild sunburn-like sensation for a few days.
Aside from this, read below to know more about microdermabrasion treatment.
10. Risks and Safety Issues That Come With Microdermabrasion Treatments
Without a doubt, microdermabrasion could treat various skin problems and make your skin smoother and healthier. Apparently, all good things come with a price. By price, this means there are risks and safety issues you need to take note when you go through these treatment.
What’s the catch? Below are some of the risks associated with after microdermabrasion treatment:
- Slight skin irritation
- Flaky and dry skin, usually for a few days
- Bruising as a result of suction
- Sensitivity to sun exposure
The good news is these side effects are only short-lived, which range from few hours after the treatment to several days.
11. Don’t Forget About the Price: Microdermabrasion Treatment Cost
Unfortunately, almost everything in this world comes with a price, including microdermabrasion treatment. The question now lingering in your mind is this: how much does it cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average microdermabrasion treatment cost in 2014 is $143. This doesn’t include facilities, cost of anesthesia, doctor’s consultation fee, and other treatment-related expenses.
This number may go higher or lower, depending on the following factors:
- Geographic region where treatment is sought.
- Frequency of the treatments.
- Skills and experience of the treatment provider.
- Geographic location of the office.
Is microdermabrasion treatment covered by insurance? Unfortunately, this procedure is considered cosmetic procedure, hence not covered, unless it is medically needed. Otherwise, you have to shoulder the fees from your own pocket.
The good news is many cosmetic dermatologists offer financing through health care lending companies to help you cover for the cost of microdermabrasion. Discuss this with our doctor in case you are interested.
12. Making It Work: Key Things to Do Before and After Your Procedure
You finally decided to go through microdermabrasion to reduce the appearance of your wrinkles and fine lines. That’s great. Apparently, the treatment doesn’t end there. The truth is there are a few reminders you need to remember to make sure that the effects of microdermabrasion will stay in place.
- Apply sunscreen or at least avoid sun exposure few days after the procedure.
- Refrain from waxing or tanning few weeks before your scheduled microdermabrasion treatment.
- Stay away from other cosmetic procedures like collagen injection two to three weeks before going through microdermabrasion.
- Don’t forget to slather your skin with moisturizing cream. The procedure temporarily strips off the moisture from your skin, which is why lotions or creams will help a lot.
Aside from this, here are few more things you should know about microdermabrasion treatment.
13. Bringing It Home: Doing Microdermabrasion Treatment at Home
Another fact: microdermabrasion is becoming popular these days. Despite the label “lunch hour facial,” there are still some people who can’t find time to try this procedure, especially those who were caught with work or moms with young kids to take care of.
Thankfully, there is a solution to address this demand. Numerous home systems microdermabrasion treatment became available to consumers, which you can buy in drug stores and pharmacies and may cost from $10 to $300. There are also at-home microdermabrasion treatment kits that come with mechanical- or battery-operated applicator and jar of the product, which you apply by hand.
This way, you don’t have to worry about leaving your work or home. You can even do it in your most convenient time.
Here’s the big question: does this work?
The answer is yes. In general, microdermabrasion is a mild treatment, which is safe to use even at home. With consistent use, you may also notice an improvement within a few months from the time you first started, depending on how your skin reacted to the procedure.
Here’s the catch: risks and side effects may still be an issue. Consequently, don’t compare the results of professional microdermabrasion treatment with the one you are using at home. Keep in mind that the effects of home microdermabrasion treatment may not be as remarkable compared to the treatment performed in the clinic so keep your expectations realistic.
To minimize risks and side effects, make sure to follow the label or package directions by the letter. Even if the results are not as remarkable as the one performed by a doctor, this doesn’t mean that the side effects are toned down. Take it easy and give your skin some time to recuperate before proceeding to the next box.
After all, too much of microdermabrasion treatment could damage your skin.
14. Tips to Remember When Choosing Your Cosmetic Dermatologist for Microdermabrasion
It may be tempting to try microdermabrasion from a clinic that says “Only $50 per session.” The question is this: is the procedure legit and carried out by a qualified and board-certified dermatologist?
Due diligence is required to make sure you are in the right hands. Before you enter the door and sign up for this treatment, here are tips to remember when choosing a cosmetic dermatologist:
- Check if the doctor is included in the current listing of American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
- Must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for American doctors and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for Canadian doctors.
- Read microdermabrasion treatment reviews for recommendations.
- Ask your friends or family members who went through the same procedure to recommend a dermatologist for this kind of skin treatment.
Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
15. Yay or Nay: Microdermabrasion Treatment for Your Skin Condition
Now that you know what microdermabrasion is, here is another big question you should ask yourself: should you go for it?
The answer is it depends on your situation.
Without a doubt, microdemabrasion is a safe, non-invasive procedure that comes with minimal risks. With consistency, you will notice an improvement in your skin and reduce the appearance of whatever skin condition you have.
Still, this doesn’t mean it is the ultimate solution to your problem. If you want to say goodbye to light acne, superficial scars, wrinkles, and other skin conditions, then this treatment could be your best option. Just a few sessions and you will say goodbye to your skin problems in no time.
However, the case is different if you are battling with a more serious skin condition. Let’s say you have deep scars left by acne or you had a surgical scar from a freak accident you had several years ago. In this case, you need something more than just microdermabrasion.
If you want to get rid of deep scars, then your best defense is dermabrasion or laser treatment. It might cost you more, but these treatments are far more effective than microdermabrasion.
What if you prefer something more natural? Don’t worry. There is a solution to that. Read the next section to find out your natural alternatives to get rid of scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne.
16. Going Natural: Alternative Natural Treatments to Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is effective. Apparently, your natural-organic side is taking over and tells you to try natural techniques. After all, it is less expensive, too.
In case you decide to go natural, here are tips to reduce the appearance of light scars and freckles on your face:
- Lemon Juice – Dab the juice over the affected area and let it dry before rinsing with cold water. The natural alpha-hydroxy acid and vitamin C content help fade scars and even out your skin tone.
- Potato Juice – Massage the juice all over your scars and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. Potato is rich in vitamins and minerals that is great for healing.
- Cucumber – Cut a few thin slices and lay it over on the affected area for 30 minutes then rinse with cool water. Cucumber is hydrating and contains vitamins A and C, and magnesium, which are great for your skin.
- Coconut Oil – Melt coconut oil then massage it directly on your skin. Coconut oil has natural moisturizers, essential fatty acids, and healing properties to help improve your skin.
- Aloe Vera – Get the gel from the aloe vera leaf and massage it gently on your skin. Let it stay on your skin for 30 minutes before rinsing to allow your skin to absorb its healing nutrients.
17. The Most Important Tip When It Comes to Microdermabrasion
Whether you go for microdermabrasion or chose to go more natural, here is the most important tip you should remember: keep your expectations realistic.
Microdermabrasion could help you get rid of any less serious skin problem. However, don’t expect magical results in one session. You will need a minimum of five sessions to be able to see the results. Also, there is a possibility that it might not work against your skin, which is why it is best to discuss with your dermatologist about the best solution to your skin problem.
Therefore, be realistic with your expectations, regardless of your chosen skin care treatment. Don’t expect too much. No matter how effective it is against other persons, it may or may not work for you.
One Final Word
Whatever skin condition you have, there will always be a solution to that. In case of light scars, wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, microdermabrasion treatment could lend a helping hand. Nevertheless, remember these 17 tips to make sure you will make the most out of this skin solution.