Microdermabrasion, At A Glance
- Best ResultsMultiple
- Treatment RecoveryImmediate
- Procedure Time60 min
- Skin SpecialistDermal therapist
- Duration of Results14-21 days
- AnaestheticNil required
- Back to WorkImmediately
- CostNot performed @cliniccutis, replaced with Hydrafacial, Tixel, Lase MD
Microdermabrasion is a low to no downtime procedure that can temporarily improve skin texture by partially removing the upper layers of skin known as the stratum corneum. This procedure is offered by many beauticians, however @cutis_dermatology I have largely replaced microdermabrasion with faster, longer lasting & effective treatments such as Hydrafacial, Aquagold Facials, Tixel, Lase MD, chemical peels & simple Dermaplaning.
FactsFacts on Microdermabrasion
- This physical exfoliation procedure can improve the optical properties of skin
- Removal of dead skin cells can improve the perception of pigmentation
- Planning the upper most layer of skin can also improve dull skin & fine lines
- As skin turns over in 2-4 weeks, the procedure needs to be frequently repeated
- The relaxing feel-good factor of microdermabrasion has a high satisfaction rate
- Chemical peels performed correctly will better the outcomes of microdermabrasion
- Other alternatives include Tixel, Picofacials & Laser Genesis
What conditions can microdermabrasion treat?
Microdermabrasion is a physical exfoliating procedure. It can improve dull skin as well as mild forms of pigmentation. Repeated treatments can stimulate collagen, improving pores & very fine lines. This treatment is also effective in treating milia, skin congestion & blackheads.
How long do the positive effects of microdermabrasion last?
Human skin typically regenerates at approximately 21 to 28 -day intervals. Hence textural improvements seen with microdermabrasion is temporary and needs to be repeated at average intervals of two to four weeks for continued improvement. Hence multiple treatments are required to see a modest improvement in skin quality.
Does microdermabrasion stimulate collagen?
There is some evidence that microdermabrasion can stimulate the production of collagen, the protein that gives our skin strength and elasticity. Much like trimming hedges, the action of removing the upper most layer of skin can ‘signal’ the lower dermis to produce collagen, in turn diminishing wrinkles & open pores.
Is microdermabrasion the same as exfoliating?
Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells from the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. This can be achieved with chemical or physical exfoliation. Peels fall in the former, whilst procedures such as microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, Hydrafacial, & Clarisonic fall under physical exfoliation.
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Are microdermabrasion results permanent?
The results are not permanent. Neither are the results following Botox, fillers, or lasers. Microdermabrasion requires multiple treatments spaced 3 weeks apart to see the benefits, Botox & fillers require treatment intervals of 5 months & 2 years respectively.
Does microdermabrasion remove pigmentation?
This treatment can improve pigmentation by improving the optical qualities of skin, allowing better light transmission. Contrary to popular belief it does not physically remove a quantifiable amount of pigmentation as only a fraction of the top layer of skin is treated. (There are melanin granules in the stratum corneum, however the bulk of pigment is much deeper, just to clarify the point.)
Reducing the upper stratum corneum allows better penetration of light, thereby reducing the appearance of pigmentation.
How does microdermabrasion improve scars?
Two ways, firstly it brightens the skin by removing dead skin cells. This can improve the optical qualities of skin, temporarily reducing the appearance of skin scars. Once skin turns over (usually within 2-4 weeks), the optical clarity of skin reduces & scars are unmasked. This procedure is hence temporary.
The second way is that microdermabrasion can evoke collagen induction through cell signalling. Minor trauma to the stratum corneum can signal deeper cells in the dermis to produce collagen. This small increase in collagen can perceivably improve very mild & early scarring. In the context of things, a home dermal roller at 0.05 to 0.1 mm will probably do more to improve scars compared to microdermabrasion.
What is a better treatment, microdermabrasion or chemical peel?
Chemical peels are great for treating fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation issues, active acne, acne scarring, and improving the overall look and texture of your skin. They function as exfoliators, much like microdermabrasion, however some peels, such as retinoic acid peels can alter DNA signalling in addition to providing more targeted treatments for specific cellular pathways.
To quantify ‘better’ is difficult, if one is measuring the ‘feel good factor’ I would recommend microdermabrasion with your beautician, if one if after actual results, a chemical peels such as Jesser, BHA, or Retinoic Acid would come up trumps.
Is microdermabrasion OK for sensitive skin?
Any form of exfoliation including microdermabrasion or chemical peels can flare up sensitive skin. The use of light or LED technology including laser genesis, vascular lasers, Omnilux or Healite are better options for those with rosacea, dermatitis or simply sensitive skin.
What is the difference between microdermabrasion & dermabrasion?
Opposites end of the spectrum. Microdermabrasion only removes the upper layer of skin known as the stratum corneum. Dermabrasion removes both the epidermal layer as well as the upper part of the dermis known as the papillary dermal layer. Most cases of dermabrasion, performed with a wire brush, is down to the reticular dermis. Dermabrasion requires full sedation in an operating room, with a recovery time of 2-4 weeks. This procedure has been replaced with CO2 & erbium ablative laser resurfacing.
What is the difference between microdermabrasion and Hydrafacial?
A Hydrafacial is much like microdermabrasion in the sense that only the uppermost layer of skin is treated. The difference is that Hydrafacial has the ability to infuse skin vitamins, acids & other active ingredients during the treatment. Both treatments take 30-40 minutes to perform.
How does microdermabrasion compare to Aquagold facials?
Aquagold is essentially nano needling, a term I use to describe needles smaller than microneedles. Each Aquagold needle is the diameter of a hair. Coupled with a precise delivery system, the therapist can deliver a bespoke concentration of hyaluronic acid, growth factors & even Botox (AKA Microbotox). The results following an Aquagold Facial takes 7-10 days to peak, and often lasts 2- 4 months. This treatment can be combined with lasers, peels, & even Hydrafacials.
What is the difference between dermaplaning & microdermabrasion?
Histologically (under the microscope), both treatments are at similar levels. With Dermaplaning one can also remove fine vellus hairs (peach fuzz). Dermaplaning in capable hands can instantly brighten skin by removing the dead cell layer & provide optimal optical reflectance. Both procedures do have no downtime. Dermaplaning can be combined with the Aquagold Facial– the later improves dermal conditions such as fine lines and wrinkles.
What other treatments are better than microdermabrasion?
Skin care treatments can be divided into “feel good factor” treatments & ‘Do good” treatments. Microdermabrasion is the former, whilst other treatments such as microneedling, peels, lasers & Tixel fall in the latter category. For example, Tixel is a low downtime minimally invasive treatment that uses heat to stimulate collagen. Whilst it is more expensive than microdermabrasion, Tixel actually works. You will get better results that will last much longer than microdermabrasion treatments.
What have I got against microdermabrasion?
Nothing, really! Microdermabrasion is a relaxing procedure that can effectively improve skin quality giving a warm & fuzzy feelgood factor. In this context the patient’s satisfaction rating is high, however I do believe that other treatments can yield better & faster outcomes, regardless of costs (take for example, peels that cost less than a hundred bucks).
Is microdermabrasion worth the money?
Microdermabrasion is considerably less than say a Fraxel laser, Tixel or even an Aquagold Facial treatment. The feelgood factor cannot be quantified, so the answer is that if your skin feels improved with microdermabrasion, then certainly it is well worth the money. Besides, this treatment is not only super comfortable, & affordable it is also relaxing! Microdermabrasion’s popularity is a testament to its success.
Davin’s viewpoint on microdermabrasion
This procedure ranks as one of the most popular treatments at beauty salons & spas. The feelgood factor of touch silky smooth skin contributes to this hugely successful procedure. So, why don’t we offer this @cliniccutis? I do believe that other procedures such as prescription peels & Tixel are both more convenient, cost effective, & importantly more effective than most microdermabrasion procedures.
Peels can be tailored to a particular condition, such as fine lines, wrinkles, blackheads, acne, open pores, pigmentation & even sun damage. Peeling can be as gentle as removing the stratum corneum or as aggressive as removing all layers of the epidermis right down to the lower dermis. Dermaplaning is another alternative to microdermabrasion. With the former, optical clarity with improved light reflex can be enhanced by simply removing vellus hairs or peach fuzz.
The one huge advantage of microdermabrasion is the total relaxation of the patient during the procedure. I cannot argue this point!
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