Microdermabrasion: What is it and does it work?

what is microdermabrasion

About Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that eliminates the appearance of scarring in individuals. The resurfacing technique gently abrades the skin to remove dead skin cells.

The non-invasive surgical procedure uses lasers to remove the outermost layer of the skin. Once the layer is removed, a new layer of skin is exposed, and as it heals, the scarring is no longer visible.

The procedure can be used to treat stretch marks and acne scars. Microdermabrasion is a procedure that is commonly performed on individuals.

For years, the microdermabrasion technology has continued to evolve.


What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating treatment that uses technology to remove dead skin cells. The treatment method can be administered with crystal microdermabrasion technology or diamond-tip technology. The use of diamond-tip technology is the newest method for treating skin conditions like acne. Treatments like this are usually performed in specialized clinics by providers who are licensed to administer this type of treatment.

The treatment process may include multiple sessions to achieve the best results. The treatments are usually spaced anywhere between 10 to 14 days apart. Once the series of treatments are completed, the person will begin to see the mild bruising. As the bruising subsides, the skin renewal process begins. It takes approximately one month for the new skin to grow in the areas being treated.

The treatment focuses on the epidermis layer of the skin. The treatment is used to treat conditions like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines and mild scarring resulting from acne.

The conditions treated with microdermabrasion tend to affect the outermost layer of the skin. People with more severe scarring or other skin conditions may be directed toward alternative treatment methods.

Treating facial skin is one of the more popular ways microdermabrasion is treated. However, it can be used to treat other areas as well. It can be used to treat the neck area, back, upper and lower extremities, and stomach as well.

There are several types of crystals that are used with these microdermabrasion procedures. The various crystals used in the skin care treatments are made from pure ingredients designed to create a desirable outcome during the scrubbing or polishing process.

Aluminum oxide crystals made from pure aluminum oxide can be found in a variety of beauty products. The aluminum crystals are designed to enhance the exfoliating process. The substance produces a gritty texture that, when applied, creates the sandpaper-like scrubbing sensation on the skin. Aluminum oxide crystals require the use of high velocity vacuum treatments for best results.

Crystals made from baking soda are also used in microdermabrasion. The soda bicarbonate crystals are lighter than the aluminum oxide crystals. The sodium bicarbonate crystals moves easily throw low-suction vacuums, so it’s safe for individuals with sensitive skin. Some argue that the baking soda crystals are more effective at producing the best results when used in microdermabrasion.

Natural grains are also used in microdermabrasion treatments. The grains used are usually organic and mild in nature. Some examples of organic products used include maize, plants, sea salt, herbs, minerals and sugar. It is not uncommon for several ingredients to be combined for use as the agent in the microdermabrasion treatment.

Diamond encrusted tip is a newer method used in treating blemishes. Natural diamond tips are applied to the skin with a cream during this type of microdermabrasion method. This is a milder treatment method and highly ideal for those with sensitive skin.


 At Home Microdermabrasion

At home microdermabrasion treatments can be administered in several forms. Some of the products available allow for the application of a specialized cream. Once the cream is removed, the substance is removed manually, and the skin area is rejuvenated. Other forms of at home microdermabrasion involve the use of a machine. The at home microdermabrasion cream is used in conjunction with a cream substance to exfoliate the skin.


Microdermabrasion Pros and Cons

Microdermabrasion can be performed in medical facilities and at one’s home. Most patients who have undergone treatment experience quick recovery with no complications.

The efficacy of the treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the types of products used. As with any cosmetic treatment, there are risks that the user should avoid.

Excessive treatment to the affected area can exacerbate the issue. While minimal bruising and minor irritation after the treatment is common, when the microdermabrasion process is executed improperly, skin damage is a possibility. It is important for the individual to carefully follow the procedures if using a home kit, or seek care from a licensed provider to minimize safety risks.

  • There are some advantages in using microdermabrasion to treat acne. The procedure itself does not require an anesthesia in order to be performed where many other cosmetic procedures do. The procedure is painless if performed correctly. Complications associated with procedure are uncommon. The procedure is safer than other cosmetic treatments, so it can be repeated over the course of several sessions without causing any adverse reactions. It is also painless. After the treatment, individuals may experience mild irritation or discomfort, but it usually lasts for no more than several hours.
  • There are some disadvantages to using microdermabrasion. Not all skin issues can be effectively treated with microdermabrasion alone. Some of the scarring issues affecting the skin beneath the epidermis layer may not be able to effectively treated using microdermabrasion. It may be necessary to pursue another course of treatment for tougher skin problems. Other limitations include its inability to treat the underlying cause of acne. A skin care regimen or extensive treatment may be required to address certain types of skin issues.


Microdermabrasion for Stretch Marks

Microdermabrasion for stretch marks is a procedure that is used to remove or reduce the appearance of marks on the

skin. Patients who have this procedure performed are usually able to see a noticeable improvement.

Results may vary for patients receiving microdermabrasion for stretch marks; some patients see greater results than others. While microdermabrasion is not 100 percent effective in eliminating the marks altogether, it will make the stretch marks faint.

The stretch marks form at the dermis layer of the skin, and for this reason, they are slightly more difficult to treat than surface acne scars


Microdermabrasion For Acne Scars

Acne can be treated by microdermabrasion, but it does not eliminate the underlying cause of acne altogether. In fact, many patients have to seek further treatment to address the root cause of acne. Microdermabrasion for acne scars is used to treat cases of acne and acne scars ranging from mild to moderate. The treatment method could help eliminate visible acne in patients. During microdermabrasion for acne scars, the outer layer of the skin is scraped. Once the skin is removed, new skin is able to grow to replace the scarred skin.



Microdermabrasion  can be performed on various parts of the body. What differentiates the types of microdermabrasion treatment from others is the area on which it is performed. The size of the area and the severity of the condition being treated determine the outcome.

Because some of the conditions occur beneath the outer layer, multiple sessions may be needed or microdermabrasion procedure may be accompanied by other forms of treatment. In some cases, acne cannot be treated by microdermabrasion. Doctors can recommend a different treatment method altogether in cases of severe acne.


Microdermabrasion Products

Patients should carefully research the available microdermabrasion product information available to determine the best treatment option.

Some of the microdermabrasion products consist of a combination of skin regimens and procedures that are performed by the individual in the privacy of their own home. Individuals should be wary of such programs, as they can do more harm than good if not used properly.

There are some cases where the microdermabrasion product actually exacerbates the acne problem. Having the procedure performed by a licensed professional is one way to ensure that additional harm is done to the area of skin being treated.


Microdermabrasion Machines

The microdermabrasion machine is available for individuals who desire to treat their acne, scars, wrinkles, or stretch marks independently within the privacy of their homes. It contains a device for suction or scrubbing, and it uses real crystals to cleanse the skin. The microdermabrasion machine may provide better results than some of the over-the-counter creams available at drug stores.

The suction mechanism improves the treatment outcome in many cases. The vacuum’s capacity to create high velocity winds combined with an application applied to the skin helps create the exfoliation process needed to facilitate the removal of dead skin cells. Research indicates that the vacuum helps improve circulation to the area treated.

There are a lot of different types of microdermabrasion machine products available.  Microdermabrasion machines typically come with a micro-polisher, a cleansing brush, crystal application, and foam exfoliators. The brush operates at various speeds and either oscillates or vibrates. The crystals are used to create a polishing or scrubbing effect that helps remove the dead skin cells.


Potential Benefits of Microdermabrasion

Results from microdermabrasion can be promising. Some experience youthful skin and improved texture after completing the treatment. Blemishes such as age spots or sun spots can be drastically reduced using the treatment.

Acne scars, stretch marks and surface scars can be effectively treated when complete. Smooth and fine wrinkles can be eliminated. Whiteheads and blackheads can be removed. Oily skin and combination skin is balanced with microdermabrasion. Many show improvements in skin circulation after having the procedure.

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