Microdermabrasion – Cosmetic Surgery

Introduction – Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion treatment is a less aggressive approach similar to dermabrasion which makes use of a minimally abrasive equipment to gently sand the skin, thus removing the thicker, irregular outer layer. The important uses of this type of skin rejuvenation are to treat light scarring, discoloration and sun damage. Microdermabrasion can also be performed for fading stretch marks.

The microdermabrasion works in a similar way to that of a very fine sand blaster machine. In this procedure, the top layer (epidermis) of the skin is scraped off by using microparticles or a diamond tipped appliance and growth of new skin cells is stimulated. This technique also helps to thicken the collagen, which results in a younger looking complexion. Collagen is a protein in the skin that is in abundant quantity in younger age and makes the appearance of skin taut and smooth. Collagen production declines with increasing age, resulting in looser, uneven skin.

Microdermabrasion works on all skin types and colors. It makes subtle changes and there is usually no change in skin color or scarring. However, it is not effective for deeper problems such as scars, deep stretch marks, wrinkles, or deep acne scars. There is very less or almost no discomfort in microdermabrasion. The patient does not need a topical or local anesthetic and there is no recovery time needed.

There are two varieties of microdermabrasion treatments. One approach uses tiny hand-held device that streams very small crystals across the skin. An attached vacuum simultaneously suctions the exfoliating crystals back into the machine, along with the dead or loosened skin. In recent approach,  a diamond-tip wand is gently moved across your skin to exfoliate.

Each session of the treatment lasts for about half an hour. The patient may feel a mild scratching sensation as the device removes the superficial skin cells. Additionally, some patients can notice a vibrating sensation similar to a gentle massage. There is also a suction mechanism to lift off the dead skin.

After this, the doctor or surgeon may recommend the use of a special moisturizer or facial product for enhancing and prolonging the results. However, no recovery period or prolonged down time is required.

Any discomfort experienced as part of microdermabrasion usually subsides in some time. This can include superficial redness and swelling, which should subside within a few hours. The texture of skin may be felt dry or flaky for several days.

Some additional risks which can be expected include the following:

Bruising which can occur from the suction. This may last for several days.

Facial microdermabrasion is sometimes performed without any medical consultation, often in conjunction with facial spa treatments.
The skin can become more sensitive to sun exposure as the superficial layers of skin are scraped out. Patient should make sure to use sunscreen, especially immediately following a microdermabrasion session. Some types of makeup should not be applied for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

If eyes are not covered by a drape properly during the procedure, severe irritation can occur from fine crystals getting into unprotected eyes.

In the long term

The polished new look of the skin should be long-lasting. The longevity of results depends on the severity of skin damage and the number of treatments that are received. Many people have two sessions of microdermabrasion treatments per month initially, followed by one session per month as part of a maintenance treatment.

Facial microdermabrasion is sometimes performed without any medical consultation, often in conjunction with facial spa treatments. Any risks or complications involved in such spa treatment can be avoided and optimal results can be ensured by visiting a qualified plastic surgeon. Although the surgeon may not perform the procedure, the patient can be assured about the skill and training of the surgeon’s employees.

The uses or applications of Microdermabrasion are:

  • To eliminate age spots and black heads.
  • To reduce hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin).
  • For giving a refreshed appearance by exfoliating the skin.
  • Lessen the appearance or to fade the stretch marks.
  • Reduce fine age lines and wrinkles.
  • Reduce or eliminate enlarged pores.
  • Treat acne and the scars left by acne.

 

- Links of interest:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons website

British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons website

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

 

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