Microdermabrasion - Does it Work?
Microdermabrasion, otherwise known as microderm, is used to remove or exfoliate the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. This procedure has long been utilized to renew and rejuvenate the skin, where it is commonly used to treat imperfections in skin tone, light scarring, wrinkles, acne, age spots and fine lines. Recently though, the popularity of microdermabrasion is significantly geared towards the treatment of stretch marks.
How is Microdermabrasion Performed?
Microdermabrasion utilizes microparticles to slough off the top most layer of the stretched skin to stimulate the growth of new skin. This technique uses an expensive machine, generally either a crystal microdermabrasion device or a diamond-tip microdermabrasion technology. The former involves a compressor that streams tiny crystals across the skin. A hand-held wand vacuums the crystals back into the machine along with the dead skin cells and go to a disposal bag. The procedure can be uncomfortable, but should not be painful at all.
On the other hand, the newer diamond-tip microdermabrasion uses the same technique sans any crystals. The diamond-tip itself exfoliates the skin and the vacuum suctions the dead skin away. This procedure achieves the same results with crystal microdermabrasion, but is much comfortable.
Either way, microdermabrasion also helps to thicken your collagen, a type of protein that gives your skin its remarkable ability to bind together thereby giving you a youthful appearance. The procedure can be performed in various settings, from cosmetic and dermatologist offices, spas, high end aesthetician clinics, and even in the comfort of your home. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes for each session of microdermabrasion, but it could last up to 2 hours when treating mature or old stretch marks.
How to Select a Microdermabrasion Treatment?
Plastic surgeons are the most qualified people to perform microdermabrasion treatment. But as earlier mentioned there are many other avenues where you can get the treatment. The best way to assure safety of treatment is to become familiar with the procedure as well as the credentials of the person performing the procedure. Ask for references, testimonials and certifications. Keep in mind that bad technique can cause some undesirable results like abrasions and pin-point bleeding.
Who are the Best Candidates for Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is suitable for all types of skin, color or texture. Children over 12 years of age and adults up to 65 years old can get microdermabrasion. Nevertheless, patients must fully understand that there are certain limitations to this treatment. Patients with deep rhytides, deep scars, and pigmentation abnormalities are unlikely to achieve greater results. Furthermore, patients who have extremely sensitive skin, diabetes, viral infections and vascular conditions are not advised to get microdermabrasion.
How Much Does Microdermabrasion Cost?
The cost for a single microdermabrasion session usually ranges between $100 and $150, usually taking quite a few sittings between weeks or months that can cost up roughly $1,600. The price may vary based upon a lot of factors, including the type of procedure used, the place of treatment, the complexity of stretch marks, the area of the body treated, as well as the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment.
While this is a cosmetic procedure and may not be covered by health insurance, it won’t hurt to ask your plastic surgeon or the person performing the treatment about other possible financing plans. Remember, you’ll need several treatments to be able see and appreciate the improvement on your skin. The number of sittings could be more than 12 when treating a large number of stretch marks. If you are unwilling to commit to a series of treatments then you won’t be able to get the best possible results.
What are the Side Effects and Possible Complications?
Microdermabrasion is a very safe procedure however potential side effects may still be experienced by patients. Nevertheless, the potential side effects and drawbacks are very limited in that the procedure only involves the outermost skin layer known as the epidermis. Common minor side effects include slight skin tightness, redness, minor bruising, small skin abrasions, spots of bleeding, and skin sensitivity.
Cold sore reactivation, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and increased surface blood vessels may be experienced if you have had a lot of previous cold sores, overly aggressive microdermabrasion, and certain skin conditions that can trigger telangiectasia, respectively. The possibility of telangiectasia can be triggered if you have a very thin skin, scleroderma, lupus, suppressed immunity, severe sun damage, long term use of prednisone among other skin conditions.
Do Microdermabrasion Home Kits Really Work?
Home kits are generally cheaper than clinic microdermabrasion. However, these home kit systems may not be able to provide the depth of skin abrasion as professional microdermabrasion. The contents of each kit typically include foam applicators, micro-crystal cream, an exfoliating wand, aluminum oxide and rejuvenation lotions.
The most common complaints about microderm home kits are irritation, redness and rosecea. These may be caused by certain chemical ingredients found in the cream or lotion, and sometimes the way you use the product can trigger some undesirable effects. Since you have the microderm kit on hand, it’s quite tempting to overuse the product so as to speed up the results. This, however, may actually yield less desirable results than what would otherwise be desirable. The average cost of home microdermabrasion kits ranges from $25 to $75, wherein the price is directly related to the quality of exfoliating cream and other resurfacing tools.
In a nutshell, microdermabrasion is a simple, non-invasive treatment for stretch marks and other skin irregularities like dull skin, large pores, fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars and age spots. With stretch marks, however, this technique will not completely fade the undesirable streaks on the expanded skin, but it can enhance its appearance. The best results are typically noticed on new stretch marks and on the fair skin of healthy individuals. Besides treating stretch marks, microdermabrasion also stimulates the proteins which are essential for the formation of new healthy skin. Unlike other methods of stretch marks removal, microdermabrasion can accommodate any skin type, complexion or texture. But while this technique is generally safe and painless, it is good to consult first with a certified medical expert before you start with the treatment.
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*Results not typical - This article makes no guarantee of results.