What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is the term used for a procedure where a rough diamond head is used to superficially and painlessly abrade the topmost layer of the skin (like fine sandpaper). Think of it as a superficial skin polishing with the aid of a delicate hand piece that has a fine abrasive diamond tip, through which the skin surface is vacuumed at the same time. The treatment will be slightly uncomfortable but definitely not painful. This removes the dead/ tanned skin layer and encourages new skin cells to grow from underneath. Medical microdermabrasion also helps in remodeling the collagen in the skin and can make superficial acne scars appear less prominent. Research has shown that it also results in anti-ageing effects, by improving the texture of the skin.
Which conditions does it help?
Microdermabrasion helps a number of conditions: primarily, pigmentation problems like tanning, melasma, post-inflammatory pigmentation caused by acne, etc; particularly when combined with topical retinoids. Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that can be beneficial for most people, including those without acne, as it helps to maintain the natural facial skin texture by removing the sun damaged superficial skin periodically, thus bringing back the natural ‘glow’. However, it is a cosmetic procedure and if you are happy with the way your face naturally looks, there is no need to undergo microdermabrasion.
What is the difference between a salon and a dermatologist offering microdermabrasion?
Visakhapatnam, has a number of high-end beauty clinics and salon’s that claim to perform microdermabrasion and many other procedures that in reality should only be performed by trained dermatologists. Microdermabrasion performed at salons certainly won’t have the same effect as a skin specialist performing the procedure. This is because a dermatologist will:
- 1. Assess which type of cosmetic procedure is best: microdermabrasion vs. chemical peels vs. dermaroller vs LASER
- 2. Determine if there will be any contraindications to treatment (see below)
- 3. Prescribe a creams to improve the effectiveness of microdermabrasion and reduce the side effects.
How often should microdermabrasion be performed?
There is no set rule, but usually two to six weekly sessions can help remove dead skin, rejuvenate and plump up the facial skin. The frequency of treatment for patients with diseases like acne or facial pigmentation may vary, depending on the stage of the disease.
Are there any side effects?
Microdermabrasion has been branded with the cosmetic nickname, the “lunch-time” peel; because it can be performed quickly and patients can return immediately to their daily routine, including applying makeup. The most common side effects is a slight irritation/ discomfort during treatment and this can last for a few hours. In addition, skin usually takes on a pink hue that lasts 12-24 hours. Some people may experience light superficial skin peeling that may last 2-3 days. There is a risk of hyperpigmentation if treatment is done too vigorously, and/or if the aftercare instructions given by the doctor are not followed. In addition, patients with certain conditions like viral warts, urticaria/ certain allergies, cold sores etc, are not suited for microdermabrasion. Please inform the dermatologist if you have any of these.
A soothing cream would be applied immediately after the procedure. You are encouraged to use a moisturizer every few hours and a mild steroid lotion twice daily for 3 days, until the peeling stops. In addition, you are advised to avoid any sun exposure and use the prescribed sunscreen at all times. It is best to avoid waxing, using sun beds, using any ‘facials’, and swimming in chlorinated water for at least two days before and seven days after microdermabrasion. Visakhapatnam is a city with rising levels of pollution. So it is also important to avoid exposure to pollutants if possible.
How soon will I see results after it?
It all depends on the condition being treated. The minimum number of treatments recommended ranges from four to six. Usually, a difference is noticed after two to three sessions.