Patients with imperfections and blemishes on their facial skin may opt for dermabrasion treatment. Dermabrasion…
Chances are you’ve heard of dermabrasion treatment, or know something about what it entails. You may also have heard of microdermabrasion, but may be unfamiliar with what actually takes place during a microdermabrasion procedure.
Microdermabrasion and dermabrasion work on the same basic principles. Both use a mechanical tool to remove the top layer of your skin in order to correct imperfections and remove blemishes. However – while dermabrasion treatments penetrate right down to the lower level of your skin – microdermabrasion procedures are far gentler and only affect the uppermost layers of your facial skin.
Your skin is made up of two layers of skin cells. The epidermis is the outermost layer, while the dermis lies beneath. As most imperfections in the facial skin are found in the exposed layer of the epidermis, it is this area that microdermabrasion targets. Deep-acting dermabrasion techniques will penetrate as far down as the dermis and so can be more effective than microdermabrasion, but can result in a period of discomfort for the patient post-treatment.
A microdermabrasion session begins with a deep clean of the face. This removes any natural oils that occur in the skin, and any residues from makeup or other face coverings that may inhibit the process. Your microdermabrasion specialist will then use the handpiece to begin the main part of the treatment. The surface of this handpiece is covered with tiny crystals that abrade the very top layer of the epidermis, which is mostly made up of dead skin cells. These dead skin cells are then removed using a miniature vacuum cleaner, which is fitted to the handpiece.
By slowly passing the microdermabrasion handpiece over the face, the specialist will deeply exfoliate the facial skin, removing some of the top layer of the epidermis and smoothing and softening lines and wrinkles. While some patients report a slight tingling sensation during the treatment, a professional microdermabrasion treatment – like those carried out at the clinic of Dr Shahidi in Sydney – will be completely painless and will be accompanied by minimal discomfort.
This is one of the main differences between microdermabrasion and other, more intensive, facial skin treatments. While these deeper-acting treatments can cause some discomfort and are often carried out only after the patient has been adequately anaesthetised, microdermabrasion requires no such anaesthetic. As such, it is safe for patients to drive themselves home after the treatment if they so wish.
Treatments such as chemical peels, dermabrasion and other methods of skin resurfacing usually require patients to take certain measures during the aftercare procedure, such as taking time off work or wearing protective dressings. This is not the case with microdermabrasion, and patients are free to return to work and other activities immediately following the completion of the treatment.
All in all, a session of microdermabrasion treatment should last no more than half an hour, but with many of the procedures taking as little as 10 minutes. You should be able to see results almost instantly, as the procedure does not rely on the removed skin growing back before its effects become visible. Also, you won’t have any of the facial bruising or soreness that can occur after more intensive treatments, although some patients may find that the abraded skin has an unusually red tone for up to 24 hours following the treatment.
The primary aim of a microdermabrasion treatment is to refresh the skin, making it appear more youthful and feel softer and smoother when touched. As the process is not a particularly intensive one, microdermabrasion will do little for blemishes and wrinkles that penetrate deeper into the epidermis and dermis. To combat these blemishes, a more intensive course of dermabrasion or a chemical peel is required.
Those suffering from flaky skin, discolouration, mild acne scarring, fine wrinkles or simply dull and lifeless skin; they are the ones who will most likely benefit from microdermabrasion, as these skin imperfections are typically superficial and can easily be removed by a gentle treatment. The procedure will also promote better drainage of the lymph nodes. It is poor drainage of the lymph nodes that causes ‘puffiness’ of the face; something that microdermabrasion has proved very effective in combating.
One of the biggest advantages of microdermabrasion is the fact that it can be scheduled on a regular basis. The gentleness of the procedure means that it does not damage the skin and no recovery time is needed before the next appointment. Many specialists recommend microdermabrasion as part of a regular skincare routine, with many patients opting to receive the treatment every two to four weeks.
While microdermabrasion is generally carried out on the face, the treatment is not limited to this area. The procedure can also be carried out with great effect on the neck, chest, hands and back.
Microdermabrasion is painful: In fact, microdermabrasion is not painful at all. Patients receiving the treatment will feel a tingling sensation as the crystals pass across their skin with the light suction from the vacuum. Nothing more than that.
I will need to take time off work following my treatment: No. Most patients can return to work or other activities straight after the treatment has been completed.
Microdermabrasion can help with deep wrinkles and blemishes: Unfortunately, microdermabrasion will have little to no effect on blemishes and imperfections that are found deeper in the epidermal layer or down in the dermis. However, the appearance of such imperfections may be slightly improved by the treatment, as the skin will appear generally more youthful. To really tackle these deeper imperfections, a chemical peel,dermabrasion or other skin resurfacing treatment is required.
Microdermabrasion is a surgical procedure: This is a myth. The treatment will be carried out in a standard clinic and will take up to half an hour to complete. Patients require no anaesthetic during the treatment and will experience little to no after-effects, other than a temporary reddening of the treated area.
Microdermabrasion can only be carried out on the face: Not true. The treatment can also work on the skin of the hands, neck, back and other parts of the body.