News & Features

Microdermabrasion: What is it?

Healthcare Times, October 2000

Microdermabrasion: What is it?
Microderamabrasion, what is it? Why do I hear about it all the time? And does it work?
Microdermabrasion: What is it? Microdermabrasion, a technology of European origin, is designed to rejuvenate and refresh your skin without the extended recovery periods common to laser and deep chemical peel resurfacing.

How does microdermabrasion work?
Microdermabrasion is a method of mechanically exfoliating the upper layers of non-viable skin cells. Abrasive particle such as aluminum oxide crystal, sodium bicarb salts or silicone derived particles are forcibly directed out through a hand piece and at the skin. As the hand piece is gently advanced the abrasive particles are guided out and suctioned back into the machine. This combination of abrasion and suction removes upper layers of dead skin and seems to stimulate lower layers of healthy skin to reproduce.

What is the history of microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion originated in Italy in the mid 1980’s. It gained an exceptional amount of positive feedback before being marketed in the US. Originally the manufacturers attempted to get the machine approved as a medical device which would require FDA approval. However, they quickly reevaluated this path and designed it and marketed it as a cosmetic device, therefore avoiding intense scrutiny and making it available to non-physicians.

Is Microdermabrasion for me?
Each person is an individual with different needs and desires. However, microdermabrasion is reported to:

  • Soften fine wrinkles
  • Lessen superficial skin discoloration
  • Smooth the skin’s surface
  • Provide the skin with a healthy glow
When combined with a superficial chemical peel the depth of treatment can be extended providing for a more complete treatment. It will not remove deep wrinkles, deep pigmented skin changes or acne scars. These conditions require a much deeper resurfacing technique such as a deep chemical peel or laser. If you are not sure which resurfacing technique is for you, I recommend a consultation with a physician who performs all the various techniques in order to get the most objective advice.

Microdermabrasion: What is it? Who performs Microdermabrasion?
This has been somewhat of a hot potato issue. Microdermabrasion is intended to remain superficial and to not violate the dermis or healthy living skin cells. As long as it stays at this superficial level, a licensed aesthetician in the state of Illinois may legally perform the procedure. (Cosmetic Surgery Times; August 2000;Vol.3;No.7:p18-19). Physicians also perform microdermabrasion and may even take it to a deeper level in attempt to generate a better result.
Whomever you choose to perform your treatment it is important to be certain of their experience level.

What can I expect during the treatment?
Most likely you will be treated in a relaxed office or spa setting. You may feel a slight pulling sensation as the hand piece is advanced over the desired area. The treatment is not considered painful and is usually completed in under a half-hour.

Microdermabrasion: What is it?

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