Skin Care Cosmetic Procedures Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure in which tiny particles are used to remove damaged, aged skin from the surface level. By removing the top layer of skin, microdermabrasion makes way for newer skin cells to rise to the surface, improving the overall look of your skin.

Depending on your specialist’s experience and the location in which you are getting the procedure, a single microdermabrasion treatment session can range in cost from $50 to $250.

Ideal Candidates for Microdermabrasion

Those who have any of the following skin problems are good candidates for microdermabrasion:

  • acne scars
  • crows feet
  • fine lines
  • other types of scars
  • skin discolorations
  • stretch marks
  • sun spots
  • wrinkles.

While microdermabrasion can dramatically improve the skin, the following people should hold off on undergoing this cosmetic procedure:

  • pregnant or nursing women, as their hormone fluctuations will limit the effectiveness of the procedure
  • those suffering from autoimmune disorders, as they are at a higher risk of developing harmful infections
  • those who have taken Accutane® within the last year, as this acne medication heightens skin’s sensitivity and, therefore, puts you at an increased risk of suffering from possible complications
  • those with acne outbreaks, as this procedure can cause further, more severe, breakouts.

The Microdermabrasion Procedure

In microdermabrasion, which is usually performed in a doctor’s office or at a spa, a certified person uses a hand-held machine to spray tiny organic particles over the skin. This process gently removes the damaged and dead skin cells. In general, microdermabrasion takes less than one hour.

The most common areas on the body on which microdermabrasion is performed include the:

  • back
  • face
  • feet
  • hands
  • neck.

Like chemical peels and tattoo removal, multiple sessions may be necessary in order for you to get the results you want from microdermabrasion. The number of treatments session you will need depends on:

  • the area of the body being treated
  • the precise skin problem you are treating
  • the condition of the skin being treated
  • your current state of health.

For the best results, most patients need between five and 12 treatments, which are usually scheduled three weeks apart from each other to allow the skin to rest. Depending on your needs, your doctor may recommend coupling your microdermabrasion with a chemical peel.

Microdermabrasion Products for Home Treatments

While microdermabrasion usually takes place in a certified specialist’s office, skin care product manufacturers have recently come out with products that allow you do perform this procedure on yourself at home. However, you should consult a doctor before performing microdermabrasion on yourself to be sure that the procedure is right for you and that you understand how to perform it.

Recovery and Post-Treatment Care

Because microdermabrasion removes the top layer of your skin, you will need to take some special precautions in the weeks following your procedure to protect your skin and promote the best possible results. Doctors typically recommend:

  • avoiding the sun entirely for about a week or two after a treatment session to avoid serious sunburns
  • avoiding the use of makeup for a few days after treatment to prevent infections and to avoid irritating the skin
  • moisturizing regularly (with creams that contain Vitamins A, D and E) to promote healthy growth of new skin cells
  • wearing sunscreen (with an SPF of at least 15) on a permanent basis when going in the sun to maintain the results of your microdermabrasion treatments.

Microdermabrasion Side Effects and Complications

Although microdermabrasion is generally a safe procedure, the following complications can occur:

  • discoloration of the treated skin
  • increased skin sensitivity
  • pain
  • redness
  • skin inflammation.

Keep in mind, however, that most of these potential side effects will disappear once the skin has fully recovered.


The Ultimate Microdermabrasion Treatment Guide (n.d.). What is Microdermabrasion? Retrieved November 8, 2007 from The Ultimate Microdermabrasion Treatment Guide Web site: