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In 2004, microdermabrasion was the third most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure performed. A total 859,000 patients had microdermabrasion to remove the outer layers of their skin to reveal a healthier glow and smoother, firmer appearance. Microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals of aluminum oxide to gently remove tissues from the deeper layers of skin.
The skin refreshing technique helps increase production on elastin and collagen and removes dead and damaged skin cells. Environmental damages and the effects of aging can appear on the face, resulting in fine wrinkles and pigmentation, which microdermabrasion is able to reduce or remove. First developed in Italy in 1985, microdermabrasion quickly became popular when it was introduced in the United States because of its low risk and rapid recovery compared to the traditional resurfacing cosmetic procedures.
Unlike other skin resurfacing techniques, microdermabrasion is associated to fewer potential risks for significant complication. It is important to identify appropriate patients for any cosmetic procedure, including microdermabrasion, and the patients most able to benefit from the cosmetic technique includes individuals with superficial skin conditions because it is able to produce a superficial depth of injury. Unlike dermabrasion and chemical peels, microdermabrasion does not carry the risks of pigmentary changes or scarring, so for patients with only early photodamage, the procedure is able to provide pleasing results with no downtime.
Perfect for patients with a busy lifestyle, the only downtime the procedure requires is when the actual treatment is underway. The absence of anesthesia, pain, and downtime makes it easy to understand how microdermabrasion became one of the most sought after cosmetic procedures, but patients often need multiple treatments to maintain the effects. Because microdermabrasion produces a superficial ablation primarily in the epidermis, patients already showing advanced signs of aging, including deeper wrinkles or scars, may have to consider a more aggressive cosmetic option.
In response to the popularity of microdermabrasion and other skin resurfacing treatments, more at home products are being offered to consumers, but doctors are warning about the dangerous trend. A microdermabrasion mistake can result in spotty skin, and the damage some of the devices cause can be permanent. While it can be tempting to save a few bucks with seemingly simple at- home cosmetic procedures, the patient must be willing to accept that cost cutting, in the end, can have lasting adverse effects.
Microdermabrasion is able to improve the overall skin quality by addressing mild photoaging, age spots, fine lines, superficial scars, enlarged pores and acne, but patients must be realistic about their expectations. Patients may need to undergo a series of treatments to achieve a desired appearance, and must also understand all individuals will have varying levels of success with microdermabrasion.
For more information on microdermabrasion, please contact us to consult with a reputable and experienced plastic surgeon.