A common aesthetic procedure, microdermabrasion is designed to improve the overall appearance of the skin. The treatment is a type of exfoliation that utilizes a microdermabrasion tool to coat the surface of the skin in fine particulates, remove the top layer of skin, and vacuum both the particles and dead skin away.
Learn more about the microdermabrasion effects and benefits and why it is considered an effective treatment to improve the skin to decide if it might be a good option for you.
The Anatomy of the Skin
Your skin is your largest organ. Not only that, but it’s also complex – made up of three separate layers:
- Epidermis – The outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis is comprised of mostly dead skin cells. It serves as a protective layer to defer everything ranging from ultraviolet rays, bacteria, and viruses.
- Dermis – The middle layer of your skin, the dermis contains the structural components of your skin. This layer is mainly collagen and elastin.
- Subcutaneous Tissue – The bottom layer is the subcutaneous tissue. This layer consists of large, fat blood vessels.
Microdermabrasion Effects and Benefits
Microdermabrasion functions to cause a minor amount of trauma to the outer layer of skin, causing the skin to repair itself in a more organized manner. The result is younger, healthier looking skin. The procedure is typically performed over a period of several weeks, involving several treatments spaced evenly apart. The most common treatment schedule involves six procedures scheduled a week to ten days apart.
Most patients notice visible microdermabrasion effects and benefits after just one treatment. Typically, the skin appears smoother, younger, healthier, and more refreshed. As your treatments continue, you’ll likely notice that your skin becomes less porous, less oily, and more even throughout. Additionally, most patients notice a visible reduction in the appearance of their fine lines and wrinkles.
Effects of Microdermabrasion on the Epidermis
Being the top layer of skin, the epidermis will undergo the most noticeable change with treatment. If examined under a microspore, the skin will show a number of different benefits following treatment:
- The outer most layer of skin will become thicker as new cells rapidly develop. Additionally, the cells themselves will actually become larger, leading to skin that appears fuller, firmer, and plumper.
- The cells of the lowest level of the epidermis will be knit together in a more uniform, “basket weave” fashion rather than a haphazard arrangement.
- For the first days following treatment, the skin will appear much drier than normal because the barrier of the epidermis is disrupted in the first 24 hours following treatment. This dryness typically resolves quickly, resulting in more replenished cells capable of holding more moisture.
Microdermabrasion Effects and Benefits in the Dermis
While the changes in the epidermis will be the most noticeable first, the benefits of treatment extend far beyond the surface level. In all actuality, the dermis experiences many of the longer term benefits. For example, the dermis will undergo chemical changes nearly immediately, causing this layer to become noticeably thicker and healthier.
Research illustrates a variety of other microdermabrasion effects and benefits:
- Microdermabrasion increases the actual number of collagen fibers in the skin. Likewise, the fibers become more tightly packed and more uniformly organized.
- The number of elastic fibers in the skin also increases. They also become oriented in a vertical patter instead of horizontal, giving this middle layer of skin more spring.
- The actually number of fibroblasts, or cells that produce collagen, increase as does the size of these cells.
Side Effects of Microdermabrasion
“What are the side effects of microdermabrasion,” is a common question. As long as the procedure is done appropriately, the only side effects are minor inflammation and a change in the skin’s color balance.
Most individuals experience temporary redness following treatment. This is an indicator of the body’s inflammatory response, which allows immune proteins to be released into the system and begin the process of repairing damaged cells.
The redness is also caused by the expansion of the blood vessels located in the dermis and epidermis. This process allows the immune cells to come into closer proximity to the affected tissues. This low-level inflammation is a natural response to the treatment and one that is expected for anyone who has undergone the procedure.
Although minimal, there is some risk that you may experience changes in your skin’s color balances. For example, you may notice some dark or light patches of skin following treatment. It is important to note, though, that the prevalence of these changes are minimal with microdermabrasion compared to other skin rejuvenation techniques, such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels.
The risk is especially minimal because microdermabrasion is such a gentle procedure. Because it only removes the outermost layer of skin, it leaves the lower levels of tissue intact, creating less risk for negative skin changes.
Risks of Treatment
In general, microdermabrasion is not considered a risky procedure. However, there are a small number of things that could potentially go wrong:
- Hyperpigmentation, skin injury, and infection.These are extremely rare but possible if the equipment is not handled or sanitized properly.
- Ingesting crystals from the treatment is also possible. However, as the crystals that are used are nonallergenic and nontoxic, individuals do not typically experience any adverse effects. If inhaled in too large of quantities, however, respiratory issue could result.
- Increased sun sensitivity, flaking, and redness after treatment are typically considered normal. If the reaction persists, though, you may need to discuss different treatment options with your dermatologist.
Microdermabrasion delivers clear benefits to the skin. Improved texture, firmness, and elasticity are some of the primary microdermabrasion effects and benefits. It is important, however, to seek treatment from a trained and licensed professional. Most individuals experience no downtime or significant discomfort following treatment.
It is important to note, though, that individuals with rosacea or existing broken capillaries should not undergo microdermabrasion. Likewise, individuals with existing bacterial or viral skin infections should not seek this type of treatment. Before undergoing the procedure, you’ll want to discuss your anticipated results and treatment plan with your doctor.