If someone told you that there is a treatment option that can help a variety of skin concerns with little discomfort and almost no recovery time, would you believe him or her? While microdermabrasion isn’t a miracle skin treatment and won’t help everyone, it can be a useful tool when it comes to repairing mild sun damage, erasing fine lines and treating acne scars. If you don’t feel you’re ready for more invasive treatments but are looking for something that will help your skin look and feel refreshed, learn more about microdermabrasion and whether it’s the right choice for you.

What Happens During Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion offers a deeper level of exfoliation than you can get at home using scrubs or brushes. During the procedure, the surgeon uses a special tool, known as a microdermabrader, to gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells. The tool features a diamond tip that abrades the surface of the skin. The process is often described as sanding the skin, removing the dull, worn out top layer to bring out a fresh layer below. As the microdermabrader exfoliates the skin, a suction device vacuums up the loosened skin cells.

What Are the Benefits?

The treatment offers a number of benefits to patients. Exfoliating the top layer of skin can help reduce the size of pores, eliminate blackheads, and reduce the appearance of scars. The treatment also helps reduce areas of discoloration, such as sun spots or discoloration caused by stretch marks. It can also smooth out areas with fine lines or light wrinkles.

As an added benefits, the process of microdermabrasion can jumpstart or revamp the production of collagen in the dermis. Your skin needs collagen to keeps its firmness and to keep an even texture. As you get older, it’s normal for collagen levels to dip, leading to signs of aging such as saggy skin.

While some treatments can only be performed on people with certain complexions, microdermabrasion can be performed on anyone, from people with very light skin to people with very dark skin. There are some things microdermabrasion can’t help, though, and those include serious conditions such as severe acne, rosacea and eczema.

How Often Should It Be Performed?

Microdermabrasion can be added to your regular skincare routine. For best results, it’s common for people to have the procedure performed every month or so. When you first start undergoing microdermabrasion, you may choose to have it done twice in one month, then once a month after that.

You can also combine the treatment with another procedure to improve your results. For example, some patients decide to have a superficial or light chemical peel performed immediately after their microdermabrasion. Undergoing a peel at the same time will let you hone in on any problem areas. You may choose to have a peel that focuses on reducing areas of hyperpigmentation, for example, or pick a peel that’s designed to target acne.

Does It Require Downtime?

Part of what makes microdermabrasion so appealing to some patients is that it doesn’t require downtime. Your surgeon may recommend that you rest and take it easy for the first day or so after the treatment, but you can usually go back to your regular activities after that. You’ll want to take a few extra steps to protect your skin, as it may be a bit sensitive after the treatment.

Stay out of the sun for at least a week after the treatment. When you do go outside, always wear sunscreen. Your surgeon may recommend a special lotion to help reduce redness or a feeling of hotness in the skin after the treatment. Usually, you’ll be able to start wearing makeup again right away.

While recovery is brief, there are some risks you should be aware of when considering microdermabrasion. The deeper your treatment, the greater the chance of side effects or complications. Side effects can include irritation and infection. Some patients may have areas of hyperpigmentation after the treatment. The suction device can also cause bruising in some patients.

A day or so after your microdermabrasion treatment, you’ll notice that your skin looks and feels more refreshed. After a series of treatments, you can expect to see even more noticeable results. To learn more about microdermabrasion and how it can benefit you, contact Dr. Kyle Choe at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach. Book your consultation today by calling 757.389.5850.