One of the realities of getting older is that your skin cells don’t turn over as quickly as they did when you were young. The slower turnover rate means you’re more likely to accumulate dead skin cells on your face, which can make it look dull. Signs of aging also include increased spotting and hyperpigmentation on your face and more wrinkles and fine lines.
At one point in time the best way to treat those signs of aging and smooth out your skin was with considerably invasive procedures, but today you have the option of microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that helps correct a variety of signs of aging without requiring you to take lots of time off.
What Microdermabrasion Does
Microdermabrasion is a method for exfoliating the skin. During the treatment, an aesthetician uses a small wand that has a diamond tip to gently slough off the top layer of dead skin. A vacuum attachment sweeps the loosened skin cells off of the surface. Once that top layer of dull, lifeless skin cells is removed, a fresh layer is revealed. The treatment not only helps exfoliate and smooth the skin. It also encourages the production of collagen in the lower layer, so that skin becomes more firm and youthful looking.
Using a diamond tipped wand has a number of advantages over older methods of microdermabrasion. An older technique involved spraying tiny crystals over the surface of the skin. The crystals helped exfoliate skin and were suctioned away along with the dead cells. The crystal method of microdermabrasion wasn’t suitable for use near the eyes or on very sensitive skin. Since the diamond tipped wand treatment option is considerably gentler, it is OK to use near the eyes and in other sensitive areas.
Since microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive treatment, most people do not find the procedure uncomfortable. For that reason, no anesthetic is needed before the treatment. Usually, the entire process takes about 30 minutes, after which most people are able to go right back to their daily lives or activities.
Recovering From Microdermabrasion
One of the big advantages of the treatment is that there is practically no recovery time needed afterwards. You might notice that your skin is a little pink or slightly swollen, but swelling and pinkness typically fade after about a day. During that first day, and afterwards, it’s a good idea to use a moisturizer with sunscreen to soothe your skin and protect it from UV rays.
You won’t have to take time off from work or school when you get microdermabrasion, either. That can make fitting it into your busy life much easier.
There is one thing to consider when scheduling or thinking about the treatment. While more invasive procedures can provide dramatic results after just a single treatment, many people need a series of microdermabrasion treatments to get the full results they want or to maintain results. For best results, you might need anywhere from eight to 10 treatments, spaced about a month apart.
Microdermabrasion vs. Dermabrasion
People sometimes confuse microdermbrasion, a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment, with dermabrasion, which is a type of surgery. You can think of microdermabrasion as dermabrasion’s plucky younger sibling. It’s not nearly as invasive and provides some results.
Dermabrasion is considerably more aggressive. Usually, some form of anesthesia is needed before treatment, either a topical anesthetic such as lidocaine, or depending on the size of the area being treated, general anesthesia. Dermabrasion uses a rotating bristle brush to remove that top layers of skin. It goes deeper than microdermabrasion, often causing the skin to bleed.
The depth of a dermabrasion treatment depends on what skin issues a patient is dealing with and how dramatic he or she wants the results to be. Along with treating the same concerns as microdermabrasion, dermabrasion also treats scars, including acne scars, and conditions such as rhinophyma, an enlarged nose caused by rosacea.
The recovery process after dermabrasion is considerably more complex than after microdermabrasion. Although many people can go back to work or school soon after treatment, they have to take special care of the treated skin.
For example, bandages are often applied to the treated area and need to be changed daily. The skin should also be gently washed daily to reduce the risk of infection. A surgeon will also recommend applying ointments to the skin daily to help with healing.
After dermabrasion, things generally look worse before they look better. Although the results might be considerably more dramatic from full dermabrasion, many people who choose microdermabrasion do so because of the faster healing time and increased comfort involved. A lower price tag for microdermabrasion also makes it more appealing to some.
If you’re not sure whether you should consider microdermabrasion or dermabrasion, the staff at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, TX can help. Our trained aestheticians work under the supervision of Dr. Paul Vitenas, a highly regarded plastic surgeon. We can evaluate your skin’s condition and discuss your expectations and goals to help you determine which treatment is best for you. To schedule a consultation, call 281-810-9083 today.