What are microdermabrasion and dermabrasion?
If you would like to improve the texture of your skin, dermabrasion and microdermabrasion treatments can smooth out blemishes such as sunspots, fine facial wrinkles and scars including acne scarring. Both techniques remove the top layers of skin and aim to reduce irregularities and promote a younger, fresher appearance.
About the microdermabrasion procedure
Microdermabrasion is similar to the standard dermabrasion procedure, but involves a gentler level of abrasion and removes a thinner layer of the outer skin. Its ability to reduce wrinkles, blemishes or scars is not as great as standard dermabrasion, however it generally improves skin tone and allows you to resume normal activities much more quickly.
Following microdermabrasion your skin may feel slightly sensitive and appear pink for a day or so. You are unlikely to require any time off work but you should take extra care to protect your face following your treatment.
About the dermabrasion procedure
The top layer of facial skin is ‘sanded’ off using a hand-held electrical machine with a small abrading head, or a specialized laser device. When the new skin grows back it is usually smoother and fresher than before, and imperfections are reduced. As well as treating wrinkles, it can be particularly useful for treating raised areas of skin or scarring, which can be leveled out, and for removing areas of pigmented skin.
Dermabrasion is normally performed using a local anesthetic, but sometimes a general anesthetic may be recommended.
You'll need to plan time off work after dermabrasion. Initially, the treated area of skin will be bloody and crusted and it may remain pink, sensitive and swollen for several weeks after treatment, but you can gradually resume normal activities during that time. To protect your face, you should avoid ball and contact sports for four to six weeks and swimming for roughly the same length of time. To help make sure that your skin returns to its normal color, you will need to wear sun block for six to twelve months after treatment.
Although scarring with dermabrasion is rare, it can occur and people with dark complexions may develop permanently discolored or blotchy skin.
Most specialists will not carry out dermabrasion if you have active acne, a bad skin burn, or have had radiation treatments or a chemical peel. This is because of the increased risk of infection and damage to the skin.