Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasian Treatments

When Dermabrasion is performed, a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon “sands” your skin with a with a special instrument. The procedure paves the way for a new, smoother layer of skin to replace the skin that’s been treated.

Microdermabrasion uses tiny exfoliating crystals that are sprayed on the skin. It works well to treat problem areas like dull skin, brown spots, and age spots.

What Treatments require Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion?

Dermabrasion works well to diminish the appearance of acne scars, pox marks, and scars from accidents or disease. It’s not an effective treatment method for congenital skin defects, most moles, pigmented birthmarks, or scars caused by burns.

Dermabrasion is generally only safe for people with fair skin. For people with darker skin, dermabrasion can cause scarring or discoloration.

Microdermabrasion is suitable for all skin types and tones. It creates subtle changes, causing no skin color change or scarring. It is not beneficial for deeper problems such as scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, or deep acne scars.

Microdermabrasion requires less down time than Dermabrasion. Skin remains temporarily pink but fully recovers within 24 hours. It doesn’t require surgery or anesthetics. That may be a viable option for individuals who cannot take “down time” to heal.

Before You Get Dermabrasion or Microdermabrasion

You’ll have a consultation with the professional who’s administering the procedure.

During a Dermabrasion consultation, you’ll discuss your goals, the procedure’s risks and benefits, and the type of Anesthesia that will be used. You’ll also receive instructions to follow before and after Dermabrasion and might have “before” photos taken to compare with your results later.

With Microdermabrasion, the consultation is similar but with less talk about anesthetics and risks since it is a simpler procedure.

How do Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion work?

Dermabrasion is performed in the doctor’s office. You might receive medication to help you relax prior to the procedure. Your skin will be thoroughly cleansed, and you’ll receive shots of numbing medicine to anesthetize the area to be treated.

The doctor will use a high-speed instrument with an abrasive wheel or brush to remove the outer layers of your skin and improve any irregularities in your skin’s surface.

During Microdermabrasion, tiny crystals are sprayed onto the skin to gently remove the outer layer of your skin. This method is less aggressive than Dermabrasion, so you don’t need numbing medicine. It’s essentially an exfoliation and skin rejuvenation procedure that leaves skin looking softer and brighter.

Recovery After Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion

Following a Dermabrasion procedure, your skin will feel as though it has been severely “brush-burned” for a few days. Your doctor can prescribe or recommend medications to ease any discomfort you may feel. Healing typically occurs within 7 to 10 days.

Your new skin, which is pink at first, gradually develops a normal color. In many cases, the pinkness mainly fades by 6 to 8 weeks. You can use makeup as soon as the skin is healed.

As a rule, most people can resume their normal activities in 7 to 14 days after dermabrasion. You should avoid sunlight for a few weeks after the pink color has disappeared. When outdoors, use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Following Microdermabrasion, your skin will be pink and feel dry and tight (similar to sunburn or windburn) for about 24 hours. Apply moisturizer. Some types of makeup should not be applied for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion Side Effects

Dermabrasion side effects include:

  • Uneven changes in skin color (temporary or permanent)
  • Formation of a scar
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Darkening of the skin (usually temporary but may be permanent); this is caused by sun exposure in the days and months following the procedure.

Microdermabrasion side effects include:

  • Irritation from crystals getting into unprotected eyes.

Care After Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion: You will have a follow-up appointment soon after your Dermabrasion treatment. Do not consume alcohol for 48 hours after the procedure. Do not take Aspirin or any products that contain Aspirin or Ibuprofen for 1 week afterwards. Don’t smoke.

Microdermabrasion: Use moisturizers and sunscreen. Avoid direct sun exposure for a few days immediately after the procedure.