If you are seeking to correct your skin’s tone and texture, the minimally invasion procedure microdermabrasion may be the answer.  This treatment will improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scaring, sun damage and other skin conditions. 

Understanding the Treatment Process

When you come for a microdermabrasion appointment, your skin care technician will use a special applicator that has an abrasive surface.  This gently removes the thick outer layer of skin revealing newer, fresher skin underneath.  Another common technique uses fine particulars of either aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate on the skin.  This is then removed with suction to produce the same results as abrasion. 

Conditions Microdermabrasion Addresses

Microdermabrasion is safe for most skin types and tones.  Many people consider this treatment when they want to address the following:

Fine lines and wrinkles

Sun damage

Stretch marks

Acne scars

Uneven skin tone

Age spots or brown spots


Before Treatment

If you are considering microdermabrasion treatment, you need to talk with your skin care provider first.  By talking about your cosmetic goals beforehand, they will be able to help you understand if this is an appropriate treatment for you.  Although it is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure, during the initial consultation, you will be able to let the provider know about any past procedures, allergies or medical conditions.  If it is a good fit, you will be given preparation instructions.  Generally, this includes avoiding sun exposure, exfoliants, waxing and tanning products for one week prior.  When you come in, you will need to remove all makeup. 

The Treatment Process

The treatment will be performed in-office by a licensed skin care professional.  Expect the treatment to take approximately an hour.  The treatment itself does not require the use of anesthesia or numbing agents.  For the actual treatment, you will be sitting in a reclining chair.  This puts you in position for the professional to perform the treatment.  Depending on the type of microdermabrasion you get, they will either gently sand off the outer layer of skin or spray a solution onto the skin for removal.  When the treatment is complete, the area will be moisturized and have sunscreen applied to it. 

Microdermabrasion Tools and Techniques

Since it’s approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1996, a number of microdermabrasion tools and techniques have been developed.  The technique used is based on the device that the technician uses.  Though each approach is slightly different, they each achieve similar results.

Diamond-tip Handpiece

When using a diamond-tip handpiece, the skin is gently exfoliated while suction removes the dead skin cells immediately.  The amount of pressure used on the device determines the depth of the abrasion.  As this approach is gentle, it is often used in sensitive areas, such as around the eyes. 

Crystal Microdermabrasion

During this treatment, a handheld device sprays on fine crystals and gently rubs to exfoliate the outer skin layer.  These crystals may be aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate and are suctioned off immediately. 


This is a newer technique that combines the infusion of products into the skin with crystal-free exfoliation.  The benefit of this approach is that it stimulates natural collagen production while enhancing blood flow to the skin.

Side Effects of Microdermabrasion Treatments

While microdermabrasion treatments are very safe, you may experience some minor side effects.  Redness, swelling and mild tenderness are common.  They will fade away within a couple of hours after treatment.  Many skin care professionals recommend using a moisturizer to lessen dry or flaky skin.  Sometimes you may experience minor bruising from the suction process.  This should quickly fade away. 

Expectations Following a Microdermabrasion Treatment

There is no recovery time following microdermabrasion treatment.  If you do experience any other the side effects, this will quickly subside in the hours following the procedure.  This means that you can immediately return to your daily routine. 

Microdermabrasion Treatment Aftercare

Following treatment, you will want to keep your skin hydrated with moisturizer. You will also need to refrain from using any topical acne medications for a day.  Following treatment, your skin will be much more sensitive so you will need to protect to it with sunscreen.  The good news that you will see the results of treatment immediately.  If the skin conditions that you are trying to address are severe, follow up sessions may be recommended.  During the first consultation, your skin care professional will develop a plan for the initial treatments and any maintenance that you need.  The bottom line is that microdermabrasion is a safe, effective way to achieve your cosmetic goals.