Dr Vivian Oputa
Microdermabrasion is a procedure performed by a medical doctor or trained aesthetician where the topmost layer of skin is buffed away thus improving its texture and tone. This treatment improves the appearance of superficial wrinkles and skin irregularities leaving the skin supple and more vibrant.
The process involves sanding off the superficial layer of the skin and this â€œtraumaâ€ stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which results in firmer and more youthful looking skin.
It is a great alternative to Chemical peels and laser treatment as it is non-surgical, non-invasive, essentially painless and requires no down time. The treatment is usually performed in a series and the number and duration is dependent on the individualâ€™s skin condition. An average of 10 treatments at weekly intervals is performed with each procedure lasting about 30 minutes. A dramatic change may be seen after the first treatment but generally the results are gradual and significantly impressive.
Microdermabrasion successfully exfoliates the thickened epidermis by sanding it off to reveal a smoother and more even toned skin surface. It was first introduced in Italy in the mid 1990â€™s. Tiny rough particles of aluminum oxide (corundum) or salt are blown onto the skin and then vacuumed off, taking the dead cells with it. The treatment almost feels like sandpaper being rubbed over your skin.
After treatment, your skin may appear flushed for about 30 minutes but there are no obvious wounds or blistering.
It is also used to treat Keratosis Pilaris, by temporarily smoothing out the bumpy skin texture to enhance penetration of treatment products. It also is useful in de-clogging blackheads, combating hyperpigmentation and smoothing out acne scars and stretch marks. It is also useful for treating rough hands and feet.
This treatment is NOT for use in pregnancy nor for people prone to keloids and hypertrophic scars. The procedure should not be used for precancerous skin lesions, skin cancer nor for the removal of skin growths.
There are two levels of machines manufactured for use. The gentler levels are designed for use by aestheticians while the more powerful machines that give more dramatic results are designed for doctors.
Before you get this treatment done, make sure the technician is adequately trained, high levels of sanitation and hygiene are adhered to (make sure the hand pieces are sterilized or disposable and that crystals are never re-used) to prevent cross contamination and the spread of contagious diseases.
You get the best results when this treatment is complemented by use of exfoliating products at home such as prescription Retin-A or non-prescription Retinol. These are usually started two weeks before you commence your series and thereafter as maintenance. Kinerase may also be used and is popular because it is not as irritating as the Vitamin A derivatives mentioned above. It also reduces flushing and hastens wrinkle smoothing.
Anti-oxidants such as topical Vitamin C and Copper peptide help stimulate collagen and elastin production in the dermis. If hyperpigmentation is a problem, a safe bleaching agent such as Lightening Gel by Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care may be used in conjunction. Often times a prescription bleaching agent such as Triluma or Lustra may be prescribed under the supervision of your doctor. A sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 must be used in the day time.
Expected results from Microdermabrasion include improving clogged pores, blackheads, dull and uneven skin; softening roughness and thickened patches of dead skin, refining the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores and reducing acne breakouts.