What is Microdermabrasion?

I've heard a lot about microdermabrasion, but what is it? How does Microdermabrasion work. Thks!

Doctor Answers 7


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Microdermabrasion is a mechanical method to remove the most superficial layer of dead skin cells called the stratum corneum. There are two basic methods that are utilized in clinical practice, diamond and crystal. The diamond system uses diamond chips that abrade the surface layer and have the advantage of creating less "dust" than the crystal method and can be used around the eyes easier. With repeated treatments, either method can provide a modest benefit of smoother and more youthful appearing skin.

SInce it only removes the most superficial layer of skin, it cannot cause hyperpigmentation and is safe to use in all skin types. Therefore, I disagree with the other post stating to not excercise, sweat, or use hot/warm water after microdermabrasion in order to avoid hyperpigmentation. There is no science behind this claim.

Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews


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Microdermabrasion is a very popular, machine-assisted skin-exfoliating treatment. Microdermabrasion is a painless, noninvasive, skin-rejuvenation procedure using a combination of a fine abrasive tip or crystals and vacuum suction applied to the skin. There are no needles or anesthetics required for microdermabrasion. Treatments vary per person and depend on the type of results you are looking for.

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews


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Microdermabrasion is basically a skin beautifying treatment that gently removes the uppermost layers of your skin with abrasion, usually applied by a diamond or crystal applicator. By doing this healthier skin is revealed and collagen production is initiated.

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Microdermabrasion is medically managed deep exfoliation

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Hi there-

Microdermabrasion in a mechanical peel that will polish away dull, damaged layers of skin.

In our Orlando Plastic Surgery and Skin Care Center, we prefer the Accelafuze Microdermabrasion system, which is crystal free.

The treatment is performed with an abrasive tip that will polish away your outermost layers of skin but not leave you feeling "sandy" like a crytal machine will.

This process removes damaged skin cells and encourages new healthy cells to come to the surface.

Why does this work?

When we are very young our skin cells turnover naturally and as we age this process slows down. Microdermabrasion simply speeds up this turnover that is now occurring at a slower rate.

One treatment will leave your skin softer and smoother, a series of treatments can improve fines lines, hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores and your overall tone and texutre.

With the Accelafuze we also have the option to add on Infusions such as moisturizing, lightening or peptide infusion to enhance your results.

What is microdermabrasion

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Microdermabrasion is a office-based method to smooth the skin and reduce fine wrinkles. In traditional dermabrasion, the layers of the skin were removed with a rotating sandpaper-like mechanism. In microdermabrasion, the method is much more gentle but can achieve nice results even on the first treatment.

Microdermabrasion is a simple procedure

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Microdermabrasion is a simple procedure.

The machine fires out crystals that bounce of the surface of the skin, taking with it the outer layer of dead cells and some of the superficial yuck (not quite a recognized medical term), that we all have on our skin. The suction on the machine is used to draw up the dead cells and crystals into the machine.

It is useful for early signs of aging and sun-damage. Patients with hyper-pigmentation and minimal scarring can also benefit. It can be a good alternative for treating scars in patients of color.

The treatment is straightforward, done in the office, with minimal, if any, downtime. It is something that many do on their lunch-break. Most feel a little tingle afterward. Best results are done with a series of treatments. One should apply sunscreen afterward.

Beware the "home microdermabrasion" kits. They may exfoliate, but not as deep. They also don't have the suction capability to address blemishes, etc.

Hope that helps!

Microdermabrasion treatments

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Hi Dana,

Thanks for the question.

Microdermabrasion is a simple convenient procedure used in patients with early signs of ageing and sun damage. Those with minimal superficial scarring and hyperpigmentation can also benefit. It is non-invasive procedure with no discomfort or recovery time.

It has been available in Europe since the late 1980s using corundum aluminum oxide mineral microcrystals to remove dead or damaged superficial cells.

The most commonly treated areas include the face, chest, shoulders, back and hands. The procedure is performed with a jet of fine mineral crystals passing over the skin’s surface by creating a gentle vacuum. The crystals gently exfoliate the outmost layer of skin known as the stratum corneum. Once removed it reveals one’s own fresher younger looking skin beneath. One Microdermabrasion session is roughly equal to three 30% glycolic acid peels or one 70% peel.

These treatments are meant to be progressive and not aggressive. Results are seen after the 3rd treatment. Treatments are performed every several weeks usually in a series. Microdermabrasion is helpful to perform 7 to 10 days before Intense Pulse LIght (IPL) treatments to enhance the IPL results.

Microdermabrasion will take 15 to 40 minutes depending on the area being treated. The procedure is applied to clean skin. Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher is applied immediately after and should be used for several days after.

There is minimal to no discomfort but some patients may experience a slightly tingling afterward. Rarely the skin may appear slightly red which lasts 12 to 24 hours. It is important not to exercise immediately after Microdermabrasion because perspiration will cause a stinging sensation that can last several hours.

Patients who undergo Microdermabrasion should discontinue Vitamin A acids and glycolic acid creams 3 to 5 days before. These can be restarted 2 to 3 days after the procedure.

Julia Carroll, MD
Toronto Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.