I can distinctly remember when I had acne 20 years ago (had it for 4 years in my teens). I can especially remember how it made me feel which is why I can sympathize with you -- if there is one skin disorder that can really mess up someone in their early life, acne is it. Apparently (and this is quite shocking) more than 80% of all teenagers suffer from acne and more than a quarter of them will have permanent, visible acne scars. About 20% of all adults also suffer from active acne. That certainly helps put things into perspective!
Before I can explain how micr odermabrasion helps with acne scars, it's important to understand how acne works. Basically, acne is a medical skin condition in which oil and dead skin cells clog the pores, causing pimples, blemishes, whiteheads, blackheads, or more severe problems, like nodular or cystic acne.
Some of the sebaceous glands in the skin produce oil (also called sebum) in excess. Oil combines with cells found on the walls of these glands and clogs your pores. The result are pimples which can appear on your face, neck, arms, shoulders chest or your back.
What I do know for certain is that microdermabration works on superficial acne scars. But the question remains: does it help fade deeper acne scars as well? (for acne treatment, read my article on microdermabrasion for acne).
Basically, microderm abrasion peels off a very, very fine layer of skin (but thicker than the one removed by regular facial peel) where superficial acne scar cells are stuck. I had many superficial scars on my cheeks (but no red marks) which faded to the point of becoming invisible after a full spa microdermabrasion treatment (I suspect the results wouldn't have been any different in a clinic).
I needed 12 micro dermabrasions before the scarring on my cheeks had almost faded, though I could see improvement after the first few abrasions. Before I started the microdermabrasion treatment I was told there are things I can do to improve the results. I drank lots of water, avoided alcohol and smoking and kept my skin clean and well moisturized. I cannot say exactly what effect these had on the final results but I'm sure they are better because of them.
I often meet people with moderate or deep acne scars who have been left disappointed with micro dermabrasion (particularly with over-the-counter products). The fact is that microdermabrasion kits don't work on deep acne scarring (many websites selling home microabrasion products conveniently fail to tell you that) but neither does spa or medical microderm abrasion. Severe acne marks need more aggressive procedures like chemical peels and laser resurfacing which go deeper into the skin than microderm can.
While home microdermabrasion kits cannot compare to the professional procedure in terms of effectiveness, some brands like Youthful Essence do a good job at removing some of the more superficial skin imperfections. Dermanew is also very good (very professional-like results and components) though much more expensive.
Next, a few tips on home microdermabrasion products.
A: By removing the top layer of the skin, personal micro dermabration diminishes or even removes superficial acne marks. Deeper acne marks require a more invasive procedure, like a deep chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing.
A: Rosacea is one of the main contraindications of microdermabrasion, because the exfoliation process worsens rosacea symptoms (redness, itchiness, flaking). Self microderma sets are not recommended either (even though they are milder).
A: Home micro abrasion kits can be used on your feet as long as it's especially formulated as a body microbrasion kit. Using a facial microdermabrastion system on your feet will not have the desired effects because it's much too mild to have a significant effect on your feet. Professional microabrasion is not suitable for use on the feet because the skin is too thin in that area. However, having microdermal abrasions on your heels should work but better ask your doctor first.
A: The Personal micro abrasion system from Micro Pearl Abrasion is effective for some people and isn't for others. There are many satisfied consumers who say that Micro Pearl Abrasion system does make their skin look younger and feel smother. However, there are some unhappy consumers who say the kit is either too aggressive, causing them skin irritations and break-outs, or not very effective in removing fine scars and wrinkles. The only way to find out if the product works for you is to try to get a free sample and test the formula on your face.
A: This procedure exfoliates the top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells. Microderm set stimulates collagen production, essential to healthy skin and also evens out skin texture and tone.
A: After cleaning your face of make up and excess oil, the doctor uses a hand-held, sandblaster-like device to spray and circulate high pressure flow of aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin. The crystals gently exfoliate the very top layer of the skin, while the wand vacuums used crystals and exfoliated skin cells at the same time.
A: By exfoliating the top layer of the skin, microabrasion sets clean deep into the pore and removes excess oil and dirt which causes clogged pores. Most pores are unclogged while the more stubborn ones become less visible.
A: Yes, results are visible after the first microdermabrasian. especially if we are talking about clinic microdermabration which is more effective than at-home sets. Best results are obtained after 6 to 12 sessions (depending on your expectations and severity of skin imperfections), respectively one month of use for one of the self microderm kit.
A: Micodermabrasion is not recommended for patients taking Accutane. This acne treatment works by reducing the amount of oil produced by the skin's sebaceous glands which reduces the skin's ability to recover after body or facial exfoliation. Having microdermabasion while on Accutane may cause permanent scarring. This applies to do-it-yourself kits and specialist treatment.
A: By removing the top layer of skin, microdermoabrasion evens out skin texture and helps improve superficial chicken pox scars. Deeper chicken pox scarring needs more invasive non-surgical techniques, like deep chemical peeling or laser skin resurface.
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Information and advice on microderabrasion and skin resurfacing
Microdemabrasion is a safe alternative to chemical peels & laser rejuvenation for acne scars & fine lines
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My micro dermabrasion kit reviews: Neutrogena - Youthful Essence - Dermanew