Microdermabrasion may be one of the most popular non-surgical skin resurfacing procedures but it's not completely free of risks or contraindications (no cosmetic treatment is completely safe; if there were such a treatment, everyone would only have that). This is the complete list of side effects associated with microderm abrasion (some experienced by people I know myself).
One thing you cannot ignore is your medical history. It gives you useful clues as to which procedures suit you and which don't. Fortunately, there was nothing major in my medical history to prevent me from having microabrasion but I had to see a doctor first to get the all-clear.
Can I have microdermabrasion if... is a common question I get, particularly for three conditions:
With both teenagers and pregnant or nursing women, hormones can inhibit or change the effects of microderma abrasion. It's best to wait until the hormones settle down before having it.
The third condition I often get asked about:
I understand that you want to get rid of your acne scars as soon as possible, now that Accutane has cleared your breakouts, but doing so may cause serious damage to your skin. Accutane increases skin sensitivity which is why you should wait 6-12 months before having ANY skin resurfacing technique, not just micro derma abrasion. The same applies to recent laser surgery.
Most doctors also agree that micro dermabrasion is not recommended to keratosis sufferers, people with undiagnosed lesions, active rosacea or acne (although people with mild acne have seen good results), weeping acne (stages 3 to 4), diabetes, auto-immune disorders, fragile capillaries, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis or lupus. Microderm also has no visible on active herpes lesions or malignant skin tumors (warts).
There is only one, though minor, risk associated with microdermabrasion: tampering with the skin's color balance (in other words, you may get dark or light patches from micro dermabrasion). It's important to remember that scarring and pigmentary changes are common complications for other skin rejuvenation techniques, like laser resurfacing, dermal abrasion and chemical peels.
The reason the risk is so small with microderm abrasion is because it's a very gentle procedure. It only removes the top layer of skin (which is formed only of dead skin cells), leaving the live tissue underneath intact. However, it's a well known fact that people with darker skin (Type IV, V and VI on the Fitzpatrick Scale -- see below) are more prone to pigment problems and while the risk of micro dermabrasion tampering with the pigmentary equilibrium is very small (smallest of all rejuvenation procedures) with darker skin types, it's still there.
The general consensus is that micro dermabration is not a risky procedure but just like earthquakes can happen, there are things that could go wrong during or after microderma abrasion.
Next, home microdermabrasion kits help eliminate most of the problems mentioned above, though at the expense of effectiveness.
A: The Over The Counter microdermabrasia product from Olay Regenerist works for some people and doesn't work for others. There are many satisfied consumers who say that Olay Regenerist product 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: Glycolic acid is used as a light chemical peel. It removes the uppermost layer of skin. Light chemical peels and microdermabrasia are both non-invasive procedures that can also be performed at-home with special consumer kits. Neither has any major risks or side-effects and both have limited effectiveness. They can help diminish or even remove superficial scarring and wrinkles, age spots, stretch marks and uneven skin texture. For deeper skin imperfections, you may need a more invasive procedure.
A: Psoriasis patients should not have microdermabrasions This procedures is somewhat invasive to the skin (any skin rejuvenation treatment is to some extent) and can worsen their condition. This applies to home microdermabrasion as well, despite its mild effect.
A: By exfoliating the top layer of the skin, microderma abrasion machines clean deep into the pore and removes excess oil and dirt that clog pores - which causes blackheads. Most blackheads are removed while more stubborn blackheads are reduced.
A: According to thousands of online testimonials, spa microdemabrasion works on fine skin imperfections. But like with most non-surgical techniques, the effects depend on your medical condition, your body's ability to recover and on who does the procedure. Most people who have tried micro abrasion say the procedure was effective in diminishing acne scars, age spots, fine lines, enlarged pores, red marks, stretch marks and dull skin More severe skin imperfections cannot be improved with this non-invasive technique, because it only sandblasts the top layer of the skin, not being able to reach deeper layers of skin.
A: Microdermal abrasion machines can only be operated by people with specific theoretical and practical training. Since this procedure is still relatively new, regulations regarding microbrasion certification vary from state to state. Generally speaking, for a person to perform professional in-office micro derma abrasion. one needs to conclude a supervised 14 to 30 hour training and pass a practical exam with the institution offering the course. This institution can be a large spa, a vocational school, a dermatology clinic, a beauty academy or a device manufacturer.
A: Microdermibrasion evens out skin texture and helps remove superficial surgical scars. More severe surgical scarring needs more advanced non-surgical techniques, like a deep chemical peel or laser face rejuvenation.
A: Microdermasion 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 microderm abrasions while on Accutane may cause permanent scarring. This applies to self systems and office treatment.
A: Professional microdermabrasian tool is appropriate for all skin colors (including Asian skin ) because this procedure sandblasts only the outermost skin layer which is made of dead skin cells. There's no damage to live tissue which could cause scarring or severe irritation. The exfoliation process involved in specialist microdermabration helps the skin renew itself quicker and more effectively.
A: Microderm works by sandblasting the outermost skin layer but cannot abrade deeper skin layers where tattooed skin cells are which is why it cannot remove tattoos. Tatoo removal needs laser or surgical procedures which are invasive enough to reach pigmented skin cells.
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