Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive skin-exfoliation procedure designed to treat sun damage, scars, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. In addition to its cosmetic benefits, microdermabrasion helps to enhance circulation and lymph flow. Results are immediately visible, and there is no downtime for the patient, who can immediately resume regular activities. Performed in-office, microdermabrasion does not require anesthesia, and can be combined with other procedures such as chemical peels or laser treatment.
Microdermabrasion is a much less invasive procedure than dermabrasion, which is used to treat more serious skin problems. Dermabrasion, in which several layers of skin are removed, is considered a surgical treatment.
The Microdermabrasion Procedure
During the microdermabrasion treatment performed by our Medical Aesthetician, a handheld microderm device is used to gently exfoliate the skin as a vacuum tool removes the abraded skin cells, revealing a fresh vibrant complexion. A treatment session can last from 5 to 30 minutes. The results of a single microdermabrasion treatment are temporary. For continued improvement, treatments should be repeated every 2 to 4 weeks. Microdermabrasion treatments can also be combined with chemical peels for increased results when treating pigmentation and general aging concerns.
Risks of Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is considered safe for all skin types, and is appropriate for Asian and dark-skinned patients who may be at risk for skin discoloration with other types of treatment. There are no serious risks associated with microdermabrasion, although some patients experience mild redness and irritation, and patients older than 70 may have a slightly escalated risk of bruising and skin abrasions. Avoiding sun exposure after microdermabrasion is important because it may have removed some of the skin’s natural protection.
In patients who have a history of cold sores, undergoing microdermabrasion may reactivate the virus that causes them. In those cases, avoiding treatment around the lip area and/or taking preventative antiviral medication prior to treatment may be recommended.
Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that removes the outer layers of skin; when skin grows back, it is smoother and younger looking. Dermabrasion removes, as much as is possible, facial scarring caused by acne, chicken pox, injury or other conditions. Uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, sun damage, tattoos, age spots and certain kinds of skin lesions are also treated with dermabrasion, which can be performed on targeted areas of skin or the entire face. It can also be performed in combination with other treatments, such as facelifts, chemical peels or scar revisions, for optimal results.
Benefits of Dermabrasion
Dermabrasion can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including the following:
- Chicken pox marks
- Age spots (sun-damaged skin)
- Uneven skin pigmentation
- Precancerous skin patches
Dermabrasion is not effective for removing congenital marks, pigmented birthmarks, scars from burns, and certain types of moles.
The Dermabrasion Procedure
To determine whether a person is a candidate for dermabrasion, a complete medical history is taken, and overall health is assessed. Dermabrasion is always done by Dr. McMillan.
During the dermabrasion procedure, the areas of skin to be treated are cleansed and marked. The skin is frozen, typically with a cryogenic spray, and a local anesthetic is applied to numb the skin and reduce any potential discomfort. The skin is then sanded with a high-speed rotary instrument, removing the top layers of skin. Dermabrasion is performed in small sections, with the freezing spray applied to each area just seconds before the rotating brush is applied. Treatment depth is customized for each patient depending on the amount of resurfacing required.
After the layers of skin are removed, an ointment and dressing may be applied to protect the treated skin from infection and other complications. Most patients are able to tolerate treatment well, and have only minimal discomfort. Dermabrasion is performed in a doctor’s office; treatment time can vary, depending on the size and location of the treatment area, from a few minutes to up to an hour. Patients are able to return home shortly afterward.
After the Dermabrasion Procedure
After the procedure, patients typically experience redness and swelling, and what feels like sunburn. There may also be some tingling, burning or aching, which can be managed with pain medication prescribed by the physician. Side effects usually last for a few days to a week; when they dissipate, patients can return to work and regular activities, although physical activity and swimming should be avoided for a few weeks. Protecting the skin from sun for the first few weeks after treatment is also essential for reducing the risk of complications and achieving desired results.
The results of dermabrasion become apparent as redness and swelling subside, although it may take several months to see full results. Skin regrowth usually begins after 5 to 8 days, and patients begin to see smoother skin that has an overall improved appearance. Results vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated.
Risks of Dermabrasion
Although rare, risks associated with dermabrasion include pigmentation changes, infection, scarring, keloids and enlarged skin pores.
Dermabrasion can be performed at almost any age, with light-skinned people achieving more successful results than those with darker skin. Before undergoing dermabrasion, patients with active acne should have existing lesions treated to reduce the risk of infection.
Eye Brow and Eye Lash Tint
Undefined eyebrows and eyelashes can fail to accentuate the natural beauty of the eyes. Many women with light colored eye brows and eye lashes may wish to add a darker accent to their faces to highlight their eyes and other features. Tinting can add depth to the entire structure of the face for those with pale or light colored skin and very blonde or light brows and lashes. By matching the tint to the individual’s natural look, brow and lash tinting can create a new look to the face without looking artificial.
Eyebrow and eyelash tinting adds the illusion of thickness and dimension by simply changing the color. The eyes will suddenly appear more vibrant and the features will have more contrast.
Before tinting the eyelashes, the aesthetician applies a protective cream, such as petroleum jelly under the eyes, which prevents the skin from getting stained. A cotton pad is then placed under the eyes and over the cream. As the patient shuts her eyes, the tint is applied to lashes with a fine brush, and allowed to set for at least ten minutes. To tint the eyebrows, the aesthetician will also first apply petroleum jelly the skin surrounding the brows. This protects the skin and prevents the dye from bleeding onto it. Then the tint is painted directly onto the brow. The dye sits for ten minutes, and any residue is gently removed.
The results of permanent tints can last from one to three months. To help eye brow color last longer, individuals are advised to avoid using exfoliating cleansers, which can strip the color from the hair in the brows.
- Lash Tint
- Brow Tint
- Brow Wax & Tint
- Brow Wax, Tint & Lash Tint