Microdermabrasion (Mechanical Peel)
A variety of methods has been invented in the fight for immaculate appearance with smooth, fine skin deprived of scars, stretch marks and other unaesthetic defects. Microdermabrasion is one of such methods. It is effective enough to treat scars, cicatrices and stretch marks while possessing all properties of a mechanical peel.
Microdermabrasion is known as the most effective and sparing method of returning skin's firmness, smoothness and beauty. The essence of this mechanical peel lies in the removing of the horned skin layer by affecting it with abrasive particles. During the procedure, pores of sebaceous and perspiratory glands are opened, wrinkles are smoothed, scar and pigment changes decrease. It is important to know that this procedure stimulates further renewal of the upper skin layer - epithelium. New cells are prone to more intensive metabolism and synthesis of elastin and collagen. As a consequence, skin becomes even, firm and radiant.
Types of Mechanical Peels
Mechanical peel is known to most women who use various homecare scrubs but it is not limited to this method of skin cleansing. There are other types of mechanical peels which can be classified according to their affection depth:
1. Brushing (brush-peeling);
2. Gommage scrubs;
3. Microcrystalline scrubs;
4. Salt peel;
5. Peel-off masks;
6. Mechanical dermabrasion.
Among all the above-listed types of mechanical peel mechanical dermabrasion is considered the most effective and sparing for the skin under treatment.
There exist the following types of mechanical dermabrasion:
2) Hydro dermabrasion (gas-liquid dermabrasion);
3) Laser dermabrasion (peeling or skin resurfacing);
4) Microcrystalline dermabrasion (abrasive), mostly known as microdermabrasion or microderm.
Among all the above-listed types of mechanical dermabrasion microderm is considered the most effective and sparing for the skin under treatment.
Types of Dermabrasion According to Skin Affection:
1. Superficial. Epidermis is removed no deeper than 30-50 micrometers without affecting the malpighian layer of derma. Peeling effect is achieved.
2. Medium or medium-deep. Epidermis is removed at a depth of 50-120 micrometers. Stretch marks, superficial tattoos and wrinkles disappear.
3. Deep. A special machine removes the whole epidermis, a part of the malpighian layer and protruding upper derma layers. The depth of affection reaches 120-150 micrometers. This procedure is performed at hospital only.
Machines for Microdermabrasion
In plain English, the core of the microdermabrasion method lies in resurfacing skin to make it smoother. The machine scatters pressurized micro particles to delicately remove the upper layer of horned skin cells.
This procedure must be performed by a cosmetician because only a specialist with medical education can prevent missteps that may lead to negative impact on skin in future. An experienced beauty expert can determine the depth of peeling and, therefore, the final result of the procedure. Depending on the affection depth, microdermabrasion allows either removing the upper horned skin layer or making its surface even.
Skin resurfacing is performed with the help of special machines that discharge crystals on the treated skin surface and thus blast away the dead cells of the upper layer. This procedure stimulates the renewal of skin, collagen and elastin fibers, ensures the smoothing effect.
During or after the procedure light reddening may be observed on the treated skin surface. It subsides within a couple of hours.
“Peel Professional”, an English machine, is the most popular equipment for mechanical peeling. It can be used even to treat people with sensitive skin. Beside deep cleansing, the machine removes sebaceous plugs and excessive sebum. Procedures with this equipment promote significant decreasing or complete removal of scars and cicatrices.
“MS-07” is another popular machine produced in China and possessing numerous advantages. Complete with several heads, it ensures high effectiveness due to various abrasive abilities of the diamond coating. Multifunctionality is another advantage of this machine since it can be used for superficial, medium and deep peeling.
“EASY Peel™” is not so popular because this machine is considered VIP class. As an abrasive substance, it uses microcrystals of aluminum oxide able to even out skin imperfections. All materials used during the procedure, including the microcrystalline powder of aluminum oxide, are single-use. This is why peeling with this machine decreases the risk of infectious diseases.
Modern machines for microdermabrasion use four kinds of sanding (crystals):
1) Aluminum oxide (corundum), most frequent in use because it is an ideal abrasive substance for microdermabrasion. After diamond, it is the solidest substance with good abrasive properties. It is safe for skin and possesses significant kinetic energy due to the crystal size (average diameter about 150 micrometers);
2) Sodium bicarbonate (soda);
3) Sodium chloride (white salt);
4) Magnesium oxide (calcinated magnesia, periclase);
5) Fruit seed powder.
Indications and Contraindications
As any other serious medical procedures, microdermabrasion has a number of contraindications. For instance, such peeling is forbidden for people suffering from infectious diseases, herpes in its dynamic stage or dermatitis.
Besides, couperosis, pyoderma, seborrheic keratosis and papilloma viral infection present contraindications for mechanical peeling. During pregnancy, procedures of mechanical peel in the stomach area are also definitely not recommended.
Microdermabrasion is also contraindicated in case of cardiovascular diseases and blood disorders.
Despite the wide range of contraindications, there are cases when microdermabrasion may become almost the only way of solving numerous esthetic problems. For instance, people suffering from fruit acid intolerance can only count on mechanical peeling. In such cases, microdermabrasion is the only method of improving skin and treating wrinkles, sagginess, stretch marks, scars of various origins. Moreover, this procedure is indicated for treating enlarged pores, hyper pigmentation and hyperkeratosis. This type of mechanical peel is recommended as a means to prevent skin aging.
Advantages and Drawbacks of Microdermabrasion
The microdermabrasion method has numerous advantages. Its high effectiveness is achieved after completing the whole peeling course while all procedures are painless and safe. Moreover, anesthesia and prolonged staying at home are not necessary even though other types of peeling demand indoor regime. The perfect delicacy of the method and low risks of complications are also considered significant advantages of microdermabrasion.
Speaking of advantages, it is necessary to also notice the drawback. It consists in relatively low effectiveness after the first peels, and this is why some 3-10 procedures are needed to achieve visible results.
Before the procedure, it is recommended to complete a course of superficial peels with fruit acids to achieve a better result.
The Procedure of Microdermabrasion
The cosmetician removes makeup and applies antiseptic medicine on skin. Then, skin is wiped dry, and the procedure begins.
The specialist puts the head of the machine on a skin area of one square centimeter. The head has a panel with two openings: one for pressurized air stream with microcrystals (for instance, aluminum oxide / corundum), the other for building up vacuum.
During the procedure, microcrystals hit the skin surface at a high speed and mechanically remove the cells of epidermis. At the same time, the mixture of crystals and removed cells is sucked up by vacuum into a special container. At that, only superficial skin layers are affected, and the epidermis is removed completely or partially with its further regeneration.
To complete the procedure, a soothing, anti-inflammatory or moisturizing mask is applied on skin for 15-25 minutes.
To achieve the desired result, the cosmetician determines the number of procedures and the depth of affection which depends on the speed of microcrystal dispersion, intensity of treating the same areas, the patient's skin type. A good stable result can be achieved after 3-12 procedures with weekly intervals.
After the procedure (of medium peeling) skin is treated with antibiotic cream. Homecare treatment should include professional solutions with moisturizing, soothing, regenerating effects, as well as sunscreens with minimal SPF 30.
The Result and Effect
Microdermabrasion is highly valued both by patients and cosmeticians for the excellent results after completing the whole therapy course.
After the procedure, flaking may appear. It demands additional moisturizing. Sensitive skin may be prone to rashes and reddening. This is a normal response of skin to the traumatizing and does not require additional treatment. Usually, these symptoms subside by themselves in a few hours or days.
When possible side effects fade away, the procedure results in the cleansed skin with even surface, heightened skin tone, elasticity and visible improvement of skin's appearance.
Faster and more effective results may be achieved if the method is combined with vacuum massage which activates the lymphatic system and prevents puffiness. As a consequence, skin is cleansed not only externally, but also internally. The effect of this combination lasts much longer.
Photos before and after Microdermabrasion
Skin Care after the Procedure
Depending on the state of skin and the depth of affection, regeneration may last for a rather long period – up to 3 weeks. To avoid any problems and complications, the patient should pay maximal attention to the skin for the first 2-3 days after the procedure and treat it with the solutions prescribed by the doctor.
It is not recommended to additionally traumatize skin or scrub it with homemade solutions. The flaking which may appear after the procedure will subside by itself, after application of moisturizers and sunscreens. Use of other cosmetic solutions should be postponed.
SPA procedures or any high-temperature skin affection is strictly prohibited because it can lead to undesirable consequences.
Direct sunrays should also be avoided during the first days after peeling. Violation of this rule may result in such unpleasant side effects as hyper pigmentation.
Hydrotherapeutic procedures with warm or cool water would be the best recommendation for skin care on the 2nd or the 3rd day after microdermabrasion.
Complications after Microdermabrasion
3. Hyper pigmentation;
The number of procedures depends on the state of skin and the problems to be solved by peeling. The exact number can be determined only by a doctor. The course being completed, it is necessary to undertake supporting procedures once in three months to ensure the effect.
How Much Does Microdermabrasion Cost?
The average cost of microdermabrasion is $154. That is the national average surgeon/physician fee according to 2012 statistics from ASPS. The cost of microdermabrasion may vary based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment, the type of procedure used, time and effort the procedure or treatment requires, as well as geographic office location.
This average fee referenced above does not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.