We all know the term “exfoliation”. In its purest sense, this is a natural process, which goes on daily in the skin. Many skin care products and techniques have been developed to accentuate or accelerate this process, in an effort to “pare down” surface or epithelial skin cell “buildup” which occurs, due to the inefficiency of this “exfoliation” process, all in an effort to achieve a “smoother”, “softer” and more resilient-looking skin surface–in short, to rejuvenate how our faces look. Some of the topical products (like Retin A) can be a bit harsh on sensitive skin, and some of the techniques developed are rather invasive, like chemical peels or “dermabrasion” (grinding off the skin surface with a rotating abrasive metal tip). To avoid harsh chemicals or invasive “grinding”, or the pain and “down time” of healing of the skin from some laser treatments, the process of “microdermabrasion” was developed, and this in-office procedure can add a lot to skin “smoothness” by a minimally-invasive technique.

Developed first in France about 15 years ago, the process has evolved to a level of safety and effectiveness that has made this approach very popular for those who cannot tolerate the harsh chemicals, or do not want the “downtime” of the more invasive “peels” or resurfacing done with a standard abrasion or laser ablation (burning) technique.

For those who want a gentle “jump start” to the exfoliation process, microdermabrasion offers an excellent and well-tolerated option, and this “lunch-time peel” is often done every 3 to 4 weeks on patients with sallow complexions, surface irregularities, dilated pores and fine facial lines. The technique involves the placement of a suction handpiece on the skin, connected to a machine that propels a fine stream of aluminum oxide crystals against the skin, which then gently “abrades” the surface, and then suctions away the crystals and the exfoliated skin cells. Dr. Scheu often treats the face, and can combine the neck and anterior chest sites also, in a 15-to-20 minute session, to give a gentle rejuvenation of the aging or sun-damaged skin in these areas. The procedure is not painful (many patients relate that it actually “feels good” when it is being done), and the light pink color of the skin that results fades out within 24 hours, leaving a “smoother” texture to the skin. Many of those getting microdermabrasion come in monthly for a “maintenance” program; they say their skin “looks better”, is “softer”, and that their makeup seems to “go on” better. And there is virtually no risk of complication, as with harsh peels or laser exfoliation treatments.

Certainly, for those with deeper lines or more extensive skin discoloration or damage, other treatments, like “filler” injections, or the “Fraxel” laser may be indicated, but the microdermabrasion is a gentle, comfortable and affordable way to “keep up” with some of the degenerative changes in the skin we all see as the years roll by.

Have additional questions about Microdermabrasion? Contact us today.