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What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is an exfoliation and skin rejuvenation procedure that is used to remove acne scars and wrinkles. Doctors started using this method in the 1980s when they discovered that microdermabrasion offers the same benefits as traditional skin resurfacing techniques, but with fewer side effects.
What Are the Benefits of Microdermabrasion?
- It improves skin texture
- It is less risky than most other resurfacing procedures
- It does not involve any surgical downtime
- It is a relatively quick procedure and can be done during a lunch break
What Are Wrinkles?
Wrinkles appear as lines, creases or folds at the surface of the skin. Wrinkles are an inevitable part of the natural aging process. As we become older our skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic; and its ability to protect itself from damage decreases.
There are two major types of wrinkles:
- Dynamic wrinkles
- Static wrinkles
Dynamic wrinkles occur when we use our muscles to form facial expressions like smiling and frowning. For example, when we smile our eye wrinkles become prominent and when we frown the vertical lines between our eyebrows become noticeable.
Wrinkles caused by facial expressions can begin to form as early as in one’s twenties. When we are young, however, our skin tends to spring back to its original position when we have finished making the facial expression (at rest); however, as we get older the dynamic wrinkles remain on the skin to form static wrinkles.
Static wrinkles are the wrinkles that will form even if a person has never used their facial muscles to smile or frown throughout their life. They develop as we get older because natural substances such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid that provide the skin with structure and volume decrease with age. The loss of skin structure and volume means that the skin is less able to spring back to its initial position after facial expression, and as a result, static wrinkles and folds form.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Apart from facial expression and natural aging, there are some other minor contributors to skin aging:
Smoking–Researchers have found that smoke causes a marked reduction in the production of collagen. (When new collagen is not formed wrinkles are created). Skin requires the perpetual regeneration of collagen to maintain a healthy appearance.
Sunlight exposure—People whose jobs expose them to more sunlight tend to become wrinkly earlier than others. Examples include fishermen, farmers, sailors, golfers, tanning booth employees (UV exposure), and gardeners.
Genetic factors—f your parents developed wrinkles earlier than other people, your chances of also doing so are significantly higher than somebody whose parents developed wrinkles later than others.
Hair—Some hairstyles provide more shade for the face than others.
Clothes—People who tend to wear hats and long sleeves usually develop wrinkles later in life compared to other people of the same skin type
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Light skin—People with light skin tend to experience a higher level of sun damage, which usually accelerates the development of wrinkles.
How Do You Combat Wrinkles?
Year after year, researchers investigate possible ingredients for skin creams that will help in the treatment and prevention of wrinkles. Although many ingredients are marketed as having great anti-aging properties, there are just a handful of ingredients that actually have the potential to decrease the appearance of wrinkles. Antioxidants like vitamin C, Vitamin E, alpha-lipoic acid and carotenoids help to combat aging that has been caused by environmental damage.
Apart from over-the-counter treatment options for wrinkles, some people opt for skin resurfacing methods like chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and Botox injections.
The rest of this article will deal specifically with the method of microdermabrasion and its effects on wrinkled skin.
How Does Microdermabrasion Work?
Microdermabrasion involves the gentle abrading of the skin surface to remove the outer surface of the skin. Using a powerful microdermabrasion machine, dermatologists and skin professionals spray tiny crystals onto the skin to loosen the dead cells on the first layer of the skin. The dead skin cells or skin debris are then vacuumed up through another chamber of the hand-held machine. As the tiny particles whisk by, they cause a very fine sanding and polishing effect. The polishing effect helps to remove the particles of dead skin which gives the skin a smoother, softer, glowing appearance.
When Will Results Appear After Treatment?
The results of the first microdermabrasion treatment are usually not very noticeable; and dermatologists usually recommend a series of treatments- usually six to ten sessions for satisfactory results. These sessions are usually spread out over a period of two weeks.
After the first few treatments, the skin looks healthier and softer. After a series of treatments, the changes become more drastic and the fine lines and wrinkles become less defined. The skin also becomes thinner and smoother, and pores are no longer noticeably dilated.
Microdermabrasion improves the appearance of shallow wrinkles and fine lines but is not an effective technique for removing deep wrinkles and scars.
Microdermabrasion should not be confused with the more aggressive procedure called dermabrasion. Dermabrasion removes the outermost layer of skin and is usually used to treat acne scarring and deep wrinkles. Dermabrasion entails a significant recovery time and most patients need some mild anesthesia when undergoing this procedure.
How Much Does Microdermabrasion Cost?
In doctor’s offices, beauty centers and spas, microdermabrasion costs around $70 to $300 per procedure. A minimum of 10 procedures is usually recommended for noticeable results to be seen.
Home- care microdermabrasion kits can cost from $20 to $100 according to the brand, microdermabrasion tool, and type of grains or crystals used in the kit.
If you opt for dermabrasion instead of microdermabrasion, the cost will be between $1,500 and $4,000 depending on the size and depth of peeling.
Any Home Care Kits Recommendations?
Three of the best home-care microdermabrasion kits are:
- Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel Kit by Olay
- St. Ives Timeless Skin Daily Microdermabrasion by St. Ives
- Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub by Derma E
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 gis_r07
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 23, 2020:
This is the first time that I read about microdermabrasion. It's quite interesting and I am at THAT age when one has to consider options for the skin.
Tressie Dawson on February 16, 2018:
Nice post! I have very oily and acne prone skin. Is Micro Abrasion Suitable For Me?