Have you ever taken a moment to consider how truly remarkable your skin is? As the largest organ of your body, skin protects your internal organs, regulates temperature and senses heat, cold and other changes in your environment. In fact, the epidermis, or outer layer of your skin, is able to regenerate itself with a complete turnover of cells occurring each month.
Due to factors like aging and sun damage, your skin can sometimes use a little help rejuvenating itself. Microdermabrasion, generally considered a safe, non-invasive cosmetic procedure, can help you do just that – buffing away dead skin cells and other debris, revealing a smoother, tighter, fresher layer of skin of underneath. The exfoliating nature of dermabrasion makes it an effective application (when done correctly) in treating skin imperfections such as wrinkles, age spots and mild acne.
If you’ve ever washed with an over-the-counter facial scrub, you were actually using a basic form of dermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion utilizes a process known as abrading, which involves wearing away a surface with friction. The original systems used a pump to direct a high-pressure blast of inert crystals, usually aluminum oxide, to remove the top layer of skin. Used crystals, dead skin cells and other debris are removed with a vacuum. Because of concerns about the health risks of ingesting aluminum oxide crystals, providers moved to an improved system utilizing a hand operated diamond-tipped wand.
While the latest microdermabrasion systems do afford a greater degree of control for use on more sensitive areas, all dermabrasion systems still rely on a human operator to apply consistent pressure and speed over the skin while handling the device, making it very difficult to get a consistent treatment from beginning to end. If an operator leaves the device in one place too long, they can remove too much skin or not enough, under-treating or over-treating the skin.
More advanced treatment options like Silkpeel’s DermalInfusion utilize controlled vacuum pressure to pull the skin into a chamber and allow the diamond abrasive tip to very consistently remove the top layer of skin while simultaneously driving a topical solution deep into the skin where the skin cells are regenerating.
Treating Facial Imperfections
Since microdermabrasion removes the top layer of skin, the procedure is highly beneficial for minimizing the appearance of some of the more common facial imperfections including:
- Acne and scarring – Microdermabrasion dislodges stubborn dirt and debris along with dead skin cells, making it an effective method of removing whiteheads, blackheads and other impactions. The procedure can also reduce raised or discolored areas caused by acne scarring while making pitted scars appear less prominent. Microdermabrasion is not recommended for extremely inflammatory cases of acne however.
- Fine lines and wrinkles – Collagen is a protein that acts as the “glue” binding skin cells together. This substance is responsible for the smooth, supple texture of skin. With age, your body’s production of collagen slows down, causing development of fine lines and wrinkles. Microdermabrasion can remove these lines by uncovering the firmer layer of skin underneath. The procedure also stimulates collagen production for smoother skin and faster cell turnover.
- Age spots and discoloration – Melanin is a pigment found in the epidermis that gives skin its color and provides protection against UV rays. Years of exposure to the sun can cause a build-up of melanin that results in age spots. Microdermabrasion minimizes or eliminates these spots by wearing away the layer containing the excess melanin.
Skin is an amazing creation, but when nature needs a helping hand, microdermabrasion can be a valuable option. Consult your dermatologist to discuss the applications of microdermabrasion for your individual needs.