Facial microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a very mild nonaggressive method for removing the surface layer of the skin, that is, the dead cells of stratum corneum. It is one of the basic procedures to improve skin texture. It was used in Italy in 1985 for the first time and it has been applied in almost all the countries of the world since.

On which skin types is the method most successful and what is it used for usually?

Microdermabrasion is applicable and successful in all skin types: young, old, light or dark skin. Microdermabrasion is used to reduce expanded pores, regulate skin greasiness, correct tiny wrinkles, correct superficial scars and hyperpigmentation.

Can microdermabrasion be applied on different body part or only on the face?

Yes. By changing the size and thickness of the crystals during the treatments, it can be used for the regions of the face, neck, back, elbows, thighs. However, it is recommended that the treatment be conducted or supervised by a trained dermatologist.

Are there different methods of microdermabrasion?

Yes. There are two basic modes of operation – the first, with aluminium oxide crystals, and the other with diamond crystals that vary in diameter. The degree of dermabrasion is determined by the size of the diamond probe, the speed and number of transits over the treated surface of the skin.

Is the method successful?

By taking skin samples and doing a histopathological analysis after six treatments, a conclusion was made that the changes do not only appear in the uppermost layer of the skin but in all levels and in all structure of the treated skin. Change in skin depth is most prominent in the surface layer, the epidermis. After these six treatments in which one and the same region was treated three times, the epidermis, starting from 0.01 mm, reached 0.06 mm. Also, the pigment cells become equal in size and number. In the third layer of the skin, the dermis, the blood vessels have a more expressive pattern which enables better skin oxygenation and a larger number of collagen fibers. Collagen fibers have become more firm and thick, and oriented horizontally after the treatment. Performing more than six treatments has increased the number of elastic fibers.

When is microdermabrasion not a method of choice?

It is not recommended to perform microdermabrasion when the patient suffers from rosacea, telangiectasia or enlarged capillaries, bacterial skin infection, herpes, flattened warts or when isotretinoin – Roacutane is used.

What are the advantages of microdermabrasion?

The greatest advantage of microdermabrasion is that there is no recovery time for this treatment, so the patient can perform his daily activities immediately after the treatment. Also, microdermabrasion is a completely painless procedure and the patient can see the result immediately after the treatment.

What are the shortcomings of microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is very limited in deeper processes such as:

  • deep facial wrinkles
  • large and extensive scars
  • deep hyperpigmentation

What are the possible side effects after the treatment?

  • skin redness – for a short period of time
  • hematomas in places where the vacuum pulls on the skin a bit stronger – they are very small and go away in two days
  • hyperpigmentation after the treatment (only if very aggressive form of microdermabrasion is applied in Fitzpatrick skin types IV and V)

Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist
Dermatological clinic DERMATIM, Belgrade – Serbia