Microdermabrasion is a technique used to clean, resurface and smooth the skin. The machine is firstly a cleansing device using a principle no different to a vacuum cleaner to clean the skin and empty out blocked pores with a gentle vacuuming action. This is quite comfortable and can be done without anaesthesia. The operator uses a hand piece about the size of your little finger, which is open at one end. This is connected to the suction of the "vacuum cleaner". The open end is moved over the skin, sometimes slowly in a brushing motion, sometimes rapidly in a rubbing action.
At the same time the machine puts a fine layer of corundum crystals on the skin that act as a very gentle abrasive to remove the surface layer of dead skin cells which are suctioned up, along with the crystals, into a waste container. When the treatment is completed the skin has a red healthy glow due to increased circulation in the skin. This increased circulation brings with it oxygen and nutrients to refresh and regenerate the skin. This regeneration process reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkling, acne, pigmentation, some scaring and appearance of large pores.
A treatment plan will be designed by the Registered Nurse. This plan will encompass appropriate treatment intervals and expected number of treatments according to the acne lesions, pigment or skin conditions which are to be treated. It is usually necessary to have multiple treatments over a period of time. Most acne cases require about ten treatments but severe acne and acne scars may require more. Treatments are usually performed weekly to fortnightly to begin with, depending on condition being treated and then performed every two to three weeks. Treatments take approximately 30 minutes. Textural and pigment treatment plans vary according to each individual's skin and the issue being treated. Once the treatment plan is completed skin maintenance is usually recommended every six weeks to two months and should be combined with a daily home-based skin care program. It is imperative that you are prepared to attend according to the treatment plan to ensure maximum efficacy and reduce costs associated with added treatments which may be necessary if a treatment is missed or the interval between treatments is prolonged.
Microdermabrasion is performed in our rooms at Aesthetix by our Registered Nurse. The procedure can be tolerated without the need for pain medication or sedation. Initially, the skin is cleansed and then further prepared with alcohol to remove all oils, products and sunscreen from the skin. The skin is then suctioned and finally the skin will be treated with cyrstals.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT
The treated area is initially red due to increased circulation. This can be covered with makeup if necessary (though we would prefer no makeup on the day of treatment) and usually fades within 12-24 hours. Some skins are pink, some are reddish in spots and some just show a healthy even colour. Most colour (erythema) subsides with the first hours, although some areas can remain pink for 24-48 hours. This can be in a spot area, most likely cheeks or in a mark that looks like a streak. This is more common in skins of people who smoke or have very thin/sensitive skin. It will subside. Some patients may also find that the skin will appear stripey for 48 hours following their first treatment. This is able to be covered with makeup.
Where acne pustules and cysts have been treated the area may be red for several days. There is no discomfort after the treatment. Mild exfoliation may occur in the first few days after early treatments but is uncommon once the skin is in better condition. All skin-types respond differently. There is definite heat in the skin which often increases at night. Avoid strenuous exercise that evening to prevent excess blood stimulation to the face. Using cooling cloths and moisturiser help to facilitate healing.
There are no specific contraindications to microdermabrasion except recent use of the drug Roaccutane or topical Retinoids. Please advise us if you have had Roaccutane recently or are using topical Retinoids. Microdermabrasion may aggrevate the small blood vessels (called Telangiectasia) on the face but does not cause them.