Should You Have Microdermabrasion Treatments?

Cynthia Bailey, MD|January 7, 2016

Microdermabrasion_Main The benefits of microdermabrasion for your complexion are proven. The name of the procedure sounds intimidating and like it might be painful, but it’s not. It’s actually an almost soothing cosmetic treatment that yields real results for skin rejuvenation. Patients and clients in our Sonoma County dermatology practice love it. We recommend microdermabrasion treatments as part of a complete maintenance skin care routine. Why do we encourage this? Read on for the complete explanation. First, what are microdermabrasion treatments? During a microdermabrasion treatment, an aesthetician first cleans your skin, then uses the microdermabrasion machine to gradually remove layers of dead cells that are both sanded before they're vacuumed away. The key to understanding why this is soothing is to notice the prefix "micro" in front of "dermabrasion." Cells that are removed are not the deeper cells that would elicit pain, but rather the outer cells. The reason that the procedure is effective for rejuvenation is that both the light "sanding" coupled with the suction of the vacuum stimulate the skin mechanically and turn on the skin’s molecular wound-healing cascade. What is so surprising is that the skin is typically not "wounded" in any way that you would perceive, but you get collagen renewal as well as the immediate benefit of exfoliation and pore cleansing. At least in our office, people find the treatments relaxing. We often combine microdermabrasion with a facial, which is also relaxing. A facial can additionally clean even deeper into the pores and can load the skin with beneficial serums and hydration. After a microderm treatment, your skin absorbs more of the facial's goodness. When you’re finished, you feel like you’ve had a spa treatment and your complexion is brighter, smoother and more attractive. As a bonus, your skin is on its way to more collagen renewal to help fight the signs of skin aging! Are all microdermabrasion treatments the same? No, there are two main types of microdermabrasion treatments: one uses crystals to micro abrade the skin, and the other uses a fine, sandy rod such as the diamond-studded rod used by the DiamondTome machine in our office. Also, what is applied after a treatment can vary. Here at Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Physicians, we apply serums specific to your skin type knowing that they will have enhanced penetration to help your your skin problems and keep your skin healthy. Our aesthetician also recommends the right products to use between treatments to help maintain results:

"Microdermabrasion facials have clearly improved the texture and feel of my skin, and coupled with Dr. Bailey's mineral makeup that is matched to my skin tone by the aesthetician, I'm happy to report that I'm very pleased with the results." ~ Joan J. from Santa Rosa, CA

What are the proven benefits of microdermabrasion? The exfoliation of microdermabrasion results in your skin looking brighter and smoother right away. With repeated treatments, you can expect even more improvement in smoothness, the appearance of acne scars, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The biochemical cascade that is activated in your skin during a microdermabrasion treatment has the potential to stimulate skin collagen formation, which we all need as our skin ages and thins. How often should you have microdermabrasion treatments? Your skin care professional will determine this based on your goals. We often start with a treatment every week or two, and ultimately, aim for maintenance treatments every six weeks. We like to couple the treatment with a facial to keep skin looking its best and keep the pores clean. I tell patients it’s like dusting the house, it always looks better when you do it! Like your home, your facial skin needs maintenance, and because our complexion is seen daily by friends and colleagues, we want it to look its best. Overall, the 3 key points to remember about microdermabrasion treatments are:

  1. They are highly effective for skin rejuvenation and reducing the appearance of complexion flaws.
  2. They are typically relaxing and feel like a treat.
  3. They are a great way to keep your skin looking its best everyday.

If you're in the Sebastopol area, call us today to schedule your microdermabrasian treatment. Or, if you are interested in starting to take better care of your skin while you find the right microdermabrasion treatments near you, here are some of our favorite products we use for our microdermabrasion patients:

  • Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream - This stimulates your skin's renewal of collagen and helps to keep your skin bright and smooth.
  • Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Professional Treatment Serum - This powerful antioxidant contains vitamin C to fight skin free radical damage that leads to wrinkles. It’s strong enough to also stimulate skin collagen renewal by a different mechanism than the Retinol Cream, making it a perfect morning companion to Retinol night treatment.
  • Zinc Oxide Mineral Facial Sunscreens - Broad spectrum sunscreen is a daily "mandatory" skin care step to prevent skin aging. Use only trusted zinc oxide products matched to your skin type. We have a selection of the best sunscreen for every skin complexion, so help yourself!

For more information on this topic, check out the following resources used in this article: Karimipour DJ, Karimipour G, Orringer JS., Microdermabrasion: an evidence-based review. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Jan;125(1):372-7. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181c2a583. Shim EK, Barnette D, Hughes K, Greenway HT., Microdermabrasion: a clinical and histopathologic study. Dermatol Surg. 2001 Jun;27(6):524-30. Spencer JM, Microdermabrasion. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(2):89-92. Kirkland EB, Hantash BM, Microdermabrasion: molecular mechanisms unraveled, part 1. J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Sep;11(9):e2-9. Kirkland EB, Hantash BM., Microdermabrasion: molecular mechanisms unraveled, part 2., J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Sep;11(9):e10-7. Karimipour DJ, Kang S, Johnson TM, Orringer JS, Hamilton T, Hammerberg C, Voorhees JJ, Fisher G., Microdermabrasion: a molecular analysis following a single treatment., J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Feb;52(2):215-23. Lew BL, Cho Y, Lee MH., Effect of serial microdermabrasion on the ceramide level in the stratum corneum., Dermatol Surg. 2006 Mar;32(3):376-9. The information in the Dr. Bailey Skin Care web site, and related links, articles, newsletters and blogs, is provided for general information and educational purposes only. It is the opinion of Dr. Cynthia Bailey, or other indicated authors. Consult your physician or health care provider for any specific medical conditions or concerns you may have. (This also applies to patients in her medical practice; the information here is not a substitute for, or an extension of, the medical care she provides for you.) Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here. Use the information and products on this site at your own risk. Use of this site indicates your agreement with these statements and the Terms and Conditions of If you do not agree to all of these Terms and Conditions of use, please do not use this site!

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