Nili N. Alai, MD, FAAD
Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What is microdermabrasion?
- Who should consider microdermabrasion?
- How does microdermabrasion work?
- What ages are appropriate for microdermabrasion?
- How often can I have microdermabrasion?
- What does the vacuum do in microdermabrasion?
- What should people expect before, during, and after microdermabrasion?
- Does microdermabrasion help with acne scars?
- Can microdermabrasion help with melasma?
- Does medical insurance pay for microdermabrasion?
- Can microdermabrasion help with keratosis pilaris?
- What are possible side effects of microdermabrasion?
- How effective are at-home microdermabrasion kits?
- How much does at-home microdermabrasion cost?
- What home remedies can produce results like microdermabrasion?
- What is the average cost of professional microdermabrasion?
- Where can people get more information on microdermabrasion?
- Microdermabrasion At A Glance
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What is microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a very popular, machine-assisted skin-exfoliating treatment. Microdermabrasion has advantages of low risk and rapid recovery compared to the other more invasive resurfacing methods such as dermabrasion, chemical peeling, and laser resurfacing. Since microdermabrasion produces only a very superficial depth of skin removal, it works best on improving conditions on the surface of the skin such as early photoaging (sun damage), fine lines, age spots, enlarged pores, acne, and superficial scarring. Although the face is the most common area for microdermabrasion, any skin area, including neck, chest, back, and hands, may be treated. Microdermabrasion is sometimes referred to as "microderm," lunchtime peel, Parisian Peel, and Diamond Peel.
Microdermabrasion is a painless, noninvasive, skin-rejuvenation procedure using a combination of a fine abrasive tip or crystals and vacuum suction applied to the skin. Typically there are no needles or anesthetics required for microdermabrasion. The vacuum pressure and speed are adjusted depending on the sensitivity and tolerance of the skin. Microdermabrasion is often compared to the feeling of a cat licking your face, a rough but gentle texture. Typical microdermabrasion sessions can last anywhere from five to 60 minutes. Minimal to no recovery time is required after microdermabrasion and most people immediately return to daily activity after a session. Makeup and nonirritating creams can usually be applied right after microdermabrasion. Studies have shown that microdermabrasion can even facilitate the absorption of some topical medications through increasing the permeability of the skin.
Microdermabrasion works by removing a few of the top layers of the skin called the stratum corneum. Much like brushing your teeth, microderm helps to gently remove "plaque" and skin debris. Since human skin typically regenerates at approximately 30-day intervals, skin improvement with microdermabrasion is temporary and needs to be repeated at average intervals of two to four weeks for continued improvement. Multiple treatments in combination with sunscreen, sun avoidance, and other skin-care creams yield best results.
Microdermabrasion should not be confused with dermabrasion which is an invasive surgical procedure performed typically by dermatologists or plastic surgeons under local or general anesthesia. Dermabrasion is a popular procedure for deeper acne scars. Dermabrasion requires anesthesia and would be too painful otherwise. Dermabrasion is also performed for certain types of deep scars.
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