Microdermabrasion for Rosacea

Some rosacea patients will try a microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is best thought of as a buffing process for the outer epidermal layer of the skin, leaving individuals with smoother, more supple-looking skin. If you have noticed how refreshed a stone building looks after a thorough sand blasting, you are on your way to understanding the effects of microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion is a mini procedure that involves the skin being "sandblasted" by aluminum oxide crystals, vitamin C crystals and other types of mild abrasives to remove the horny (top) layer of the skin; dead skin cells. This process promotes the production of new cells in the basal (deepest) layer of the dermis. Microdermabrasion can clean your pores incredibly and hinder any future break outs if used on a regular basis. Microdermabrasion also stimulates collagen production working to further even out skin texture and appearance.

Microdermabrasion or "microderm" is used to treat sun-damaged skin, unevenly textured skin, fine lines, aging spots, and stretch marks. The procedure involves spraying a fine jet of sand-like crystals onto the skin and, using a highly controlled vacuum, sweeping up the crystals and the top epidermal layer. As microdermabrasion brushes away the damaged cell layers, it also stimulates the skin's production of collagen and helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Microderm is a subtle procedure that softens the problem areas of the skin. As a result, many patients return for an additional 5 to 7 treatments over the course of 2 months to attain a thoroughly refreshed and vibrant appearance.

Not all individuals will benefit by this minimally invasive procedure. If you are expecting miracles or to eradicate extensive damage or complaints, microdermabrasion will not help. You will need more invasive measures for extensive damage. The microdermabrasion crystals do however clear the pores and help with the complexion although major scarring, be it traumatic or acne scarring may not be relieved by microdermabrasion.

Perhaps the best aspect of microderm is that each treatment only lasts 15 to 30 minutes. In fact, microdermabrasion is so convenient that it is often referred to as the "lunchtime face lift." As well, microdermabrasion requires no anesthesia and is almost completely painless.

The best candidates for microdermabrasion are individuals with acne prone and blotchy skin, small scars, wrinkles, keratoses, large pores, milia (non-inflamed whiteheads caused by keratin-clogged pores), or sebaceous hyperplasia. If you have sun damage or uneven texture and would like to improve the condition of your skin, you may be a good candidate for Microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion is not recommended for those who have active keloids, undiagnosed lesions, recent herpes outbreaks, warts, active, weeping acne (stages 3-4), active rosacea, unstable diabetes or auto-immune system disorders.

There are not many risks associated with microdermabrasion if you are a "healthy" adult, but enough to mention for those of you with skin or medical conditions. If the medical grade machines are used at high power it carries potential risks of hyperpigmentation, perforation, bleeding, and infection. Infection can also be a risk if the machines are not sterile. Many components of these machines are meant to be sterilized, autoclaved or changed out with a new disposable piece. Any and all pieces that come into contact with your skin should be able to be sterilized or changed out. Furthermore, it was brought up by a doctor in an article on Medscape, that there could be possible harm from the inhalation of the aluminum in the Al2O3 crystals, also known as Corundum.

Microdermabrasion does not hurt although it may sting a little around the eye area. The patient normally "works up" to a level as they go to increase the penetration to the skin. Your skin may feel a little hot and appear a little pink for the first day.

Microdermabrasion treatments may leave you pink for several days. The technician can turn down the controls if the suction or level of the "blast" is too strong for you.

There really is no preparation although you should not be on Retin A or have undergone Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid peels, etc. 2 to 3 days beforehand as this can irritate your skin and make it very sensitive. However, some skin specialists may instruct you to do so if they deem this process beneficial to your skin.

Also refrain from getting any sun burn or windburn beforehand for the very same reasons. You don't want to damage your skin further with microdermabrasion - you want to repair it or lessen the visual damage.

Patients have attributed the sensation of a microdermabrasion treatment to a slight windburn. Although depending upon the level that you wish to reach the discomfort is usually quite minimal, if at all. The treatments typically last 20-30 minutes for the face, if your treatment includes the neck and upper chest area, it may last up to an hour.

A normal course of microdermabrasion treatments varies between 4-8 at approximately 2 week intervals. It is recommended that you schedule an additional treatment every 1-3 months to maintain your skin in excellent condition. Most patients actually feel and see a difference just after one or two treatments but schedule additional treatments to increase this improvement.

Please be advised, raised or deeply pitted skin areas (possibly from old severe acne scars) and darker pigmented areas will require multiple treatments. While Microdermabrasion does help superficial problems, it is not the cure all for heavily damaged skin, it is a non invasive technique for those of you who do not need a serious laser or chemical peel treatment.

Microdermabrasion also can not be expected to remove tattoos. It takes many sessions just for mild acne scarring to be removed much less ink buried deep into your skin.

Directly following the treatment, the skin typically has a slightly rosy complexion that fades after a day. The skin is often dry and must be properly cleansed and moisturized for several days. In addition, patients should avoid wearing make-up for a day or two after the treatment.

Avoid direct sun exposure for 7 days after a treatment.

Avoid Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Glycolic Acid products and skin exfoliation scrubs for 72 hours both before and after a treatment.

Avoid full face make-up, i.e. liquid foundations or pressed powder foundations for 24 hours after a treatment. Eye make-up, lipstick etc. may be applied immediately after a treatment.

A series of microdermabrasion treatments can help reduce the look of fine lines and superficial wrinkles remove thickened skin areas due to the impact of environmental factors and reduce the appearance of blemishes caused by sun damage. Additionally, microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of open pores by unclogging sebum (oil) build-up and eliminate white and black heads.

Microdermabrasion exfoliates only the external layer of skin and, therefore, rarely causes serious complications. However, if a physician is not careful, the tiny sand crystals can get in the eyes and cause considerable irritation. As well, for those intending to have this procedure performed in a salon, be aware that there have been cases where the exfoliating crystals have been recycled for multiple patients. These recycled crystals can contain skin toxins from previous patients and can spread serious viruses such as hepatitis. Two weeks prior to the procedure, patients should refrain from tanning or waxing, or having chemical peel or collagen injections performed. Pregnant women should refrain from microdermabrasion.

The prices of a Microdermabrasion treatment may vary from $50. to $200.US, depending upon your region, machine type, and office type.