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Microdermabrasion: How it Works, Costs and Side Effects

On the surface of the skin there are multiple amassed dead cells which make the complexion appear duller and grayer from the outside. If a past inflammatory process like acne or scarring is also an issue, the number of those accumulated skin cells is even greater. It doesn’t have to be this way especially if a few layers beneath the skin is bright and glowing by itself – it just needs some help. Meanwhile, microdermabrasion exists and is exactly what the skin needs in such a situation.

How Does the Microdermabrasion Procedure Work

During the procedure, a professional uses a high – speed instrument to remove the top layer of the epidermis (the outermost skin layer) via spraying tiny crystals onto it (1); it gives a sensation as if the skin surface was being “sanded”. It is completely non – invasive, relatively quick and at the same time so gentle that microdermabrasion is actually a perfect way to pamper yourself. It takes around 30 – 40 minutes for the face and 20 minutes for the neck. Right after the treatment is done and the epidermis is well exfoliated, an immediately brighter, more even – toned and youthful appearance provides another confidence boost. (2)

What is the difference: Microdermabrasion vs Microneedling

When to Use Microdermabrasion

Such a therapy can be in essence performed on any skin surface of choice, nevertheless it is especially helpful in particular conditions like:

  • uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation due to a post inflammatory process, sun damage, aging or melasma
  • uneven skin texture (3)
  • dullness in the complexion due to e.g. chronic tiredness
  • scarring, including acne scars
  • mild to moderate non – inflammatory acne.

When should I do microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion for Acne

There are many theories about having microdermabrasion for acne that need to be clarified. The procedure has proven to be effective in reducing acne breakouts and evening skin texture with regard to mild to moderate acne. If the acne is severe, inflammatory and consists of pustules (pimples filled with pus), microdermabrasion will actually exacerbate the condition by irritating the skin and spreading the bacteria and inflammation to healthy, unaffected regions of the face. Same happens if the patient has a Herpes Simples reactivation and is in the midst of a cold sore breakout.

It is also advised to avoid microdermabrasion when the skin is more susceptible to damage than usual, for example when:

  • applying or taking topical/oral tretinoin
  • there is a rash, wound or another type of skin irritation.

Then the skin is prone to more irritation, inflammation, infection and ever bleeding or scabbing. (4)

Usually right after the procedure the skin immediately appears brighter, more glowing and healthier.(5) Nonetheless, in some cases, some temporary side effects like skin redness, bruising, swelling or burning might occur; they should subside within 2 days.

Moreover, it is exceptionally important to remember that microdermabrasion makes the skin a bit more sensitive to sunlight – applying a high SPF and broad-spectrum sunscreen is key. Furthermore, the skin will also make use of a soothing but hydrating moisturizer.

Microdermabrasion at Home

There are some products available that offer a similar experience to the procedures done at a cosmetic dermatology specialist’s office. There is no standardization to the equipment or the procedure, so there is no simple answer to the validity or efficacy of the these products.

How Much Does MicroDermAbrasion Cost?

On average, the cost of a single microdermabrasion session ranges from $75 to $200. However, the cost of cosmetic procedures can be higher or lower depending on the location, the practitioner performing the procedure, and the number of sessions required.

Some spas and salons offer package deals for multiple sessions at a discounted rate. For example, a package of six sessions may cost around $450, while a package of 12 sessions may cost around $800. These package deals can be a cost-effective option for those who want to achieve optimal results.

It’s also worth noting that some insurance plans may cover the cost of microdermabrasion if it is being used to treat a medical condition, such as acne or age spots.

Additionally, there are also at-home microdermabrasion kits available for purchase, which can range in price from $30 to $200. These kits can be a more affordable option for those who want to perform the procedure at home, but it is important to note that results may not be as effective as those achieved with in-office treatments.

Microdermabrasion References

Microdermabrasion StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan

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