Microdermabrasion is a wildly popular skin resurfacing technique that can be used to great effect to reduce the signs of aging and help return your skin’s smooth, supple appearance. It’s a minimally invasive treatment that can renew your overall skin tone and texture, as well as improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne, and more. If you think microdermabrasion may be right for you, call and speak with one of the medical professionals at Franklin Skin and Laser in Franklin, TN.
We are a physician-run medical practice that specializes in cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic surgery and can provide you with fast, accurate answers to all of your questions.
What Is Microdermabrasion?
This treatment uses an abrasive instrument, typically microparticles or a diamond-tipped wand, to buff the skin and remove the outermost layer. During treatment, we remove the dead skin cells using a vacuum.
Since it’s a non-surgical procedure, the treatment can be performed by either a dermatologist or an esthetician. While a single treatment can leave the skin feeling softer and smoother, a series of treatments administered over time can improve your skin’s overall texture and tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, acne (and/or acne scars), enlarged pores, and stretch marks.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are a natural part of aging and show up first on the skin that comes into regular contact with sunlight, such as the hands, neck, face, and forearms. A person’s genetics will determine when wrinkles will appear and how prominent they’ll become. However, there are other factors that can significantly influence the appearance of wrinkles, including age, exposure to UV light, lifestyle habits, and repeated facial expressions.
As we age, our skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile. The production of sebum, the skin’s natural oil, decreases over time and the skin can become drier, less elastic, and more wrinkled.
Exposure to UV Light
While the natural aging process eventually leads to wrinkles for all of us, the number one cause of premature aging is exposure to ultraviolet radiation, also known as UV light or sunlight. When your skin is exposed to UV light, it breaks down the skin’s connective tissue, including collagen and elastin fibers which are buried in the deeper layer of your skin (dermis).
These connective tissues act as support for your skin, and as UV light diminishes them, your skin can lose some of its strength and flexibility, causing it to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
Aside from spending too much time in the sun, smoking (or frequent exposure to secondhand smoke) can seriously speed up the normal aging process of your skin. Inhaling tobacco smoke constricts the blood vessels, limiting the amount of oxygen and other vital nutrients that can be transported to your skin cells. With fewer vitamins and nutrients, the skin isn’t able to repair itself as efficiently.
Repeated Facial Expressions
The expressions you make every day when you smile, frown, squint, etc. lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as your skin ages. Whenever you use a facial muscle, a groove forms under the skin. As skin ages, it loses its elasticity and its ability to snap back into place, and the grooves become permanent ridges in your face.
Can Premature Wrinkling Be Prevented?
To keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant, there are a few things you can do. Genetics and aging both play a critical role in your skin’s appearance, and the following tips may not prove effective if used without treatment.
Avoid Sun Exposure
Since sunlight is the #1 cause of premature aging, it would follow that limiting your sun exposure will help reduce the sun’s harmful effects on your skin. To help avoid premature aging, limit the time you spend in the sun.
When you go out, try wearing protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and a long-sleeved shirt (rash guards work well for beach lovers). Also, be sure to use sunscreen whenever you’re going to be spending time outdoors–even in the winter.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or more should suffice. Sunscreen should be applied generously and reapplied every two hours thereafter. If you’re going to be swimming or sweating a lot, you can reapply your sunscreen more frequently.
Don’t Forget Your Skincare Products
If you don’t like the oily feeling some sunscreens can leave on your skin, use skincare products with built-in broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreens block both UVA and UVB rays, providing you with the best protection.
The more your skin ages, the drier it gets. When your skin is dry, your normally plump, flexible skin cells shrivel up, enhancing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While moisturizing alone won’t prevent wrinkles, it can help rejuvenate dry, shriveled skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Avoid Smoking Tobacco
Whether you smoked heavily for years or you’re just a social smoker, quitting now has a host of health benefits that come with it; not the least of which being your appearance. You can improve your skin’s quality and texture if you quit smoking.
Research has suggested that there may be certain vitamins and minerals that, when included in your diet, can help protect your skin. More research is needed to determine the exact vitamins, minerals, and amounts necessary to improve your skin tone, but you can start today by eating more fruits and vegetables.
What Can Microdermabrasion Do for the Skin?
The treatment removes pore-clogging, complexion-dulling, dead skin cells and reveals a layer of fresher, smoother skin that lies underneath. It may also boost collagen production and help firm up fine lines and wrinkles over time with multiple treatments.
While the results of microdermabrasion are significant and it has helped countless people achieve their aesthetic goals, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment. If you’re looking for something more dramatic results, you may want to look into dermabrasion or one of our other treatments.
There are two main types of treatments, both of which are used to exfoliate the skin. They are crystal and crystal-free microdermabrasion.
During the treatment that uses loose crystals, incredibly fine crystals are shot from a small tube onto your skin and immediately vacuumed back up. It works like a high-powered, high-tech scrub. As the crystals make contact with your skin, they will strip off the outermost layer and are then sucked back up along with the dead skin cells.
The crystal-free version uses a diamond-tipped wand to exfoliate instead of firing the crystals at your skin.
Both treatment types have many benefits. After just one treatment, your skin will be left feeling softer and smoother while looking more radiant. After several treatments, your skin’s texture will improve and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will diminish, as will acne scars, sun damage, enlarged pores, and stretch marks.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
The treatments are very quick; they generally last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. A typical procedure begins with a technician leading you to the treatment room where you will change into a gown and lie on the bed. The technician will cleanse your face to prep it for treatment, and then they’ll provide you with the treatment.
Afterward, your face will be cleansed once more to remove any stray crystals. Finally, a follow-up application of moisturizer and sunscreen is administered, and you’re done!
Often, microdermabrasion is incorporated into a complete facial treatment. When this happens, you’ll also get a facial mask and massage. If your microdermabrasion treatment is incorporated into a full facial, the time allotted will increase to between 60 and 90 minutes.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
The number of treatments you’ll need will depend entirely upon what your end goal is. If you’re looking for a small pick-me-up while you’re out on vacation or wanting to treat yourself, one treatment is enough to leave your skin looking bright and feeling soft.
However, those who are looking for significant improvement for a specific skin issue will probably need several treatments to see the positive effects. The treatment results are cumulative–meaning each successive treatment builds upon the last to help you obtain even better results.
Is the Treatment Painful?
The thought of having tiny crystals fired onto your face or dragged across it via a diamond-tipped wand might seem a bit uncomfortable, but it’s not that bad. Those who have experienced the treatment first-hand have likened it to the rough lick of a cat’s tongue; others have said it feels like a gritty facial massage and a little minor tugging on the skin.
If you’re worried about the pain, you needn’t be. Microdermabrasion works only on the surface of the skin.
What Can You Expect After Treatment?
Since it works only on the surface of the skin, there are few issues regarding any significant side effects. While it’s possible for mild tenderness, swelling, or even bruising to occur, most people experience nothing more than a mild redness to the skin that fades a few hours later. Otherwise, it’s totally fine to go on about your day right after treatment while nobody is the wiser.
Some medicated facial creams, such as acne treatments, toners, and medicated cleansers can burn or sting if applied immediately after treatment. If you use anything like that as part of your skincare routine, you may want to wait a day or so and then continue with your normal routine afterward. Products, including makeup, non-medicated cleansers, and moisturizers, can usually be used immediately after treatment with no problems.
Of course, sunscreen is going to be very important after your treatment. Your skin will be more susceptible to the sun’s harmful UV rays, so applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen is important post-treatment.
Can You Do It at Home?
There are a lot of medical treatments available that can be done in the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, at-home treatments are generally less effective than treatments obtained through a medical professional. The microderm machines you can use at home are not as powerful as those used by medical professionals or estheticians.
Our treatment is a safe, non-invasive, virtually pain-free option for the treatment of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, stretch marks, skin discoloration, and more. It works by heavily exfoliating the treatment area and revealing the healthier, more robust skin cells beneath. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you’d like to learn more about how microdermabrasion can help you reach your goals, give Franklin Skin and Laser in Franklin, TN a call at 615-800-7879 and see what we can do for you.