Frequently Asked Questions About Microdermabrasion

Welcome to the JAG Medical Cosmetics blog, where you’ll find in-depth information about our services, educational resources concerning aesthetics, and helpful tips for looking and feeling your best. As always, we hope you’re doing well and enjoying this wonderful time of year! With clinics located in Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, and St. George, our practice seeks to serve the Lowcountry with high-quality, affordable care. According to our philosophy, our patients come first. We aim to educate our patients on the most clinically relevant treatments to prevent aging. That’s why we take the time to develop a relationship based on trust with each person who walks through our doors. When you feel comfortable and informed, you’re able to make optimal decisions for your internal and external wellness. Since our job is to provide expertise and support, we allow our patients the freedom to express their unique desires. By working together as a team, our patients can feel confident about reaching their aesthetic goals!

Did you know facial skin is thinner and more sensitive than skin found anywhere else on the body? For this reason, we must take special care to treat our faces gently and invest in a daily skincare routine which is both nourishing and revitalizing. In our last article, we broke down the fundamentals of daily facial care. As we move into the winter season, it’s more important than ever to keep our skin adequately moisturized. We detailed a full list of essential skincare ingredients, thus giving you the information you need to confidently choose the skincare products most conducive to your goals. We also discussed exfoliating and whether this practice is something you should be incorporating into your daily routine. Following a daily skincare routine is a form of self-care. We encourage everyone to invest time into caring for their skin, as the benefits are not entirely skin deep. While your goals may be to stave off dry skin, achieve a healthy glow, or protect against oxidative damage from free radicals—a skincare routine can also serve to facilitate peace within our hectic day-to-day lives. If you’re interested in beginning a skincare routine or revamping your existing skincare routine, definitely check out our last article!

Today, we’re discussing a popular skin treatment: microdermabrasion. What is microdermabrasion? It’s a long word used to describe a fairly simple procedure. If we break the word down into its individual parts, we’ll glean a better understanding of how the procedure works. To begin, we’ll take the root, “derma,” which refers to the dermis or the outermost layer of the skin. Then, we’ll take the end, “abrasion,” which means to scrape or wear away at something. Finally, we’ll take the beginning, “micro,” which means extremely small. When we put all of these definitions together, we arrive at the meaning of microdermabrasion—a technique which utilizes microscopic particles to gently sand away dead cells sitting atop the skin. This process reveals the healthy, living skin cells underneath. Microdermabrasion is noninvasive and one of the most effective skincare treatments, in terms of its immediacy and ability to be used on all skin types. Today, we’ll answer the most common questions about microdermabrasion. Our hope is, by the end of this article, you’ll feel confident enough to schedule your own microdermabrasion appointment!


How exactly does microdermabrasion work?


Microdermabrasion could be considered a highly effective form of exfoliation. In our Daily Facial Care article, we discussed how physical and chemical exfoliants could be used to help lift dead skin cells and reveal a more vibrant appearance. Physical exfoliation is considered the most rough form of exfoliation, as it frequently involves scrubbing at the skin’s surface. This scrubbing is generally ineffective at removing the entirety of our dead skin and has the added consequence of irritating the skin. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, works by dissolving those bonds which keep dead skin on the face. Soon after, these cells simply shed or flake off. Microdermabrasion is an elevated form of physical exfoliation.

There are multiple types of microdermabrasion, each based upon the device used to perform the procedure. Crystal microdermabrasion works by spraying the skin with microscopic crystals, usually composed of aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate, to essentially “sand down” the outermost layer of skin. Then, the same device applies gentle suction, thus wicking the dead skin away. Hydradermabrasion, as the name suggests, hydrates the skin with vital antioxidants while exfoliating (without crystals). HydraFacials are a type of hydradermabrasion. Then there’s the diamond-tip handpiece, which uses a diamond-shaped tip to gently abrate the skin’s surface. This diamond-tip is sensitive enough to use around the eyes and mouth. While chemical peels may penetrate the skin deeper, this penetration also comes with a higher risk for irritation. Microdermabrasion is associated with few side effects, which we’ll discuss later on in this article.


What is microdermabrasion used for?


Microdermabrasion can be used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, age spots, large pores, blackheads, acne, melasma, sun damage, and more. If you’ve been struggling with an uneven complexion or dull skin, microdermabrasion is the perfect procedure for you! Much like microneedling, microdermabrasion can bring increased blood flow to the areas of the face and induce collagen production. According to a report, written by scientists at the University of Michigan and published by the Archives of Dermatology, microdermabrasion with a coarse diamond-studded tip can result in “molecular changes in the skin [which] help rejuvenate it.” These molecular changes can improve the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging, according to the scientists who conducted the study.


Is microdermabrasion safe?


Microdermabrasion technology was first approved by the FDA in 1996. These devices were considered Class I, which means they were considered both non-invasive and used for non-significant procedures. While microdermabrasion is safe for all skin types, dermabrasion is only recommended for fair skin and can cause unwanted hyperpigmentation or discoloration for those with darker skin. Of course, to ensure a certain standard of safety and efficacy, you should seek out a licensed medical professional or experienced esthetician for your microdermabrasion procedure.


Can I use microdermabrasion at home?


Because microdermabrasion devices were classified as Class I by the FDA, microdermabrasion machines can be sold without any solid proof they actually yield a “medical effect or benefit.” For this reason, there are dozens of at-home microdermabrasion kits which promise stellar results at inexpensive prices. However, it’s difficult to know which of these devices actually deliver on their promises. Further, even with effective technology, many individuals aren’t educated on the basic do’s and don’ts of microdermabrasion. This can lead to overuse, or improper use, which damages the upper portion of the skin. It’s always safer to seek out a medical professional for any procedure.


What are the side effects of microdermabrasion?


Since microdermabrasion is such a safe, minimally-invasive procedure, which targets only the upper-layer of the skin, the side effects associated with the procedure are also minimal. You can resume your daily activities as soon as the treatment session is complete. Your skin will be sensitive and should be protected, however. This includes regularly applying sunscreen, keeping the skin moisturized, and refraining from applying topical acne medication for at least twenty-four hours. If your treatment involves suction, you may experience minor bruising.


How long until I see results?


You should see results immediately after the procedure is complete. You’ll notice a visible brightness and smoothness. Depending on your skin goals, you may need to undergo several sessions to achieve your desired result. For example, if you’re hoping to enjoy smaller pores, you’ll most likely experience this after one session. If your goal is to reduce fine lines or eliminate hyperpigmentation spots, three or four sessions is recommended. You can schedule sessions every two to four weeks to maintain your results.

The benefits of microdermabrasion are clear. This safe, effective procedure can help you achieve vibrant skin without pain or downtime. To ensure the best results, schedule your appointment at a premier medical cosmetic clinic like JAG! Just as applying sunscreen and moisturizer is an important aspect of daily facial care, regular microdermabrasion sessions are an aspect of monthly facial care. Keep in mind, however, microdermabrasion can be used anywhere, including the neck, chest, back, and hands. At JAG Medical Cosmetics, we offer microdermabrasion services performed by trained professionals! If you’re interested in our other skincare services, such as our facials, peels, or microneedling, feel free to reach out! We look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for reading and be sure to check back in for more articles about the wonder of aesthetics!

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Summerville Location

Phone: 843.779.5582
105 South Cedar Suite A
Summerville, SC 29483

St. George Location

Phone: 843-563-4515
903 Dukes St
St. George, SC 29477

Mt Pleasant Location

Phone: 843-428-2600
1973 Riviera Dr Suite 7
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464


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