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What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure used to renew overall skin tone and texture. It can improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, melasma, and other skin-related concerns and conditions.

The procedure uses a special applicator with an abrasive surface to gently sand away the thick outer layer of the skin to rejuvenate it.

A different microdermabrasion technique sprays fine particles of aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate with a vacuum/suction to accomplish the same outcome as the abrasive surface.

Microdermabrasion is considered a safe procedure for most skin types and colors. People might choose to get the procedure if they have the following skin concerns:

  • fine lines and wrinkles

  • hyperpigmentation, age spots and brown spots

  • enlarged pores and blackheads

  • acne and acne scars

  • stretch marks

  • dull-looking skin complexion

  • uneven skin tone and texture

  • melasma

  • sun damage

 

How much does microdermabrasion cost?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the national average cost of a microdermabrasion procedure was $137 in 2017. The total cost will depend on your provider’s fees, as well as your geographic location.

Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure. Medical insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost.

 

Preparing for microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure. There’s very little you need to do to prepare for it.

It a good idea to discuss your skin concerns with a skin care professional to find out if microdermabrasion is the right fit for you. Discuss any past cosmetic procedures and surgeries, as well as allergies and medical conditions.

You may be told to avoid sun exposure, tanning creams, and waxing for about a week before treatment. You may also be advised to stop using exfoliating creams and masks approximately three days prior to treatment.

Remove any makeup and cleanse your face before the procedure begins.

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How does microdermabrasion work?

Microdermabrasion is an in-office procedure that usually takes about one hour. It’s typically performed by a licensed skincare professional, who may or may not be under the supervision of a healthcare provider. This depends on what state you live in.

It’s not necessary to use anesthesia or a numbing agent for microdermabrasion.

During your appointment, you’ll be seated in a reclining chair. Your provider will use a handheld device to gently spray on the particles or sand away the outer layer of skin in the targeted areas. At the end of the treatment, a moisturizer as well as sunscreen will be applied to your skin.

Microdermabrasion was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996. Since then, hundreds of microdermabrasion devices have been produced.

There are a few different ways to do the procedure, based on the specific device used:

Diamond-tip handpiece

A diamond-tip handpiece is designed to gently exfoliate dead cells in your skin. At the same time, it will suction them off immediately.

The depth of the abrasion may be affected by the pressure applied on the handpiece as well as how long the suction is allowed to remain on the skin. This type of microdermabrasion applicator is generally used in more sensitive facial areas, like close to the eyes.