Microdermabrasion, one of the most sought after esthetics treatments, involves a trained technician mechanically exfoliating the skin through a hand piece. The devices most commonly use abrasive particles such as aluminum oxide crystals, sodium bicarbonate salts, silicone-derived particles, or a micronized diamond-tip as the method of exfoliation. As the hand piece is gently glided over the skin, the particles or diamond-tip are directed on the outermost layers of the skin. At the same time, the crystals and detached keratinized cells are drawn into a waste container of the machine through suction. This combination of exfoliation and suction creates a mild stimulating response in the skin, similar to that of superficial chemical peeling methods.
While results vary among individuals, microdermabrasion has been reported to improve the appearance of the skin by softening fine lines, reducing superficial skin discoloration, evening the texture of the skin and providing the skin with a healthy glow. Microdermabrasion should not be promoted to remove deep wrinkles, acne scars or dermal pigmentation, as it is not intended to reach the dermis. Although some clients do see improvement in these conditions with multiple treatments, it should not be over-stated. Additionally, microdermabrasion should never be used for inflamed skin conditions including grades III and IV acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.