20 December 2008

A variety of microdermabraders are available on the market. Several components are common to all systems and include a pump that generates a high-pressure stream of aluminum oxide or salt crystals, a connecting tube that delivers the crystals to the handpiece, a handpiece, and a vacuum to remove the crystals and exfoliated skin. The crystals are then discarded. Handpieces are available in disposable and reusable types. The reusable handpieces must be resterilized after each use. Microdermabrasion can be performed by a physician, nurse, or licensed aesthetician.

Treatment & Procedure
In patients being treated for hyperpigmentation, the application of hydroquinone between treatments can be useful. Liberal use of sunscreen and moisturizers is also beneficial. Postoperatively, these products serve to address exfoliation and photosensitization. Long-term benefits include reduction of sun damage and photoaging and improved skin moisture.

Before Microdermabrasion Treatment
  • No topical or laocal anesthetic and premedication is necessary, unless desired.
  • First, the skin is cleaned of all makeup and oil.
  • Contact lenses are removed, and eye protection is placed to prevent injury from stray particles.
During Microdermabrasion Treatment
  • Microdermabrasion technique is placing the skin under tension so that an effective vacuum is achieved.
  • Stretching the treatment area with the nondominant hand and using the dominant hand to guide the handpiece, moved over the treatment area in a single, smooth stroke (can be repeated).
  • The pressure of the crystal stream is controlled with a foot pedal. Thicker skin (forehead, chin, and nose) can be treated more aggressively. Decrease the pressure when treating the thinner skin of the lower eyelids and upper cheek. Vertically orient all strokes when treating the neck.
  • Between treatments, the face is cleaned of any residual crystals. Usually, 2 treatments per session are sufficient for the face. The desired endpoint of treatment is erythema.
  • Specific areas, such as acne scars or age spots, can be focally treated more aggressively with additional passes.
  • The treatments typically last 20 to 30 minutes for the face, if your treatment includes the neck and upper chest area, it may last up to an hour.
  • A normal course of microdermabrasion treatments varies between 4 to 8 at approximately 2 week intervals.
  • It is recommended that you schedule an additional treatment every 1 to 3 months to maintain your skin in excellent condition.
  • Most patients actually feel and see a difference just after one or two treatments but schedule additional treatments to increase this improvement.
After Microdermabrasion Treatment
  • The treated area is cleaned with a wet cloth to remove any residual crystals.
  • After drying, rehydrating toner and moisturizer or ointment is applied.
  • Continue the application of moisturizer or ointment postoperatively because exfoliation may occur.
  • Erythema generally resolves within hours after treatment, but the patient may experience a mild sunburnlike sensation for a couple of days. The sensation of having a mild windburn or sunburn will also pass after a few hours.
  • Sunscreen should be used liberally because photosensitivity may be increased.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for 7 days after a treatment. Exposure to UV radiation is one of the key factors in speeding the skin aging process.
  • Avoid Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Glycolic Acid products and skin exfoliation scrubs for 72 hours both before and after a treatment.
  • Avoid full face make-up, i.e. liquid foundations or pressed powder foundations for 24 hours after a treatment. Eye make-up, lipstick etc. may be applied immediately after a treatment.
Effective microdermabrasion usually requires a series of 6-12 treatments. The series can be significantly longer, particularly with acne scarring. Initially, treatments are weekly or biweekly for several treatments, followed by monthly to biannually for maintenance treatments, depending on the patient.

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