Microdermabrasion Facial Treatment Procedure, Side Effects

Microdermabrasion Facial Treatment

Microdermabrasion is a low-risk minimally invasive process aimed at rejuvenating the skin texture and tone. This procedure is ideal for enhancing your skin’s appearance by lowering acne marks, wrinkles, and sun exposure effects. It is perfect for people looking to flaunt smoother skin.

Microdermabrasion is performed by using a unique applicator featuring an abrasive tip for sanding the skin surface gently to eliminate the thick top skin layer[1]. It is a painless procedure that rejuvenates and helps you flaunt young skin, making it ideal for stubborn acne scars. Read on to learn more about the process of microdermabrasion, its duration, frequency, side effects, risks, and safety precautions to make a well-informed decision.

What Is Microdermabrasion Procedure?

Microdermabrasion is a procedure in cosmetic surgery performed by an expert skin professional[2]. During this procedure, your skin’s top layer, the epidermis, is removed using the handheld microdermabrasion wand. It offers an even look to your skin, restores youthfulness, and eliminates scars. FDA approved microdermabrasion in 1996.

The microdermabrasion process will not deliver permanent results and might require several sessions to offer the desired effect. Even though you can find several DIY kits to try microdermabrasion at home, getting it done at a reputed skin clinic is safe for your skin[3].

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    Besides eliminating skin issues like stretch marks, age spots, blemishes, or skin discoloration, microdermabrasion also helps make your skin’s collagen thicker. So, you will be able to have young skin for a long time. This cosmetic procedure is ideal for all skin types, tones, and age groups. It doesn’t require local anesthesia for numbing, as it is pain-free. This process helps make your skin firm, smooth, and tight while eliminating all types of deformities on the top surface.

    You can opt for a microdermabrasion procedure to handle the following skin concerns listed below:

    • Hyperpigmentation leading to uneven skin tone
    • Blackheads due to enlarged pores
    • Superficial wrinkles and laugh lines
    • Acne marks and scars
    • Sun damage
    • Brown spots and age spots
    • Stretch marks
    • Uneven skin texture
    • Dull skin and complexion
    • Melasma

    Duration and Frequency of Microdermabrasion

    The American Academy of Dermatology has stated that one session of microdermabrasion if performed by a skin expert, will require one hour approximately[4]. An expert skin specialist will need around 20 minutes to perform microdermabrasion for the neck area. For the face, a single microdermabrasion session might need 35 or 45 minutes to complete. If you aim to achieve young, wrinkle-free skin with a microdermabrasion procedure, you might have to attend between 5 and 16 sessions for visible results. You can schedule the frequency of microdermabrasion sessions once a week, once every two weeks, or monthly sessions based on your requirement and skin type.

    Potential Side Effects of Microdermabrasion

    It is very safe when an experienced skin specialist performs the microdermabrasion procedure. As it is performed only on your skin’s superficial layer, it has zero or very few side effects[5]. So, ensure you get the microdermabrasion procedure at a reputed skin clinic to avoid these side effects. Your skin expert will also answer all your questions on microdermabrasion and the possible side effects before scheduling a session.

    Always remember, everyone opting for microdermabrasion procedures will not experience all these side effects[6]. You might experience one or two, or sometimes, none at all. Some of the common side effects of the microdermabrasion procedure include:

    • Reddishness: Most often, people experience pink to red skin after getting microdermabrasion, which might look like a mild sunburn. It will turn to normal after a few hours. If you have sensitive skin, you might have a deep red skin tone that will subside after a day or two.
    • Flaky and Dry Skin: It is not unusual to have flaky skin or dry skin soon after your microdermabrasion session. When you apply some moisturizer, it will resolve in a few days to a week.
    • More Sensitivity to Sun’s Rays: Photosensitivity is a common effect of microdermabrasion, as your new skin will be susceptible. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen with 30 SPF every day and forget beach vacations for a few days.
    • Mild Bruising: As the microdermabrasion procedure uses a catheter for exerting a vacuuming effect on your skin, there are chances of mild bruising. If you take NSAIDs or blood-thinning medications, or have delicate skin, you might bruise more than normal after a microdermabrasion session.
    • Minor abrasions or Pinpricks: Sometimes, you might have tiny pinpricks of blood or minor abrasions soon after a microdermabrasion session. When working on a deep scar or rough patch, your skin specialist might need extra work. So, it is natural to develop abrasions, bruises, and pinpricks filled with blood.
    • Cold Sores: When you get microdermabrasion treatment near your lips, the chances of cold sores are high if you are prone to developing them regularly. It occurs mostly when using microdermabrasion to remove fine lines.

    Risk of Infection and Hyperpigmentation After Microdermabrasion

    Soon after a microdermabrasion procedure, you might experience a skin infection from one part of your body to the other. The reason behind the occurrence of such skin infections is when you are already having infections like herpes, warts, or impetigo[7]. So, avoid opting for a microdermabrasion procedure, as it will flare up infections like rosacea. Skin pigmentation or hyperpigmentation is a common risk factor associated with microdermabrasion. It might lead to permanent skin discoloration if you are not following proper sun protection procedures.

    Safety Considerations and Precautions for Microdermabrasion

    • Before scheduling a microdermabrasion session, inform your skin specialist about any underlying medical conditions, prescription medications, or OTC drugs you use.
    • Discuss with your dermatologist if you have severe acne and are taking prescription medicine like isotretinoin
    • Avoid using aspirin or similar medicines three days before your microdermabrasion session
    • Do not wax or thread the treatment site

    Microdermabrasion: Skin Type and Sensitivity

    Microdermabrasion for Dry Skin

    Dry skin has underactive sebum glands, which don’t produce the required oil naturally, essential for keeping your skin hydrated. So, it remains itchy, dry, and dull. So, when opting for microdermabrasion, hydrate your skin regularly using hydrating lotions and creams. The microdermabrasion procedure will remove the top skin layer to reveal fresh young skin that is nourished and radiant.

    Microdermabrasion for Oily Skin

    Oily skin has oil glands producing excess sebum, giving it a shiny luster and open skin pores. A microdermabrasion procedure will be highly beneficial as it is filled with acne and blackheads. Make sure you use a light moisturizer after the process.

    Microdermabrasion for Sensitive Skin

    Sensitive skin tends to react to even the most minor change in the ingredient in your toner, climate change, or new food. You might believe that microdermabrasion is not for sensitive-skinned beauties. Even though this procedure involves deep exfoliation of the skin layer, you can seek a customized microdermabrasion procedure to meet your skin’s sensitivity issues. The reddening of the skin is a temporary effect, which will subside after a couple of days.

    Microdermabrasion for Combination Skin

    If you have a combination skin, you will have an oily T zone and normal skin around the mouth, chin, and cheeks. You can opt for microdermabrasion to flaunt healthy skin, as it can be perfumed with varying intensity levels to cater to your skin type.

    Microdermabrasion for Mature Skin

    Your skin will dry as you age, and your sebaceous glands will be inactive. Your skin will begin to develop wrinkles and fine lines, and skin elasticity will be less. With regular microdermabrasion sessions, you will have glowing young skin moisturized by staying well hydrated.

    Alternative Treatments for Microdermabrasion

    Dermabrasion Treatment

    This treatment is helpful if you are looking to achieve permanent results and are willing to spend a lot of time recuperating [8]. This surgical procedure includes local anesthesia, as the rotating tool will work in your deep skin layers. It helps removing dead skin cells, acne scars, and blemishes. It may take several hours per session.

    DIY Microdermabrasion At-home Kits

    DIY kits are available in the market if you want to try microdermabrasion at a low cost. It comes in a pack with an exfoliating lotion with a chemical formulation. It would usually contain aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate crystals to offer a microdermabrasion effect. However, be warned that using the microdermabrasion wand without knowing the correct strokes and technique will scar you for life and create serious skin infections.

    Post-Treatment Care and Recovery

    • Use a soft wet cloth along with a rehydrating toner for removing the dead cells, if any, after the procedure
    • Follow it with a moisturizer and maintain a strict moisturizing regime for a week to avoid skin peeling
    • Use a strong sunscreen to avoid photosensitivity
    • Drink a lot of water, including vegetable smoothies and fruit juices, to stay hydrated
    • Do not use exfoliating skin creams and scrubs containing ingredients like Retin A, as it will increase your skin sensitivity, which might flare up irritation.
    • Avoid using cosmetics that contain glycolic acid, as it might irritate your new skin
    • Avoid going out in the sun for at least a week after the procedure
    • Do not use IPL therapy, electrolysis, or depilatory creams for a couple of weeks after microdermabrasion

    Parting Thoughts

    Microdermabrasion is an effective procedure for healthy and radiant skin without accident scars, injury marks, or acne scars. However, to experience its benefits to the fullest, choose the services of a reputed skin specialist center like Kolors Healthcare. They are experts and can suggest the exact number of microdermabrasion sessions based on your skin type and condition. As it has a few side effects, discuss all your concerns with your dermatologist before scheduling the session.


    1. Muneeb Shah, Jonathan S. Crane (Penn State Health, Sampson Regional Med Ctr / Campbell Univ) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535383/
    2. https://www.nhs.uk
    3. https://www.aad.org
    4. https://www.aad.org
    5. Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Al-Minya, Egypt – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27357600/
    6. https://www.plasticsurgery.org
    7. StatPearls (Microdermabrasion), Cummings Otolaryngology (Management of Aging Skin, Microdermabrasion) – https://www.healthdirect.gov.au
    8. https://www.asds.net


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