What is microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion treatments use a mildly abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer.
This type of skin rejuvenation is used to treat light scarring, discoloration, sun damage and stretch marks.
What microdermabrasion can do
- Improve age spots and blackheads
- Improve hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin)
- Exfoliate your skin, resulting in a refreshed appearance
- Lessen the appearance of stretch marks
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduce or eliminate enlarged pores
- Treat acne and the scars left by acne
Microdermabrasion helps to thicken your collagen, which results in a younger looking complexion. Collagen is a protein in your skin which is abundant when you're a child and makes skin appear taut and smooth. Collagen production declines as we age, resulting in looser, uneven skin.
How much does microdermabrasion cost?
The average cost of microdermabrasion is $131, according to 2018 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This average cost is only part of the total price – it does not include other related expenses. Please consult with your plastic surgeon's office to determine your final fee.
Prices may be based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment, type of microdermabrasion procedure performed, time and effort the procedure requires and the geographic location of the office.
Be sure to ask your surgeon about all costs involved in your microdermabrasion treatment. Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for microdermabrasion, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
What should I expect before microdermabrasion?
What should I expect during a consultation for microdermabrasion?
During your microdermabrasion consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Your plastic surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your microdermabrasion options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of microdermabrasion and any risks or potential complications
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon questions. To help, we have prepared a checklist of questions to ask your plastic surgeon that you can take with you to your microdermabrasion consultation.
It's very important to understand all aspects of microdermabrasion. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
What questions should I ask my plastic surgeon about microdermabrasion?
Use this checklist as a guide during your microdermabrasion consultation:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
- Am I a good candidate for microdermabrasion?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Who will perform the microdermabrasion procedure?
- Have you been specifically trained in this procedure?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure or treatment?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect?
- What are the risks and possible complications associated with my procedure?
- How can I expect to look over time?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure?
- What results are reasonable for me?
What are the risks of microdermabrasion?
Any discomfort experienced as part of microdermabrasion is usually short-lived. This can include redness and swelling, which should subside within a few hours. Later, you can expect the skin to be flaky and dry for several days.
Additional microdermabrasion risks include:
- Bruising, which can occur from the suction and may last several days.
- Your skin will be more sensitive to sun exposure. Be sure to use sunscreen, especially immediately following a microdermabrasion session.
What are the steps of a microdermabrasion procedure?
Imagine a very fine sand blaster and you'll get a picture of how microdermabrasion works. It uses microparticles, or a diamond-tipped wand, to remove the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and stimulate new skin growth.
Two kinds of microdermabrasion procedures
There are two kinds of microdermabrasion treatments. One approach involves a hand-held device that streams tiny crystals across your skin.
An attached vacuum simultaneously suctions those exfoliating crystals back into the machine, along with the dead or loosened skin.
The newer approach uses a diamond-tip wand that is gently moved across your skin to exfoliate.
Each treatment will last about a half hour. You may feel a mild scratching as the procedure removes the superficial skin cells.
Additionally, you'll notice a vibrating sensation akin to a massage. There is also a suction mechanism to lift off the dead skin.
What should I expect after my microdermabrasion procedure?
What should I expect during my microdermabrasion recovery?
There is no down time or recovery period following microdermabrasion.
After your treatments, your healthcare provider may recommend a special moisturizer or facial product to enhance and prolong your result.
What results should I expect after microdermabrasion?
Your polished new look should be long-lasting, depending on the severity of your skin damage and the number of treatments that you receive.
Many people have two microdermabrasion treatments per month at first and then one per month as part of a maintenance plan.
How do I choose a plastic surgeon for microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion treatment involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon you can trust who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
ASPS member surgeons meet rigorous standards:
- Board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery® (ABPS) or in Canada by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®
- Complete at least six years of surgical training following medical school with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency training
- Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
- Graduate from an accredited medical school
- Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety, each year
- Perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facilities
Do not be confused by other official-sounding boards and certifications.
The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which has approved medical specialty boards since 1934. There is no ABMS recognized certifying board with "cosmetic surgery" in its name.
By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can be assured that you are choosing a qualified, highly-trained plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.