What Can I Expect After Microdermabrasion?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
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Skin care after microdermabrasion can help improve the results of the procedure. Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive cosmetic skin procedure intended to exfoliate dead skin cells and leave skin brighter, fresher, and younger looking. Microdermabrasion can be performed by a dermatologist as an out-patient procedure. Home microdermabrasion kits are also available. Side effects after microdermabrasion are usually few and mild.

Microdermabrasion generally uses a stream of aluminum oxide micro crystals to exfoliate the upper layers of the skin's surface. The procedure typically brightens skin by exfoliating dry, dead cells from the skin's surface. It can stimulate collagen production to help firm skin. A series of microdermabrasion treatments can even reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In most cases, patients can return to normal activities immediately after microdermabrasion. Side effects are usually very mild. Patients may experience slight swelling and redness of the skin, to the same degree as that caused by a mild sunburn. Some dermatologists allow patients to hide skin inflammation beneath a layer of powder makeup, while others insist that makeup must be avoided until the skin has completely recovered.


Recovery from microdermabrasion usually takes two to three days. During this time, skin will need to be kept moist. Most dermatologists supply their patients with appropriate moisturizers to take home after the procedure. Moisturizers containing copper, or vitamins A, E, or C, can be applied to help rejuvenate skin and speed skin healing. Skin may feel exceptionally dry during the recovery period, and moisturizer should be applied liberally.

Avoiding exposure to the sun after microdermabrasion can help patients avoid unpleasant complications. Treatments that exfoliate the skin, such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels, can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Sunblock is best applied to the treated area consistently, even on cloudy days or days when the patient remains indoors. Patients are usually advised to limit sun exposure for at least a week after microdermabrasion. Even after the skin has fully recovered, consistent use of sunblock can help extend the results of the treatment.

Microdermabrasion does not typically produce drastic results right away. Many patients notice that skin looks brighter, fresher, and firmer after an initial microdermabrasion treatment. A series of at least five treatments are usually needed to noticeably reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and age spots. Once an initial series of treatments has been completed, maintenance treatments can be administered every three months to help extend results.


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