Microdermabrasion Tips

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When should I not have microdermabrasion?

When Not to Have Microdermabrasion

As a child, you hated being told you couldn't dive off the high dive, climb trees (your broken leg healed, really!), or stay out past 10 p.m. So you're not happy that your surgeon just told you that you couldn't have microdermabrasion. Do you go to the store and buy an OTC microdermabrasion system, or do you listen to the doctor, the way you listened to Mom and Dad about not smoking? You may want to listen to the doctor if:

  • You're pregnant or nursing--hormones mess everything up, including new skin, and besides, microdermabrasion works best after you have more wrinkles from your kids!
  • You have malignant tumors in the skin--chemo and radiation aren't something you want to take chances with by compounding the effects with microdermabrasion
  • You have active herpes lesions--they don't respond to resurfacing
  • You have keratoses, which can develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a.k.a. skin cancer
  • You take Accutane to eliminate acne, or have within the last year. Deep microdermabrasion acne surgery can eliminate acne scarring, but you need to wait until your system is free of Accutane, or consider a different acne treatment.
  • You smoke. Smoking continues to create wrinkles and pollutes the skin. For any facial procedure, you should give up smoking, permanently if possible. You pay several hundred dolalrs for a treatment, so you want it to work.

Your doctor has good reasons for saying no to microdermabrasion treatment, just as your parents did. After all, you're safe and healthy today, aren't you?

How do I use a home microdermabrasion wand?

Home Microdermabrasion Wands

You have the Epi Slim for hair removal, a home massager for your muscles, and an ionizing hair dryer. You know how to use them all. But you're nervous about using a home microdermabrasion wand. You've heard cream-based home microdermabrasion system kits don't work, so you went and bought a wrinkle-erasing microdermabrasion sun-damage eliminator. Is it a magic wand? Do you just wave it a la Harry Potter? Actually, no. Even adolescent Harry knows better than to use his wand to eliminate teenage acne. While magic does exist in the same crystals professional surgeons employ to sandblast your skin during microdermabrasion acne treatments, the professional application of the wand massages your skin to promote cell growth. The wand is typically battery-operated. It's important to methodically and rhythmically glide the wand over your skin. Don't be rough. Use the wand the way you would your massager, except with a less form hand.

Unlike traditional clinic microdermabrasion, home microdermabrasion takes several applications to see results, so don't abuse your skin, since you exfoliate (the lotion may be abrasive) rather than having a vacuum remove all the crystals and skin debris. If you have keratosis or have used Accutane, any home microdermabrasion system or outpatient microdermabrasion kits are not recommended--no magic wand can take away side effects. You should consult a dermatologist if you want to elminate wrinkles but have used Accutane or have a skin condition. Severe acne will take you out of the running. But it's safe for you to use the microdermadrasion kit, so pick up that wand, put down the Epi-Pen and start massaging away skin damage.

What do I need to know about home microdermabrasion treatment?

Microdermabrasion Begins at Home

Drop off the kids at school. Do laundry. Meet with accountant. Shop for dishwasher. Shop for car insurance. Help elderly mom. Help out at kids' school fundraiser. You can't take time out to go to a plastic surgery clinic for microdermabrasion, but somewhere on that to-do list, shouldn't there be a to-do-for-you item? Between appointments when you looked through magazines, you saw ads for home microdermabrasion treatment. Your first thought: Does it work? Say you purchase a Sharper Image Microdermabrasion system, which is advertised to work on your whole body and reduce wrinkles as well as banish acne. Will you get your money's worth from the rolling microdermabrasion massager? Neutrogena also offers an Advanced Solutions at-home MicroDermabrasion kit.

The difference between a home microdermabrasion system and a professional microdermabrasion treatment? Several hundred dollars. The cost of microdermabrasion in an office can start at $75 for a single treatment, but according to the 2004 American Society of Plastic Surgeons survey, the surgen's fee is $866. A series of microdermabrasion treatments can cost $300-$600 according to Paula Begoun (THE COMPLETE BEAUTY BIBLE). The cost of the Neutrogena home microdermabrasion acne and wrinkle treatment is $35, while the Sharper Image charges $49.95. TV stations that have done their typical "does it work" segments (to protect the public and fill airtime) have found that there is no substitute for a professional microdermabrasion treatment.

NOTE: Deep microdermabrasion treatments, similar to Alpha Hydroxy Acid peels, should only be performed by a qualified surgeon. Another item on your to-do-for-you list: compare product reviews and get physicians' reviews on home microdermabrasion systems. After all, you want to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and comfortable when doing everything on your daily to-do-for-others list.

What are some surgeons' tips about dermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion Success Tips

You keep an umbrella in your car and back up your computer data. You're always prepared. So when you decide to have microdermabrasion, you want to know what you need to do to guarantee a successful microdermabrasion treatment. Some hints from physicians:

  • Dr. Martin A. O'Toole of Los Angeles cautions that depending on your treatment, you shouldn't wear makeup for seven to ten days or longer. Also, you shouldn't sunbathe or go ice fishing for several months after your microdermabrasion procedure.
  • Dr. David Broadway of Denver-Boulder, Colorado, uses Diamond Tip Microdermabrasion, a "gentler" microdermabrasion treatment, in conjunction with a natural facial with elements such as green tea that promote skin wellness. He promotes facial and body massage therapy after treatments to relax you and spped your recovery.
  • Dr. Scott Greenberg of Orlando/Winter Park, Florida, recommends microdermabrasion treatments one to two weeks apart for best microdermabrasion results in conjunction with his skin care system.

Different surgeons have different methods. You should always shop and compare the cost of microdermabrasion and the method of microdermabrasion, including whether you should combine microdermabrasion treatment with a glycolic peel or facelift. But you've researched all the methods in between backing up your data and putting snow tires on your car, so you're ready to refresh your skin!

I have severe acne, can microdermabrasion remove it?

Microdermabrasion and Zits

You got called "Pizza Face" in high school despite the fact that your mother never let you eat pizza and told you, "Ignore them, you're a beautiful person inside." Years later, despite every skin care treatment, you still think you look like a candidate for an alien on "Star Trek" thanks to acne scarring. Sorry, the last series got canceled.

But there is hope: microdermabrasion acne treatments. You're still a beautiful person inside, but you want to greet the world with a face free of acne. Microdermabrasion uses a light mist of crystals in a "sandblasting" technique to erase scars from acne. The physican sucks up the dead red discolored cells and crystals with a vacuum. You might still see red after the microdermabrasion procedure, but this is just temporary redness. Any skin flaking is also temporary. The microdermabrasion stimulates new skin cell growth, in addition to new collagen deposits. Microdermabrasion acne treatments clain impurities from the skin that can keep you looking like a pepperoni pizza. Superficial microdermabrasion is best if you have light acne scarring.

For deeper acne scarring, try deep microdermabrasion performed by a qualified physician--a cosmetician can do light microdermabrasion treatment. Be sure to take good care of your skin in-between mocrodermabrasion sessions. Drink water, don't smoke, and moisturize your skin. Let that inner beauty shine, and those immature people from high school will probably tell you that you look great at your high school reunion. When they apologize for meanness, forgive them, because you are beautiful.

How does microdermabrasion elminate sun damage?

Sun Damage and Microdermabrasion

The sun is good for you! Yes, you read that right...but it's good in moderation, like everything else. While many physicians now recommend against the chemicals in sunblock, which can be absorbed into the skin, and favor thirty minutes in the sun to restore Vitamin D (not to mention lifting your mood), everybody should avoid sunburn. You already have been burned several times from family vacations in Hawaii and those marathon tan sessions by the pool when you were a teen. Can microdermabrasion help your flaking discolored brown-spotted wrinkled skin recover?

Since you can't be in the sun for several weeks after microdermabrasion treatment, you'll have no chance of sunburn. Get your vitamin D from supplements. And yes, microdermabrasion will eliminate sun damage. Before you fork over the $200-$300 cost of microdermabrasion, check with your dermatologist to see that you have no skin tumors, lesions or susicious-looking moles and pimples.

Microdermabrasion isn't recommended for skin cancer patients. Your surgeon or facialist will use the microdermabrasion system crystals to refresh skin dulled by sun damage, remove brown spots, shave away thickened skin and smooth out the wrinkles that become more pronounced from sun damage. After sun damage microdermabrasion treatment, be sure to use soothing moisturizers such as aloe-based products. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your new skin cells. Vitamins C and E will eliminate free radicals that still exist in your body and sabotage your skin. So don't be afraid of the sun thanks to microdermabrasion and "new" wisdom, but be sun smart.

Does the L'Oreal home microdermabrasion kit work?

L'Oreal Home Microdermabrasion Kit

You've always been a smart shopper but you're confused about the different home microdermabrasion system brands, Suddenly you see an ad for L'Oreal's home microdermabrasion treatment kit. Does it work?

One online review from a patient who has had several microdermabrasion sessions in a surgery center posted a glowing review of L'Oreal on SmartSkinCare.com. Hot micro-tip: Home microdermabrasion kits can maintain your skin between professional microdermabrasion procedures. The reviewer cautions that she did have a few "whiteheads," but that the L'Oreal home microdermabrasion system gave her the effects of a professional surgical microdermabrasion treatment. Note that with L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise ReFinish Micro-Dermabrasion Kit, you use your fingers to apply the cream.

Be sure to apply the moisturizer and, if you should experience adverse reactions (skin irritation, etc.), stop immediately. After all, you're trying to avoid redness, flaking and itching. Also, consult with your surgeon if you're using any home microdermadrasion system. Many surgeons have a treatment regimen that doesn't require one. L'Oreal's system costs $22, less than Sharper Image or Neutrogena, so be mindful of the saying "you get what you pay for" if you want advanced results. You're a smart shopper, and you are worth it.

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