Are you self-conscious about facial blemishes from acne scars or brown liver spots that appear as we age? If so, there is a solution readily available.
Microdermabrasion is a very big word used to describe a minimally non-invasive cosmetic procedure that smooths skin by removing the outermost layers. As with most big words, it can be helpful to break them apart:
Micro means extremely small.
Derm is the medical root term for skin.
Abrasion is a scraped spot or area.
Microdermabrasion is used to treat skin damaged by exposure to sunlight, wrinkles and fine lines, age spots, and other unsightly skin conditions.
A technician uses a special tool that has a rough (abrasive) surface that basically acts as a super-fine-grit sandpaper. Removing the outermost layers of discolored skin – defoliation – restores a more youthful complexion.
A different skin-smoothing technique directs a spray of fine particles of aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate (common baking soda) which are then vacuumed or sucked away, leaving behind a more polished surface.
Other conditions that may respond well to microdermabrasion are:
- Enlarged pores and blackheads
- Stretch marks
- Uneven skin tone and texture
Professional microdermabrasion sessions can mount into the thousands of dollars, although the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported for 2017 that the national average cost of a microdermabrasion procedure was $137.
Most health insurers regard microdermabrasion as an elective cosmetic procedure and therefore won’t cover it. There are, however, some exceptions for cases involving scarring from major surgery or severe burns, pre-cancerous growths, and hypo- (low) or hyper- (high) skin pigmentations (coloring).
If you do qualify to file health plan claims for microdermabrasion therapy, it is important to discuss the treatment plan with your insurance representative before beginning. The clinic which provides the skin smoothing procedure must be on the insurer’s list of authorized practitioners.
Make sure that any doctor who performs microdermabrasion has received a certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is also a must. These qualifications ensure that medical regulations are followed and your treatment will be both safe and ethical.
One of the best ways to find a trustworthy professional provider for microdermabrasion is to ask around. Have any of your friends gotten great results at an affordable price? Check out the online reviews, too. You can also ask your doctor for a referral.
One experienced recipient of microdermabrasion listed these questions you should ask any dermatological professional:
- Is the doctor a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- How many similar procedures has s/he performed in the past?
- Does s/he have before and after pictures with some of his microdermabrasion patients?
- How is the procedure going to be performed?
- What are the risks and the side effects of this procedure?
- What are the recovery and the postoperative care like?
- How should your expectations about the results be?
- Is the use of anesthetic needed?
- How long will the procedure last?
- Will the procedure be performed in the office or the hospital?
- How much does the procedure cost?
- Are there any other additional costs that you should know about?
- Does s/he charge for follow-up consultations?
For people who don’t want to go to a dermatologist, skin care clinic or day spa for microdermabrasion treatments, the good news is that there are kits available for home use.
When selecting a home microdermabrasion treatment product, consider not only the price but how well it works. Youthful Essence by Susan Lucci has gotten positive consumer reviews based on its low cost – $40 or less – and good results.
Once you’ve chosen a complexion-improving procedure, the hard part is over. There is little to no preparation required before undergoing skin resurfacing. Simply remove makeup and wash your face before the procedure.
Be sure to discuss any history of past cosmetic procedures and surgeries with a professional skin doctor before trying out microdermabrasion. The week before treatment, it might be advised to stay out of the sun and discontinue using tanning creams and waxing. Three days or so before therapy, it may be recommended to stop using exfoliating creams and masks.
Skin-conditioning from microdermabrasion can help you put your best face forward.