Dermabrasion vs Microdermabrasion: Which One is for You?

Modern technology has opened the door for breakthrough skin treatments that will chase your woes away.
BY Chella Caguin
| Last updated May, 2022
Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion

I’m sure you’ve come across these two terms while flipping through a beauty magazine or watching a cosmetic ad on television. These treatments quickly gained popularity over the years in the aesthetic skin care industry due to their affordability and apparent results. After knowing about Dermabrasion vs Microdermabrasion, it will be more flexible for you to make decisions about your skincare routine.

When one reaches a certain age, one can expect a myriad of skin woes. Of course, other factors contribute to skin issues, such as lifestyle and sun exposure. Whatever the cause, we can’t help but feel mixed feelings when we glance in the mirror and see wrinkles, dark spots, and scars teasing us.

But there’s no need to despair. Modern technology has opened the door for breakthrough skin treatments that will chase your woes away.

Two of the most popular skin treatments are Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion. Now, don’t get confused. Despite the similar-sounding names, these two treatments are very different.

While the result for both procedures is a resurfaced and improved skin, the process for each one is entirely different. A skincare specialist, such as an aesthetician, performs Microdermabrasion as a cosmetic skin treatment. On the other hand, Dermabrasion is a procedure performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

This article looks in-depth into these two procedures. Hopefully, you will become more knowledgeable, allowing you to make the right decisions for your skincare needs after reading this article.

What is Microdermabrasion?

What is Microdermabrasion

Let’s start with Microdermabrasion. What is this skin treatment?

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that enhances the skin’s general tone and texture. A specialized applicator with an abrasive surface is used to progressively sand away the skin’s thick outer layer to revitalize the skin. Another microdermabrasion technique uses suction to spray small particles of aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate to achieve the same outcome as using an abrasive surface.

Because Microdermabrasion is less forceful than other treatments, such as Dermabrasion, no numbing medication is required. It’s essentially a skin exfoliation and rejuvenation technique that makes the skin look softer and brighter.

Microdermabrasion Benefits

Microdermabrasion Benefits

There are numerous advantages to having this operation performed. But one of the most common is it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which are the natural effects of natural aging, stress, and sun damage or photoaging.

Many women who have mature skin seek this treatment for this very purpose, and some of them claim that they are often mistaken to be aged younger than they truly are after treatment.

Another benefit is an improvement in skin tone, which helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin are darker than the surrounding skin. This happens when some skin cells make too much melanin. After undergoing the treatment, many swear on a significant improvement in their skin tone.

One other thing is that it can help you with acne scars. Microdermabrasion is a skin exfoliating technique that removes the top layer of your skin, thereby minimizing the appearance of those superficial scars. More benefits of Microdermabrasion include the following:

  • Reduces the appearance of dark spots
  • Smoother skin
  • Brighter skin tone 
  • Minimize the size of the pores
  • Reduce age spots 

Who is a Candidate for Microdermabrasion?

Who is a Candidate for Microdermabrasion?

A candidate for Microdermabrasion is someone who is experiencing the following skin conditions:

This treatment can be done for any skin type and skin tone.

Microdermabrasion has the potential to transfer diseases from one section of your skin to another. If you have skin diseases like impetigo, or if you’ve had warts, herpes, or other viral illnesses, you shouldn’t undergo Microdermabrasion.

The Pros and Cons of Microdermabrasion

The Pros and Cons of Microdermabrasion

Here are some of the pros of Microdermabrasion:

1. The treatment is non-invasive

2. It’s painless

3. You can see an improvement in the skin texture

4. It evens out the skin tone

5. It removes fine lines and superficial wrinkles

6. There’s minimal downtime

7. It can reduce oiliness

Meanwhile, here are the cons:

1. It causes skin redness

2. There can be minor bruising

3. It can only remove superficial wrinkles

4. It can’t treat severe cystic acne

What Happens After a Microdermabrasion

What happens after a Microdermabrasion

Are you excited to see or do a Microdermabrasion Before and After?

The aftermath is relatively short for this treatment. You can go and resume normal activities and see some precise results.

After the procedure, your skin will become pink. At the same time, it will feel tight and dry, much like sunburn or windburn, for about 24 hours. Apply a moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen. And if possible, avoid too much sun exposure. Some types of makeup should not be applied for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

How Many Microdermabrasion Treatments Do You Need?

The frequency of treatment varies from person to person and depends on various circumstances, but you should typically get a microdermabrasion treatment every two to four weeks. These continuous sessions will assist you in maintaining the positive effects, such as keeping your skin glowing.

But having six to twelve sessions ensures the most excellent outcomes. Undergoing that amount of treatments will offer you the best overall benefits and will literally transform the look and feel of your skin.

What is Dermabrasion?

What is Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is an exfoliating method that removes the outer layers of skin from the face using a spinning device. People who want to improve the appearance of their skin will like this therapy. Fine wrinkles, sun damage, acne scars, and uneven texture are just a few of the ailments it can help with.

Dermabrasion is performed at a dermatologist’s office, and a physician will use an anesthetic to help in numbing your skin before proceeding to remove the outermost layers of your skin during the process. Dermabrasion is an outpatient operation, which means you can go home after the treatment to recover.

You may be given medicine to help you relax before the treatment. Your skin will be washed thoroughly, and you will be given numbing drug shots to anesthetize the treatment region.

Dermabrasion Benefits

Dermabrasion Benefits

Like with Microdermabrasion, you can get many benefits from undergoing a Dermabrasion Facial. First, it removes the damaged outer layers of the skin, and the skin seems younger and smoother as new layers of skin are exposed.

One other benefit you will find in this aggressive treatment is it smooths off the top layers of your skin to reveal smooth new skin, improving skin contour. This contour is partly due to the “sanding” aspect; the dermatologist or plastic surgeon does use a specialized device.

Not many are aware of this, but Dermabrasion was initially developed for chickenpox marks, acne scars, and scars due to accidents or disease. 

Finally, Dermabrasion has been shown to increase collagen formation in the skin. This formation increases the regeneration benefits and gives you younger-looking skin. More benefits of Dermabrasion include the following:

  • Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Reduces the appearance of liver spots
  • Brightens the skin 
  • Diminishes the appearance of dark spots 
  • Remove surgical scars or from an injury
  • Remove tattoos 

Who is a Candidate Dermabrasion?

Who is a Candidate Dermabrasion

You can be eligible to receive this kind of treatment if you have:

1. Acne scars

2. Fines and wrinkles 

3. Age spots

4. Rhinophyma

5. Scars from surgery or injury

6. Sun damage

7. Precancerous skin patches

8. Uneven skin tone

9. Rough skin texture

10. Tattoos 

Two factors that may preclude you from becoming eligible are your skin type and medical history. This procedure may permanently darken your skin if you have a dark complexion.

The Pros and Cons of Dermabrasion

The Pros and Cons of Dermabrasion

It’s always a must to know the pros and cons of any treatment you will undergo. So, before you consider Dermabrasion, take note of these details.

Some of the pros are:

1. It can improve crow’s feet and fine lines.

2. Precancerous skin patches can be lightened through Dermabrasion 

3. It can improve the appearance of stretch marks.

4. Compared to a full facelift, Dermabrasion is less invasive.

5. It has a shorter recovery time as opposed to other similar treatments.

6. It’s especially beneficial for people with vertical creases around their mouth, which can cause lipstick to “bleed.”

7. It reduces blemishes and wrinkles.

And with pros come cons:

1. Dermabrasion is mainly only safe for fair-skinned individuals.

2. It’s ineffective in treating congenital skin abnormalities, most moles, pigmented birthmarks, and burn scars.

3. There may be swelling after treatment

4. You can get rashes

5. You may experience skin redness

6. Freckles may go away due to the scraping

7. There will be sun sensitivity

What Happens After a Dermabrasion?

What Happens After a Dermabrasion

For a few days after a dermabrasion procedure, your skin will feel as if it has been badly “brush-burned.” To alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing, and your doctor can prescribe or recommend drugs. Healing takes seven to ten days on average.

Then, your new skin turns a regular hue after a few weeks of being pink. As soon as the skin has healed, you can apply makeup.

After Dermabrasion, most patients can return to their typical activities in seven to fourteen days. After the pink color has faded, you should avoid direct sunlight for a few weeks. When going outside, use a wide-brimmed hat and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Following your Dermabrasion, you will have a follow-up appointment. After the procedure, you must not consume alcohol for 48 hours. One week later, avoid taking aspirin or any products containing aspirin or ibuprofen. Please don’t smoke. For three to six months, try to stay out of the sun as much as possible.

How Many Dermabrasion Treatments Do You Need?

Because human skin regenerates at about 30-day intervals, skin improvement with Microdermabrasion is only transitory and must be repeated at two to four weeks intervals for continuous improvement. Multiple treatments (six to twelve sessions) are usually necessary to observe substantial results.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts on Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion

Now that you know all there is to know about Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion, you can decide which one to undertake. But no matter what you choose, it’s essential that you first consult with a professional.

You’ll discuss your goals, the procedure’s risks and advantages, and the type of anesthetic that will be utilized during a dermabrasion consultation. You’ll also receive pre-and post-dermabrasion instructions and “before” images to compare with your results afterwards. The consultation for Microdermabrasion is similar, but there is less discussion of anesthetics and dangers because it is a minor procedure.

You no longer need to be dismayed with these telltale signs of aging and other skin conditions. Instead of looking and feeling older than you truly are, you can give those young people a run for their money.

Having young, glowing skin is more than just vanity. It’s beyond looking beautiful. As the adage says, looking good will make you feel good.

Dermabrasion vs Microdermabrasion. Take your pick. Taking pride in our appearance is not something that should be limited to today’s youngsters. Indeed, we believe that looking well is a crucial part of aging gracefully and living abundantly. Are you planning to undergo Dermabrasion or Microdermabrasions? Let us know in the comments below!

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