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What is microdermabrasion?

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Quick Answer

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive skin procedure that involves polishing away the outer layer of skin to smooth the complexion and reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, wrinkles or discoloration. Microdermabrasion performed by a dermatologist goes deeper into the skin than microdermabrasion done at home with over-the-counter kits. Some salons and spas also offer microdermabrasion treatments.

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Full Answer

Microdermabrasion can enhance the effects of skin bleaching creams and anti-aging skin products by making the skin more able to absorb them. The treatment can also encourage the production of skin collagen, a protein that smooths and tightens the skin. A typical microdermabrasion session performed by a professional takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on whether the patient wants both the face and neck treated.

Since it only affects the top layer of the skin, the procedure is not painful. Because microdermabrasion is not a surgical procedure, no recovery time is needed after a session; however, some patients experience mild redness and swelling similar to a sunburn for a few days after the procedure. Self-care after microdermabrasion treatments involves shielding the skin from the sun and hydrating it with moisturizers. Because results are usually seen after 16 sessions, patients schedule multiple microdermabrasion sessions over a series of weeks or months.

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