Dermabrasion, Hydradermabrasion & Microdermabrasion. What are they and which one is right for me?
Your skin is a fascinating organ. It consists of three layers, the epidermis, dermis and subcutis protect against germs, regulate body temperature and enable touch (tactile) sensations. It also covers your entire body, so it’s no wonder why women in the UK spend £10 billion every year on products to either clean, detail or enhance their skin.
In order to protect you as effectively as possible, your skin is constantly repairing itself and replacing old skin with new skin. This process isn’t perfect however, and the epidermis (outer layer) can be left with dead skin cells, acne, sun damage and more. Because of this, many people turn to various types of dermabrasion to resurface their epidermis.
Dermabrasion is a cosmetic skin-resurfacing procedure which involves blasting areas of the skin with an abrasive material, typically artificial sand, in order to remove the outer layer of the epidermis. This is usually done to remove something on the skin, including:
- Sun spots
- Acne scars
- Persistent redness
The skin that grows back after the outer layer is removed is usually smoother than the original skin, improving its appearance.
Dermabrasion is the most intense of the three procedures, and is usually used to remove a skin flaw permanently. It can usually only be performed by a doctor, plastic surgeon, or medical specialist. The procedure involves the patient being given local anesthetics to numb the area, and leaves skin sore and red for several weeks. It can take up to three months for your skin tone to return to normal.
Microdermabrasion is a considerably more gentle form of dermabrasion. It isn’t used for skin flaws that are as serious as those treated by dermabrasion, but rather as a method of temporarily removing dead skin cells, dry skin, or minor damage, and affects only the most superficial layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. While not removing flaws like sun spots, acne scars or wrinkles completely, it can dramatically improve the appearance of them.
Microdermabrasion differs from dermabrasion in that it treats a smaller area of the skin at a time and blasts finer and softer crystals of aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate. Certain clinics may also use a soft abrasive surface to gently brush away the outer layer of skin. Unlike dermabrasion, microdermabrasion does not need to be performed by a medical professional, and can be administered by any licenced aesthetic clinician.
Because microdermabrasion is much more gentle than classic dermabrasion, it leaves less damage to the skin and requires less time to heal. There will only be minor redness to the skin, and it usually returns to normal colour within a few hours. The skin might also feel tender and swollen during this time. Using moisturiser for a few days after treatment is recommended.