Learn more about specific conditions where microdermabrasion can be used
What is microdermabrasion?
In microdermabrasion, a special machine applies a slightly rough applicator tip (either composed of tiny rough particles or a diamond tip) to the surface of the skin of the face or neck to remove the uppermost layer of skin. This results in a smoother skin texture. The procedure is painless and non-invasive. Multiple sessions may be required in some cases.
What should first be done before considering microdermabrasion?
Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history and conduct an exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure.
Potential concerns and tips:
- Patients who have had recent chemical peels, neuromodulator injection therapy or other skin procedures, should consult with their doctor before receiving microdermabrasion.
- Avoid exfoliating creams (especially prescription tretinoin or other acne products) for three days prior to treatment.
- Avoid sun exposure prior to or immediately after treatment.
- Avoid waxing prior to or immediately after treatment.
- Cleanse face and neck with a non-oily, non-soap based cleanser before treatment.
When is microdermabrasion appropriate?
Microdermabrasion is appropriate for the following conditions:
Who is not a candidate for microdermabrasion?
Patients with any of the following conditions may not be good candidates for microdermabrasion:
- Active rosacea
- Fragile capillaries or vascular lesions
- Active onset acne
- Open sore
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Susceptibility to cold sores (unless treated with antiviral therapy by the doctor)
Is microdermabrasion painful?
The procedure is painless and typically no anesthetics are required.
What are the complications or potential side effects of microdermabrasion?
- Skin irritation
What can I expect after having had microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion recovery time is generally minimal. Patients should:
- Keep new skin clean, moisturized, and protected with sunblock.
- Apply anti-inflammatory creams or cold compresses as need.
- Use a gentle cleanser.
- Avoid scratching or picking new skin.
- Avoid direct sun exposure for at least seven days.
- Avoid glycolic, beta hydroxy, retinol, benzyl peroxide and similar medications for one to two days following treatment.
- Avoid appling prescription retinoid products for three to seven days after treatment. Patients receiving a series of treatments should not resume retinoids until after the final treatment, unless directed differently by their doctor.
For more information and referrals
For more information on skin conditions and treatments, along with a list of ASDS members in your state, please visit the find a dermatologic surgeon section of our website.