Although microdermabrasion is extremely popular and used in large because of its overall safeness, there are still side effects and potential risks associated with the treatment that I feel the need to go over, so you can be as educated as possible before doing at home microdermabrasion treatment.
It is important to know that there is truly no completely safe cosmetic treatment, each type of treatment falls on a spectrum of levels of safeness. Even a facial cleanser could have side effects (and they do) and microdermabrasion is considered very safe for how effective it is.
One of the most important things for you to consider is your medical history. Are you on any prescriptions? Have you had any surgeries? Are you allergic to anything? Everything must be considered because even a small nuance in your medical history could have implications for using microdermabrasion.
Most likely you will have no issues with being able to use microdermabrasion. I recommend you ask your doctor at your next well-visit for the go ahead to get microdermabrasion treatment—whether you are doing it at home or professionally.
The Three Most Common Questions
Can I do Microdermabrasion if I am on Accutane?
Accutane is a very common prescription for acne, but if you are on it, or have use it in the last 6 to 12 months, you should not do microdermabrasion! Your skin sensitivity is highly elevated from the use of Accutane and a skin resurfacing technique could cause a very strong reaction from the skin. Skin resurfacing (such as microdermabrasion for acne) is a big no-go if you are on Accutane or were recently.
Can I do Microdermabrasion if I am nursing or pregnant?
Microdermabrasion—professional or at home, is not recommend for pregnant or nursing women because of the elevated levels of certain hormones. These can cause a reduced effect of the benefits of microdermabrasion but also potentially an adverse reaction of the skin.
If I am Under 14 Years old can I do Microdermabrasion?
The answer to this is unfortunately a no, for the same reason as the pregnancy question. It also goes for boys just as it does girls, both genders have some crazy things going on with their hormones so it is not recommended to use microdermabrasion before the age of 14. Once you reach this age, ask your doctor to see if skin resurfacing treatment will be safe for you.
For Those with Skin Conditions
If you have any of the following conditions: undiagnosed lesions, weeping acne, diabetes, keratosis, auto-immune disorder, dermatitis, lupus, or fragile capillaries, doctors recommend you do not use microdermabrasion treatment because of the potential complications it could cause.
If you do not have these conditions on the skin that you are planning on treating, you should be perfectly fine using microdermabrasion, and it works especially well for mild acne, small scars, sunspots, and wrinkles and/or fine lines.
Explicitly Stated Microdermabrasion Side Effects
Given you do not have any of the previously mentioned conditions or diseases, there is fortunately only one semi-permanent side effect of microdermabrasion. It is a change in the skin’s coloration. It is possible, but not likely, to have light to dark areas on your skin. Changes in the skin’s pigments can occur with any skin resurfacing technique.
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How Likely Are Side-Effects?
Having a serious side effect from microdermabrasion is extremely unlikely because it is a very mild technique. Done right, it only is removing a thin layer of skin of roughly 10 micron thickness. This is a layer of only dead skin cells so you are hardly making any changes to your live skin cells, other than allowing them to thrive more.
The only time skin pigmentation changes become a legitimate threat is if you have darker skin, and the darker your skin is, the more likely this becomes. Here is a quick test for your Fitzpatrick Skin Scale. Add your score from each of the categories for a total score.
Your eye color is:
Light blue, light gray or light green = 0
Blue, gray or green = 1
Hazel or light brown = 2
Dark brown = 3
Brownish black = 4
Your natural hair color is:
Red or light blonde = 0
Blonde = 1
Dark blonde or light brown = 2
Dark brown = 3
Black = 4
Your natural skin color (before sun exposure) is:
Ivory white = 0
Fair or pale = 1
Fair to beige, with golden undertone = 2
Olive or light brown = 3
Dark brown or black = 4
How many freckles do you have on unexposed areas of your skin?
Many = 0
Several = 1
A few =2
Very few = 3
None = 4
Total score for genetic disposition: _______
How does your skin respond to the sun?
Always burns, blisters and peels = 0
Often burns, blisters and peels = 1
Burns moderately = 2
Burns rarely, if at all = 3
Never burns = 4
Does your skin tan?
Never -- I always burn = 0
Seldom = 1
Sometimes = 2
Often = 3
How deeply do you tan?
Not at all or very little = 0
Lightly = 1
Moderately = 2
Deeply = 3
My skin is naturally dark = 4
How sensitive is your face to the sun?
Very sensitive = 0
Sensitive = 1
Normal = 2
Very resistant/Never had a problem = 4
Total score for reaction to sun exposure: _______
Add your score total from genetic disposition and sun exposure together. Here is what skin type your total corresponds to:
· 0-6 Points: Type 1
· 7-12 Points: Type 2 rodan and fields reviews
· 13-18 Points: Type 3
· 19-24 Points: Type 4
· 25-30 Points: Type 5
· 31+ Points: type 6
If you are type 4 and above, it is best to check with a dermatologist to see if you will have major skin pigmentation changes from microdermabrasion treatment. Again, the rule of thumb here is the higher your skin type, the more likely you can have pigmentation side effects.
Overall Risk Level of Microdermabrasion
The medical community generally agrees that microdermabrasion is very safe for skin treatment. As I stressed throughout this article, there are still certain conditions or factors that can make it a potential risk. There is also always the fact that if done in excess, microdermabrasion can be bad for the skin. If you drink enough water you can die. If you do an extremely excessive amount of microdermabrasion, you can cause damage to your skin.
What to Be Careful With
The wand used in microdermabrasion should be kept sterilized. Although extremely unlikely, it is possible to cause an infection if you have a dirty wand head and use it on open areas of the skin. With crystal machines, there is a possibility of inhaling the crystals or getting them in your eye. If the suction on the machine is working correctly, there should be no chance of this happening. Just make sure you buy an at home machine with good reviews and this absolutely will not happen, as long as you are not actively trying to inhale straight from the head of the wand. I still recommend diamond machines because they are simpler and there is no chance of such a thing happening as they do not have any small particles going in and out like aluminum oxide crystals. One last thing to be cautious with is sun exposure directly after microdermabrasion treatment. The skin will have slightly increased sensitivity because a small layer of it was removed, so if you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, it is critical to wear high SPF sunscreen. Newer skin is always at a higher risk of sunburn than older skin.