A NOTE FROM THE SAGE: Before anything else, make sure to check out our DIY microdermabrasion list if you're looking for microdermabrasion at home solutions. Otherwise, please enjoy this post!
Microdermabrasion is currently one of the widely-availed treatments of today due to its being a non-invasive procedure. Indeed, because of the fact that it merely removes the outermost layer of your skin, which is mainly composed of dead skin cells, there are only a few, temporary side effects that can occur with this treatment.
However, these side effects will only remain few and temporary when performed by competent and experienced dermatologists. Otherwise, there are certain problems that can arise if you are caught unaware.
The best thing to do so that you are fully informed about microdermabrasion treatments is to ask intelligent questions. Google is free, so you can search the web for problems and risks for this procedure. Once you’ve been informed, you can then ask the right questions when you meet your dermatologist.
Asking for a second opinion is also one of the best things to do before you get microdermabrasion treatments. You can compare what this doctor said and what a different dermatologist has told you. Keep in mind, though, that their opinions would most likely differ; this is normal.
Asking for a second opinion is simply to understand if you’ve been given full disclosure or if there is a doctor out there that’s better than the one you first met.
Microdermabrasion Gone Wrong:
6 Potential Problems
Here is a list of microdermabrasion problems you can come across when uninformed of the possible dangers of microdermabrasion. The few minutes it will take you to read these precautions will ultimately save your skin from unnecessary danger.
1. Possible skin infection
Improperly sanitized microdermabrasion vacuum, bacteria-infested applicators, and dirty crystals can cause skin infections on unsuspecting patients. You can usually tell the level of cleanliness in a clinic right away.
Mold and mildew should not be present. The space can look old but must immediately seem clean and orderly.
If the tools mentioned above are not cleaned after being used on different people, or if the crystals have been left exposed to the air without being properly sealed, then infection that can lead to bad skin problems is not far off.
For instance, the equipment could have been previously used on a person with a case of mild acne. If left unsterilized, the acne-causing bacteria will be left to spread all over the skin surface of the next patient…Who could easily be you.
2. Aluminum oxide crystals could be an integral part of the process
In this day and age, technology is continually developing at an outstanding rate. In microdermabrasion, there is a new, upgraded tool that does away with aluminum oxide crystals. Instead of making use of these crystals to peel away the outermost skin layer, the latest technology utilizes a diamond tip.
This development is necessary because scientists have discovered how potentially harmful aluminum oxide can be when used in a minute form, such as microcrystals.
For one, it has been shown through research that fine aluminum oxide crystals can cause respiratory problems when inhaled. The effects of inhaling these crystals include coughing, shortness of breath, and lung damage.
Another matter is that, in the hands of the inexperienced, these crystals can scatter into the more sensitive areas of your face: the eyes and lashes. This can cause eye irritation as a result of abrasions in the corneal area. On a side note, make sure that you are asked to wear protective eye covering when undergoing the procedure.
Therefore, a stable diamond tip is a much safer way to use in performing microdermabrasion treatments to greatly minimize the risks of skin care problems. It would be wise to check out what type of technology your dermatologist is using at present, to more or less get a picture of what you are getting into.
3. There is such a thing as TOO MUCH microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is a favorite among many beauty enthusiasts and celebrities because of its gentle methods. Too much pressure applied in the treatment because of overly aggressive methods can bring nothing but harm to the skin.
Its causes can range from bruises to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The former, we are all pretty much familiar with. The latter, on the other hand, is one of the microdermabrasion dangers few people are aware of.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is an occurrence wherein melanin, a protein that is responsible for our skin, hair, and eye color, is overly produced. This is usually an inflammatory reaction that occurs in response to injury to the skin. As a result, darkened spots of various shapes and sizes will appear on the surface of your skin.
The severity of the discussed condition of hyperpigmentation depends upon the level of injury. Mild ones often occur on the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. More severe ones occur in the dermis, which is found right under the epidermis.
Ironically, microdermabrasion is supposed to be a remedy for mild cases of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. However, if done incorrectly as discussed previously, it will only make the condition worse.
Once that happens and the damage is brought deeper into the dermis, non-invasive methods such as microdermabrasion can no longer help in treating the said condition.
This is why it’s very important that a professional handles your treatment. A dermatologist would know just how much pressure he or she should exert to achieve the desired results.
The right pressure may only be determined after you’ve received a thorough skin examination and appropriate testing. Don’t risk your face or skin--you may not be able to get your complexion back if something goes wrong
4. You may not be the best candidate for microdermabrasion
You may not be allowed to undergo microdermabrasion if you have certain health conditions or complications. Take a look at the people who should get this procedure:
Pregnant Women and Teenagers
Women who are undergoing pregnancy or puberty (under 14) are at a biological stage in their life wherein their hormones are largely unstable.
This is because of the high level of estrogen that is necessary to bring about the bodily changes needed to accommodate the growing womb, and to facilitate the maturation of the body, respectively.
The unusually high levels of estrogen can hinder the results of microdermabrasion from what is expected. Therefore, it is much better to wait for the hormones to settle down before undergoing microdermabrasion.
All your efforts to reduce pigmentation, get rid of scars and handle acne may not be enough to combat the quickly-changing balance of your skin. You might even be putting your face and skin in further imbalance by stripping away the layers of cells.
Keep in mind that your body may be producing more or too little oil during pregnancy and puberty, which can interfere with your skin and its elasticity. You may end up with ugly scars and sagging skin because you stripped away too much oil.
Individuals with severe acne infection
Acne is more complicated than it being a simple, pink blob that dots your skin surface. There are various stages and levels of severity of acne infection. There is the mild, moderate, and severe. We will discuss these stages in the following points:
Mild acne is a stage that contains few lesions very close to the skin surface, which means that there are no infections in the deeper layers. Thus, it is neither deep nor inflamed.
One very common example of this is blackhead, otherwise known as an open comedo. In summary, mild acne is simply a case of clogged pores that are still open in the skin surface.
Moderate acne is a few steps up, because it now involves inflammation, nodular lesions in the deeper layers, and some redness. The main difference between this stage and the previous, is the opening on the skin surface.
In mild acne cases, the pores though clogged are still open on the skin surface, whereas in moderate cases the pores are clogged and are closed on the skin surface at the same time.
As a result, there will be an overproduction of sebum that will eventually cause inflammation. Common examples of acne in this stage include papules, and whiteheads which is also known as a closed comedo.
Severe acne is characterized by the presence of multiple lesions, and a greater occurrence of inflammation and redness. A pustule is one good example of this stage. These can be cystic, which means that they are connected and are being fed by your body--meaning that it will take months if not years for them to disappear.
Even then, they may stay on in your body, deep underneath the skin as a pus-filled sac or hardened mass that can eventually erupt or cause the lesion to return.
After being familiar with the three main stages of acne, it will become easier to understand at which level microdermabrasion is helpful and at which level it is not. Mild cases of acne will benefit from undergoing microdermabrasion sessions because it will help unclog the pores and the acne is very close to the surface.
However, moderate to severe cases of acne may only become worse with microdermabrasion treatment. This is because of the fact that the infection is deeper into the skin, and inflammation is present. As a result, blasting crystals onto it, or rubbing it with a diamond tip will only make it more irritated.
Treating the deep-seated problems first and helping the pus rise out of your skin layers may be the best way to deal with severe acne. This is not to say that you aren’t going to be able to take advantage of microdermabrasion--but that you have to deal with the bigger problem first which is your severe acne.
You may need surgery, injections of steroids and even chemical peels to combat your severe case of pimples. Only when your skin isn’t plagued with pus can you start using the diamond tip.
Your dermatologist may also require you to follow a strict diet and skincare regimen to reduce the pain and swelling of your pimples much faster. The less you adhere to doctor’s orders, the less chance of improving your skin through microdermabrasion procedures.
5. Medications not compatible with microdermabrasion
There are certain medications that should not be taken simultaneously with microdermabrasion treatments such as skin thinning agents.
Skin thinning commonly comes along with age, wherein the skin begins to sag and hang. This is because aging causes the process of skin rejuvenation to slow down as a result of slower skin cell division.
Moreover, fats in the deeper skin layers begin to degrade. As a result, your skin becomes more sensitive to external, mechanical stress. No, these are not actual machines, but physical influences like pushing, pulling, pollution and other things that can degrade your skin simply because you interact with people and go about your daily life in soceity.
In simpler terms, without the fats to cushion your blood vessels, a simple bump can easily cause bruises.
The thing is, aging is not the only culprit that causes skin thinning. Retinoid products, such as Renova and Tazerac, can also cause the skin to thin. These medications are often used to alleviate certain medical conditions, but a side effect of these include increased skin sensitivity as a result of the reasons discussed previously.
One of the most commonly used retinoid products is Accutane. There are many side effects to taking this medication. These include, dry skin, mouth, nose, and lips, which causes the skin to crack and peel. With these side effects, it is hardly strange why microdermabrasion should not be used
There may be other medications with possible side effects that can cause you harm when taken while undergoing microdermabrasion treatments. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding the medications you take in preparation for these skin sessions.
6. Microdermabrasion may reactivate cold sores
Cold sores are painful blisters found in the mouth area and are often caused by a virus known as the herpes simplex virus. This virus can usually be activated by certain triggers that will cause an outbreak of cold sores. Microdermabrasion can sometimes act as a trigger because of the machine’s propulsion.
If a person usually experiences cold sores, it is advisable to take an antiviral pill beforehand and to inform the dermatologist of your predicament so as to have a more cautious microdermabrasion treatment.
The dermatologist may even postpone the treatment until the cold sore has healed and the virus can be safely considered gone. He may even give you medicine to speed up the process of healing the sores so you can get on with the treatment as soon as possible.
These are some of the possible dangers of microdermabrasion that you must be aware of. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body. Therefore, it is best to be knowledgeable of skin care for problems of the skin if we are to bring out our healthy, youthful glow.
In the end, you have to make sure that you’re fully aware of the risks involved in undergoing microdermabrasion. Bad doctors and fly-by-night clinics are only there to take your money, regardless of how the treatment can affect you.
The best doctors and spas, on the other hand, are more concerned with solving your skin and health problems. Microdermabrasion may be the answer to these problems, or it may not. Only a skin expert can tell if you really need the procedure and when the right time arrives to administer it.