There are two kinds of microdermabrasion treatments. One approach involves a hand-held device that streams tiny crystals across your skin. An attached vacuum simultaneously suctions those exfoliating crystals back into the machine, along with the dead or loosened skin. The newer approach uses a diamond-tip wand that is gently moved across your skin to exfoliate.

Each treatment will last about a half hour. You may feel a mild scratching as the procedure removes the superficial skin cells. Additionally, you’ll notice a vibrating sensation akin to a massage. There is also a suction mechanism to lift off the dead skin.

Afterwards, your healthcare provider may recommend a special moisturizer or facial product to enhance and prolong your result. But there is no down time or recovery period.

Any discomfort experienced as part of microdermabrasion is usually short-lived. This can include redness and swelling, which should subside within a few hours. Later, you can expect the skin to be flaky and dry for several days. Additional risks include the following:

  • Bruising which can occur from the suction, which may last several days.
  • Your skin will be more sensitive to sun exposure. Be sure to use sunscreen, especially immediately following a microdermabrasion session.

In the long term

Your polished new look should be long-lasting, depending on the severity of your skin damage and the number of treatments that you receive. Many people have two microdermabrasion treatments per month at first and then one per month as part of a maintenance plan.

Facial microdermabrasion is sometimes performed with no medical oversight, often in conjunction with facial spa treatments. You can avoid any risks or complications and achieve optimal results by visiting a qualified plastic surgeon. Although the surgeon may not perform the procedure, you can rest assured that the surgeon’s employees are properly trained and supervised.

Choose a qualified plastic surgeon

ASPS logo

To find a qualified plastic surgeon who performs laser skin resurfacing, visit the online referral serviceof the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). ASPS, founded in 1931, is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world and the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. All ASPS physician members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Microdermabrasion can:

  • Eliminate age spots and black heads.
  • Eliminate hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin).
  • Exfoliate your skin, resulting in a refreshed appearance.
  • Lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Reduce or eliminate enlarged pores.
  • Treat acne and the scars left by acne.

Cost is always a consideration in elective procedures or treatments. The cost of microdermabrasion may vary based on the expertise and qualifications of the person performing the treatment, the type of procedure used, time and effort the procedure or treatment requires, as well as geographic office location. In 2009, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated national surgeons’ average fees were $152 for microdermabrasion. Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask. Additional fees may include:

  • Surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication

Be sure to ask your surgeon about all costs involved in your procedure.

Your satisfaction involves more than a fee

When choosing a plastic surgeon for microdermabrasion, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the procedure.

Most health insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery or its complications.

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • Am I a good candidate for microdermabrasion?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • Who will perform the microdermabrasion procedure?
  • Have you been specifically trained in this procedure?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure or treatment?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect?
  • What are the risks and possible complications associated with my procedure?
  • How can I expect to look over time?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure?
  • What results are reasonable for me?