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Dermabrasion Vs Microdermabrasion: Benefits, Care and Side Effects

    Dermabrasion Vs Microdermabrasion: Benefits, Care and Side Effects

    What is Dermabrasion?

    Dermabrasion is a surgical method that removes the upper layer of your dead skin cell in a very controlled manner. It triggers the growth of glowing and youthful skin beneath.

    This procedure involves a handheld device to exfoliate and remove dead cells skin and make it look glowing and smooth.

    Unlike microdermabrasion, dermabrasion is very invasive and may require local or general anaesthesia.

    Depending on the patient’s needs, treatment may take up to 2 hours. The recovery period after dermabrasion is quite long (10-14 days), depending on the size of the treated skin surface area.

    In the healing phase, patients may experience some degree of pain that can be managed with pain relief. The skin also gets temporarily red, swollen, or inflamed, but it keeps on disappearing as it heals. 

    In addition to providing a younger-looking appearance, dermabrasion can also help with treatments such as:

    • Acne scars
    • Age spots
    • fine wrinkles
    • Precancerous skin patches
    • Redness or rhinophyma and thick skin on the nose
    • Scars from surgery or injury
    • Sun damage
    • Tattoos
    • Uneven skin tone

    What is Microdermabrasion?

    Microdermabrasion is more of a light, gentle and painless version of dermabrasion. That’s why it’s called microdermabrasion.

    It is a non-invasive, less abrasive form of skin exfoliation that combines exfoliation and suction in the skin layers. There are two types of microdermabrasion: Crystalline and Dimond.

    The Crystal microdermabrasion uses a special handheld device that explodes the aluminium oxide crystals in the skin and empties dirt, dead skin cells and used crystals.

    The abrasive properties of the crystals are considered excellent for deep exfoliation and removal of the dead skin.

    On the other hand, Diamond microdermabrasion uses a diamond tip that is used to remove the upper skin level (dead skin cell) while a vacuum stick sucks up dirt and other impurities. This method is so accurate that there are no particles left on the skin.

    Diamond microdermabrasion uses a diamond-tipped wand that has more accuracy in removing dead skin from hard-to-reach areas which is particularly better than crystal devices.

    This procedure uses a handheld device that is guided by a specialist over the skin to provide light and gentle abrasion. Microdermabrasion helps to unclog the clogged pores. It targets dead skin cells and leaves only viable skin cells behind. 

    This means it is not as painful as dermabrasion and requires minimal recovery time. Patients can expect their skin to be completely fresh and refreshing immediately after the procedure.

    The American College of Dermatology recommends microdermabrasion for:

    • Acne scars
    • Uneven skin tone (hyperpigmentation)
    • Sunspots (melasma)
    • Age spots
    • Dull complexion

    Microdermabrasion vs dermabrasion

    The main difference between the two procedures is the surface strength. Dermabrasion is a denser version of microdermabrasion and significantly removes deeper layers.

    Microdermabrasion removes only dry or dead skin, whereas dermabrasion works deeper within the skin and leaves a viable (living) layer of skin.

    Comparison In Brief

    Dermabrasion provides more impressive results than microdermabrasion. Dermabrasion is a great technology for patients with more serious skin problems (severe pigmentation, acne scars, or deeper scars).

    Treatment includes significant pain and discomfort compared to microdermabrasion, as well as a longer recovery time.

    Patients undergoing dermabrasion may be at greater risk than those who opt for microdermabrasion such as infection, irreversible skin pigmentation, and scarring.



    More aggressive technique Less aggressive technique
    Removes significantly more wrinkles or scars Removes significantly fewer wrinkles or scars
    Causes bleeding Does not cause bleeding
    Resolves with downtime Resolves without any downtime
    It’s more effective on deeper problems such as scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, or deep acne scars It’s less effective on deeper problems such as scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, or deep acne scars
    According to 2019 statistics, the average dermabrasion cost is $1,296. The average cost of microdermabrasion is $150
    It tightens the sagging skin or treats deep wrinkles. It can’t tighten sagging skin or treat deep wrinkles.

    Side effects of Dermabrasion

    • Uneven skin colour (transient or permanent)
    • Scar formation
    • Infection
    • swelling
    • Darkening of the skin (usually temporary, but can be permanent); It is caused by exposure to the sun after the treatment.

    Side effects of microdermabrasion

    • Irritation of crystals falling into unprotected eyes.

    Also Read:

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    Dermabrasion After Care

    • You will need to attend follow-up appointments immediately after dermabrasion.
    • Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours after treatment.
    • Don’t take aspirin or products that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for the next week.
    • Do not smoke.
    • Try to avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible for 3 to 6 months.

    Microdermabrasion After Care

    • Use a moisturizer and sunscreen. 
    • Avoid sun exposure for several days immediately after treatment.

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