Treating Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion are 2 cosmetic treatments that can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While Dermabrasion is a highly invasive surgery that removes the superficial layers of the skin, resulting in a longer recovery time, Microdermabrasion is a non surgical method that will require minimal downtime. However, the results will also vary. Dermabrasion is less and less used nowadays, as many patients prefer a less aggressive treatment.

Dermabrasion and Wrinkles

Dermabrasion is the term used for cosmetic surgery. The procedure uses fine sandpaper, which will eliminate some layers of skin and dead skin cells. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, which will be administered through an injection or a numbing cream will be applied.

After the procedure, the patient will have red, highly irritated and oozing skin. The skin will be extremely sensitive and often, skin infections can occur. The skin will have to regenerate and this may take several months, depending on each patient in part.

The results of Dermabrasion are as follows:

  • Skin is smoother
  • Fine lines and wrinkles are diminished
  • Scars are diminished
  • Tattoos are removed

Microdermabrasion for Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Microdermabrasion is a non surgical procedure that employs microcrystals that will eliminate the outermost layer of the dermis. The results of Microdermabrasion treatments include:

  • Smoother skin texture
  • Reduced fine lines and superficial wrinkles
  • Tighter skin, after the new collagen is produced

After the Microdermabrasion procedure, the patient can experience redness and swelling, which should subside within a few days.

Dermabrasion vs Microdermabrasion

Even with anesthesia, patients consider Dermabrasion painful, while the Microdermabrasion procedure doesn’t cause any discomfort. The pain after the procedure will be major after Dermabrasion compared to the minimal pain experienced after Microdermabrasion.

Dermabrasion will require an extensive recovery time (up to 6 months), while Microdermabrasion will only require 2 to 3 days of downtime. As for the results, they are similar, but the Dermabrasion will have more dramatic results. Deep wrinkles and fine lines are visibly reduced. In the case of Microdermabrasion, this treatment is only effective in reducing superficial lines and wrinkles.

However, Microdermabrasion has an additional benefit: that of stimulating the elastin and collagen, so that the skin will also be tighter. However, this effect will only be visible in 6 to 12 weeks after the procedure.

Dermabrasion is considered an outdated procedure, as it is a mechanical procedure. With the technology available today, the mechanical use of sandpaper to remove skin layers may be replaced by CO2 beams or lasers. These laser procedures have the same effects as Dermabrasion, treating deeper wrinkles and fine lines, but will have minimal side effects and up to 5 days of recovery time.

The reason why certain patients may opt for Dermabrasion is the fact that it is more affordable than the laser treatments.