Microdermabrasion has two different methods that may be unreliable when it comes to helping sensitive or acne prone skin. In this article, we will explain what they are, what they are used for, and what the potential risks are when using them for aiding acne.

The first method of microdermabrasion is called Crystal microdermabrasion.

During treatment, super-fine crystals are sent from a receptacle in the microdermabrasion machine, through a tube, and to a glass or stainless steel wand. Via the wand, the crystals are sprayed over the skin (think of it as controlled sandblasting for your skin.)

The crystals are then sucked back up simultaneously and deposited into a different receptacle and thrown away.

Aluminum oxide (corundum) crystals are typically used because they are nearly as hard as diamonds. Magnesium oxide, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and even sodium chloride (salt) crystals are sometimes used as well.

The second method is called Diamond-tip microdermabrasion. It is a newer procedure, but one that quickly gained popularity as a crystal-free microdermabrasion option.

Instead of using crystals to exfoliate the skin, a wand with a diamond-encrusted tip is passed over the skin. The diamond tip abrades the skin and, like the crystal version, the exfoliated particles are then vacuumed away through the same wand.

So, to continue the analogy, if crystal microdermabrasion is like sandblasting the skin, diamond-tip microdermabrasion is like using sandpaper.

The procedure is noninvasive, but it can cause side effects. These include burning, stinging and swelling, as well as increased sensitivity to sunlight. For people with sensitive skin, the procedure can potentially cause more intense problems.

For future reference, when considering if microdermabrasion is right for you, here’s a list of times when microdermabrasion probably isn’t the best solution:

  1. You’re using Accutane
  2. You have moderate to severe inflammatory acne
  3. You have rosacea
  4. You’re in the midst of a cold sore breakout
  5. You have a rash, wound, or other skin irritation
  6. You’re using other topical retinoids
  7. Your esthetician nixes the idea

When it comes to things like acne, particularly active acne, it is best if you use a different method of caring for your skin. With microdermabrasion, you are at risk of spreading acne or irritating it further, which will be uncomfortable during the procedure but also might result in a breakout afterward.

If done incorrectly, these procedures can also cause other skin issues such as milia (from particles of crystals getting stuck under the skin) or worst case scenario, an infection.

Microdermabrasion is most often used to address things like dullness in the complexion, uneven skin tone, uneven skin texture, age spots, dark spots that can form after acne clears up, melasma, a common issue that forms dark spots or patches on the skin, or scars.

If your sole reason for microdermabrasion was to clear up acne, you’re in luck. Microdermabrasion isn’t considered the first line of defense against acne.

You’ll get much better results from tried-and-true acne medication and a proper skincare routine. It’s always a good idea to talk to your esthetician before committing to any sort of procedure or program that will affect your acne. Give us a call today for a consultation at 801-800-6602