What Is Microdermabrasion ?


hydrafacial md at nova plastic surgery and medspa hydrating skin treatment

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment that will evenly and safely exfoliate the outer most layers of your skin. This gentle resurfacing will promote the rejuvenation of new healthier skin that is hiding under the uneven, dull layers of your superficial skin.

What can Microdermabrasion treat?

Microdermabrasion is used to improve sun damage, skin discoloration, and light scarring. It can: Reduce fine lines and wrinkles

1- Reduce the size or eliminate large pores and blackheads

2- Exfoliate the skin better than scrubs revealing fresh, glowing skin

3- Improve hyperpigmentation (darkened areas of the skin) and age spots

4- Decrease the appearance of superficial scars

As we age, our collagen production slowly declines which results in looser, uneven skin. Microdermabrasion will help to increase your collagen which make your complexion appear younger looking, smooth and tighter.

How does Microdermabrasion work?

Microdermabrasion can be compared to a very fine sander that will whisk away the dull top layer of skin (the epidermis). There are two types of microdermabrasion treatments which each take about 30 minutes:

Method one uses a hand-held tool that streams tiny crystals across your skin while a vacuum suctions the crystals and exfoliated skin cells back into the machine.

Method two uses a diamond tipped wand that is moved across the surface of your skin to exfoliate. It vibrates as it moves across your skin and is combined with a vacuum to suction away the loosened skin cells.

Following the treatment, a soothing moisturizing cream is applied to the treated area.

Is Microdermabrasion painful?

In general, microdermabrasion is painless. You may feel a scratching sensation across your skin as the superficial skin cells are removed and suctioned. After the treatment, it may feel like you have experienced a mild sunburn. This typically resolves within a few hours and can be soothed with an emollient moisturizer.

What is the downtime involved with Microdermabrasion?

There is little to no downtime with this type of skin resurfacing.

1- You may experience some redness and swelling which typically resolves after a few hours following the microdermabrasion treatment.

2- Occasionally bruising may occur from the suctioning of the exfoliated skin cells

3- Your skin will be dry and flaky for a few days which can be managed with a hydrating product that we will recommend at the time of your treatment.

4- Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun following microdermabrasion. It is recommended to avoid direct, prolonged sun exposure following your treatment. A zinc-based sunscreen is recommended on a daily basis to prevent premature aging of the skin.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments to achieve optimal results will depend on your aesthetic goals and the condition of your skin. Improvement in hyperpigmentation/discoloration and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles can become noticeable after around five treatments. The treatments are spaced between 1 to 3 weeks. Maintenance treatments every three months are often recommended. Long term microdermabrasion can help rebuild the collagen in your skin giving your skin a healthier looking, smoother and tighter appearance.

Are there related risks with Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is considered a low risk cosmetic treatment that is generally safe for all skin types. With any procedure, there can be risk involved which include:

1- Uneven changes in skin color (temporary or permanent). This risk is higher in those with darker skin tones

2- Swelling

3- Infection of treated area

4- Hyperpigmentation from prolonged, unprotected sun exposure immediately following the treatment

Having your microdermabrasion treatment performed by an experienced provider will greatly reduce your risk of unwanted outcomes.

Microdermabrasion is a low risk, minimal to no downtime skin resurfacing treatment that will rejuvenate your complexion and increase collagen production with continued treatments. If you are interested in learning more about other skin resurfacing procedures, read our blog on


For a complementary consultation with one of our highly-trained providers in Northern Virginia, contact us today at NOVA Plastic Surgery at (703) 574-2588.

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