Microdermabrasion and chemical peels appear to be similar treatments at first glance. Upon further investigation you will quickly discover that these are two very different methods to enhance the natural glow of the skin on your face. Before seeing your dermatologist, read on to decide which method of treatment sounds right for you.
Understanding the Procedure
A microdermabrasion is the less intense option of these two procedures. This method is best referenced as a skin polishing. The outermost layer of skin, the superficial layer, is gently rubbed away leaving a healthy fresh glow in its place. This method is most commonly used to treat leathery dull skin, exfoliate plugged pores, and even your skin tone. Microdermabrasion works by stimulating production of skin cells and collagen. This stimulation results in a more youthful appearance. Results of this method are more subtle, but it’s a wonderful alternative for those with more sensitive skin that is unable to handle the harshness of chemical peels.
Microdermabrasion is done with a machine that has a diamond tip which is applied to the surface of the skin with a closed vacuum device attached to it. The diamond tip polished the surface of your skin as the suction from the vacuum stimulates blood flow and production of collagen. As the gentle abrasion loosens the layer of dead skin cells the vacuum removes this debris from the skins surface and filters it for disposal. This procedure typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes and is followed by 5 to 11 more treatments. It is recommended that these following treatments are scheduled 3 to 4 weeks apart in order to achieve the best results. After the first regimen is finished you may require touch up treatments periodically to maintain your results.
The most commonly reported side effects of microdermabrasion is minor irradiation and dryness, as well as mild redness immediately following the procedure.
Difference of Chemical Peels
Chemical peels provide far more significant results, but they also require a much more intense procedure. These peels help with minimizing fine lines and softening deep wrinkles, and are known to smooth superficial acne scarring, sun damaged skin, or rough and dry skin. A serious of peels is typically recommended to achieve the best results in intervals with 2 to 4 weeks between each peel. Your first chemical peel will be the mildest with a gradual increase through the following treatments you receive. Redness of the skin, followed by scaling and flaking is commonly noticed the first few days following a chemical peel treatment. It is vital to avoid sun exposure during the skins process of peeling. One to two weeks following all chemical peel treatments you must protect your skin with a sunscreen labeled SPF 30 or higher.
When you go into an office or clinic for a chemical peel the first thing that will happen is your skin will be cleaned. After this the chemical will be applied. The chemical used for chemical peels penetrates through the dead skin cells and stimulates the growth of a new epidermis. Peels often produce warm or hot sensations lasting anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. This will be followed with a sensation of stinging. Many offices have a small fan set up to alleviate some of the discomfort these sensations cause. Following treatment it is recommended to only clean your skin with a mild soap and then moisturize. Some providers suggest using an antibiotic ointment, steroid ointment, or ibuprofen to help with swelling and tenderness.
The most common side effects of a chemical peel include pain, redness, discomfort, and cold sores. Some patients have listed pigment changes that have typically faded with time. Sensitivity to natural factors such as irritants, sun and windburn have also been noted.