Microdermabrasion: Healing Properties Revealed
by Wendy Travis
Microdermabrasion is a common procedure performed in medical spas and skin clinics across the country, but recent studies reveal that its scientific “healing” properties might stretch beyond simple cosmetic benefits.
A microdermabrasion is performed using a diamond-studded instrument that removes outer skin layers, leaving smoother, softer skin underneath. In addition to the exfoliating properties of microdermabrasion, the process also stimulates molecular changes in the skin that are similar to the way the body heals itself from wounds. The molecular alterations actually lead to dramatic and long term results from the microdermabrasion procedure.
What is Microdermabrasion used for?
Microdermabrasion is frequently used for skin rejuvenation, because it can minimize or eliminate the appearance of acne scarring, wrinkles and pigmentation irregularities. However, until recently, medical experts were unsure exactly how microdermabrasion worked beyond the basic exfoliating benefits. The process appeared to stimulate the production of collagen in some patients, which resulted in smoother, firmer skin over the long term. However, not all patients undergoing microdermabrasion showed signs of collagen production.
To determine precisely what occurs within the skin after microdermabrasion, researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, conducted a study on 40 adults between the ages of 40 and 83 with sun-damaged skin. Each of the subjects was given a microdermabrasion treatment, but some procedures were done with a coarse-grit tool while others were performed with medium-grit abrasiveness. Skin biopsies were performed on all subjects four hours after the procedure and up to 14 days later.
Researchers found that the test subjects who underwent coarse microdermabrasion showed significant molecular changes in the skin, similar to what occurs when the body is healing itself from a wound. The substances produced as a result of the microdermabrasion included cytokeratin 16, which is a well-known substance used in healing, as well as a number of antimicrobial peptides that can effectively fight infection. Collagen precursors were also seen in the biopsies, suggesting the collagen production is indeed stimulated through coarse microdermabrasion.
What the Study Tells Us
So what is the moral of this story? According to the data researchers collected, microdermabrasion in its coarsest form does effectively rejuvenate and turn back the clock on the skin. In effect, the procedure "heals the wounds" of aging, allowing the skin to return to a younger appearance. Even after the exfoliation process is complete, the treatment continues to work by stimulating the body to produce a host of substances designed specifically for healing, toning and treating the skin. Those who undergo microdermabrasion will see the greatest anti-aging value in terms of minimal discomfort and downtime during and after the procedure, and long term, even permanent benefits from the treatment.
To learn more about what microdermabrasion can do for you, or to schedule a free consultation with a microdermabrasion provider near you, contact us today!
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