Introduction: Microdermabrasion ─ Types and Indications
Microdermabrasion (MDA) is one of the newest methods of facial treatment applied in modern esthetic courses to remove dead skin cells. This safe and non-invasive skin rejuvenation tool works by “mechanical exfoliation of the stratum corneum” (Papazian and Saba 55). After the procedure, the skin surface becomes more evenly textured (Papazian and Saba 55). The instrument used for MDA is a dual-channel handpiece blowing sharp crystals of tiny sizes, such as magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide, sodium chloride, and others (Papazian and Saba 55). When these crystals are applied to the skin, its surface becomes superficially abraded (Papazian and Saba 55). There are two kinds of MDA systems: crystal MDA and crystal-free MDA, each one having benefits and limitations. Crystal MDA is more effective due to the possibility of deeper penetration (Papazian and Saba 55). Crystal-free MDA is less expensive and pain-free (Papazian and Saba 55). MDA indications include acne scars, enlarged pores, fine rhytids, and dyschromia.
Outcomes of Microdermabrasion
MDA produces a variety of positive effects on the skin surface. At the clinical level, there is an enhancement in acne scars, melasma, and striae distensae (El-Domyati et al. 505). Concerning histopathology, MDA leads to the reduction of melanization and the growth of collagen fiber density (El-Domyati et al. 505-506). At the same time, research indicates no significant improvements in elastic fibers following orcein staining (El-Domyati et al. 506). At the histological level, positive changes in the epidermal layer have been observed (Fernandes et al. 26). To increase the effectiveness of MDA, aestheticians combine it with such methods as phonophoresis, low-intensity laser, or hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs (Fernandes et al. 29). Thus, the method is quite effective for managing skin surface problems.
Dermal Changes After Microdermabrasion
Upon the application of MDA, patients’ skin undergoes several alterations. First of all, the induced tissue damage provokes positive biochemical stimuli for the rejuvenation and re-epithelization of skin (Abdel-Motaleb et al. e11). Upon the peeling agents’ impact on the skin, significant wound-healing processes happen. These processes lead to smoothing and remodeling of the skin (Abdel-Motaleb et al. e11). Abdel-Motaleb et al. identify a crucial alteration that occurs after the application of MDA: the change in the dermal connective tissue and epidermal thickness (e12). Compared to chemical interventions, MDA is a little less pronounced but also less harmful.
Microdermabrasion in the Treatment of Striae Distensae
Striae distensae is one of the most challenging cosmetic issues. Ibrahim et al. compare the effect of MDA and other methods on patients suffering from this distressing skin condition (336). Research findings indicate that MDA has a less pronounced effect than the combination of MDA and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) (Ibrahim et al. 336). However, the application of MDA produces a more lasting result than the combination of MDA and PRP. Researchers note that MDA is effective in the treatment of striae distensae. However, the findings of another research show that MDA is not the most effective method in treating striae distensae. In particular, the experiment performed by Nassar et al. indicates that needling therapy is more effective than MDA (330).
Microdermabrasion is one of the most effective methods applied in skin aesthetics and skin surface therapy. Researchers emphasize the positive results after applying MDA for the management of such skin surface issues as stretch marks, acne scars, enlarged pores, and other problems. Some other methods may be applied to deal with similar skin conditions, but MDA is considered the most cost-effective and pain-free approach.
Abdel-Motaleb, Amira A., et al. “Dermal Morphological Changes Following Salicylic Acid Peeling and Microdermabrasion.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 14, no. 4, 2017, pp. e9-e14.
El-Domyati, Moetaz, et al. “Microdermabrasion: A Clinical, Histometric, and Histopathologic Study.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 15, no. 4, 2016, pp. 503-513.
Fernandes, Mariane, et al. “Effects of Microdermabrasion on Skin Rejuvenation.” Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, vol. 16, no. 1, 2014, pp. 26-31.
Ibrahim, Zeinab Abd El-Samad, et al. “Comparison Between the Efficacy and Safety of Platelet-Rich Plasma Vs. Microdermabrasion in the Treatment of Striae Distensae: Clinical and Histopathological Study.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 14, no. 4, 2015, pp. 336-346.
Nassar, Amani, et al. “Treatment of Striae Distensae with Needling Therapy Versus Microdermabrasion with Sonophoresis.” Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, vol. 18, no. 6, 2016, pp. 330-334.
Papazian, Nazareth J., and Salim C. Saba. “Microdermabrasion.” Operating Dictations in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, edited by Tuan Anh Tran et al., Springer, 2017, pp. 55-57.