August 24, 2013
Making your skin look younger is an age-old trick for women and men alike. A wide variety of procedures has been attempted — from going under the knife to injection of chemicals into the face. There is no need to go to extreme lengths for younger-looking and healthier skin.
Microdermabrasion is a skin-care technique that helps improve your skin — not only on your face but also on your back, hands, arms and legs. It has been around for many years and can be a more effective alternative to costlier and more invasive procedures like cosmetic surgery and Botox injections.
Microdermabrasion is a device-based exfoliation system that removes the top layer of skin cells, leaving your skin smoother and more even in tone. It stimulates your skin to produce more collagen and elastin, leading to a youthful and healthy skin appearance.
Your skin is made up of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis layer is the top, most outer layer of your skin. It is a layer of dead skin cells that are in the process of maturing. It acts as a barrier between the outside world and the lower skin layers. It keeps all but the smallest molecules from getting through.
When you put lotions or creams on your skin, some of the moisture passes through this top layer, but not all of it. This top layer is where you will see your minor skin imperfections like fine wrinkle lines, acne scars, and other blemishes, including pigmentation of the skin.
When done in a professional setting with a specialized tool, microdermabrasion removes or breaks up the top layer of your skin. Your body will interpret this as a mild injury and rush to replace the lost skin cells with new, healthy skin cells. In the first hour after treatment, this causes mild edema, or swelling, and erythema, or redness. Depending on the individual, these side effects can last anywhere from an hour to two days.
With the top layer of skin gone, the skin’s surface is improved. The healing process brings with it newer skin cells that look and feel smoother. Some of the skin’s visible imperfections, like sun damage, blemishes and fine lines, are removed. Also, without this layer acting as a barrier, medicinal creams and lotions are more effective because more of their active ingredients and moisture can find their way down to the lower layers of skin. Since microdermabrasion temporarily removes some moisture from the skin, it is always followed by the application of moisturizing creams.
Early studies suggest that repeated microdermabrasion treatment at regular intervals may influence the way the lower layers of skin grow, removing deeper blemishes over time. Some evidence seems to indicate that the rapid loss of skin moisture may be what triggers the lower skin layers to work overtime in speeding healthy cells up to the surface. It is recommended that you receive four to six treatments over a two- to three-month period.
Microdermabrasion is also a popular go-to treatment for minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, as well as post-surgical and post-traumatic scars.
The Southeastern Lifestyle Day Spa offers microdermabrasion treatments performed by a licensed esthetician. Each treatment takes approximately 30 minutes. To schedule an appointment, call 910-738-9787.
Maureen Metzger is the supervisor of the Southeastern Lifestyle Day Spa, which is a part of Southeastern Health and is located directly behind the Southeastern Lifestyle Center for Fitness off of Fayetteville Road in Lumberton.