Microdermabrasion is a simple, non-invasive cosmetic enhancement treatment that rejuvenates skin on the face or body.

Fast Facts

  • As microdermabrasion is not painful or invasive, it requires no downtime.
  • Little or no preparation is needed for a microdermabrasion treatment.
  • Microdermabrasion is quick and offers a good alternative to more invasive and expensive procedures as cosmetic surgery, chemical peels and wrinkle relaxing injections.

It is used to treat and lighten scars, skin discoloration, sun damaged skin and stretch marks. It may not remove prominent acne scars or other deep facial indentations completely.

Microdermabrasion can be used as a series of between five and 12 treatment sessions every seven to 14 days. Visible results usually begin after four or five sessions. This treatment may also be incorporated into a regular skin maintenance plan, with monthly or quarterly treatments.

Microdermabrasion is quick and offers a good alternative to more invasive and expensive procedures, as cosmetic surgery, chemical peels and wrinkling relaxing injections.

Microdermabrasion was the fifth most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments performed in the US in 2011, with over 900,000 procedures and a growth rate of over 9 percent from 2010.

Most commonly microdermabrasion is used on the face or as a facial, it can be used on other parts of the body such as the upper thighs, buttocks or neck.

Reasons for choosing to have microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is one of the most popular non-surgical skin treatment in Australia due to its low cost, little to no downtime and great results. It is a useful treatment for a variety of concerns:

  • As a treatment for acne and acne scars
  • To remove blackheads and age spots
  • To eliminate darkened skin patches
  • To freshen up skin through exfoliation
  • To remove or diminish the appearance of stretch marks
  • To get rid of unsightly enlarged pores
  • To reduce fine lines and wrinkles

As microdermabrasion is not painful or invasive, it requires no downtime. While it is mostly in demand by men and women in the 35 to 50 age group, anyone, at any age, may benefit from this treatment.

What to expect

Cosmetic surgeons, doctors and skin care specialists can perform microdermabrasion. The procedure is also provided by beauty therapists and as part of spa treatments.

Microdermabrasion can be performed using two different techniques. In one method, a hand-held device streams very small diamond crystals, which abrade the treatment area, while another device sucks up the used crystals and the loosened, dead skin particles. Another method uses a diamond-tipped wand that is moved across the skin to remove the topmost layer of skin.

Treatment with either method will take between half an hour and one hour.

Expect to feel a mild scratching sensation across the skin as the device removes superficial skin cells.

Most people will not require local anaesthesia for this treatment. If you feel any discomfort at all, it is likely to be short-lived. There may be some redness and swelling around the treatment area, but this should subside within a few hours. Your skin may appear pinkish for a couple of days and feel dry and flaky for several days following. To treat or prevent this result you will be asked to use a special moisturiser or other skin care products. These will help prolong the effects of the treatment and enhance your skin.

Before and after treatment

Little or no preparation is needed for a microdermabrasion treatment.

After microdermabrasion, follow your practitioner’s instructions to the letter. Use whatever skin care products are recommended. When you go out into the sun it is especially important to protect your skin with sunscreen.

Microdermabrasion is especially popular for acne and can produce some excellent results like this:

Microdermabrasion before and after just one treatment

Microdermabrasion can sometimes produce incredible results in just a single treatment, like this one:

Possible risks and complications

Besides minor discomfort, redness, swelling and dryness, some people experience

  • Bruising. This occurs very rarely and is a result of the suction function in dermabrasion equipment. Bruising can last for a few days after treatment.
  • Enhanced skin sensitivity, especially to sun exposure. The best solution is to use a sunscreen with a high SPF.

To avoid unnecessary risks and complications and to get the best possible results, use the services of a qualified professional who has performed the treatment many times. While microdermabrasion can be performed by a beauty therapist or at a spa, it is better to choose a facility where a medical professional supervises the treatment.

Rough costs involved

The average cost of each microdermabrasion treatment session ranges between $119 and $200 (AUD) depending on the clinic.

Discounts of up to 20% can often be found by buying packages of 3 or more treatments.

You should expect the costs to be higher if you are having combined treatments at the same time, but the cost of each treatment will often be lower by having them together. A common combined treatment is to have a microdermabrasion before a laser treatment or combined with an LED treatment.

This information is correct as of 2020.

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