A Fresh Look at a Core Modality

In the May/June issue of ASCP's Skin Deep magazine, we take a fresh look at microdermabrasion

Article written by ASCP columnist Susanne Schmaling

Although many skin care professionals may think of microdermabrasion as an “old school” technique, it should still be considered the core of an esthetician’s practice.

Scientific findings support the use of microdermabrasion for the effective treatment of sun damage, aging skin, and acne. Studies show increased epidermal thickness, increased papillary dermal collagen, and healthier skin barrier function are possible with the correct use of microdermabrasion with aluminum oxide crystals. Other methods of microdermabrasion, such as diamond tip and wet microdermabrasion (also known as hydrodermabrasion), are effective as well. However, operational guidelines are different when using aluminum oxide crystals.

Microdermabrasion is a modality where proper skin analysis and a thorough consultation are imperative. It is also important for estheticians to manage realistic client expectations. Here is a quick guide to help you decide if microdermabrasion is the right treatment for your client:

  1. Identify the client’s skin type.
  2. Identify the client’s Fitzpatrick type.
    As a general rule of thumb, Fitzpatrick IV, V, and VI are more prone to pigmentation issues and extra care should be taken to avoid this.
  3. Identify the client’s healing response time.
    Do they scar easily? Does the skin discolor and stay that way or does it fade after an extended period of time? Do they form keloid scars?

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