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Does Microdermabrasion Work for Acne?

microderm patient

Acne is a psychologically debilitating condition that can impact both men and women in the teen years and well into adulthood. While acne is not considered a severe medical issue in most cases, the social implications have led to many treatment options to help reduce symptoms and manage the condition. While there continues to be no “cure” for acne now, there are effective treatments to minimize symptoms and help sufferers enjoy a higher quality of life. Is one of those procedures microdermabrasion? Before you book your appointment, there are a few facts about microdermabrasion and acne you need to know.

Acne Basics

Acne breakouts are caused by a series of events in the skin. First, oil glands begin working overtime to produce excess amounts of sebum, an oily substance that maintains lubrication of the hair and skin. The excess sebum combines with dead skin cells to plug the hair follicles at their opening on the skin’s surface. This blockage can turn into blackheads and whiteheads.

The blocked hair follicles can become infected with P. acnes, bacteria that live on the skin. The bacteria lead to inflammation, which can cause more substantial pimples and pustules that characterize an acne breakout. Effective acne treatments typically target the bacteria, destroying it to minimize skin breakouts.

There is no way to prevent acne from occurring. Contrary to the many myths surrounding this condition, you do not get breakouts from the foods you eat or even from poor hygiene. Much of your risk for acne depends on your genetics. Hormonal fluctuations often make the condition worse, which is why acne is more common during puberty. Women in menopause may also experience breakouts for the same reason.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is an exfoliation treatment that removes the outermost layers of skin cells that clog the pores and dull the complexion. The procedure uses a device to superficially sand the skin, creating an almost immediate healthy glow. There is no discomfort during microdermabrasion, and you can usually resume your daily tasks immediately after treatment. Because the procedure only addresses the outermost skin cells, it needs to be regularly repeated to maintain the positive results.

Microdermabrasion can be an effective cosmetic treatment for those suffering from mild acne breakouts. The exfoliation treatment minimizes the appearance of whiteheads and blackheads creating a smoother look to the skin’s surface. It can also work to diminish shallow scarring acne breakouts often leave behind.

Limits of Microdermabrasion

While microdermabrasion offers some benefits to mild acne sufferers, there are limits to exactly what this procedure can do. The treatment only impacts the surface of the skin and is unable to work beneath the surface where bacteria builds up to exacerbate breakouts. If your acne is severe, microdermabrasion may spread the bacteria that is already present, worsening the condition in some cases.

A Better Option

Although microdermabrasion is somewhat limited in its ability to treat acne, other procedures can address the condition at its source for superior results overall. At Vein Care Center, we offer laser acne treatments using the innovative Cutera Excel V. This device safely addresses all types of acne, including:

  • Pustules and papules (basic pimples)
  • Whiteheads and blackheads caused by clogged pores
  • Cysts and nodules (characteristic of more severe breakouts)

The design of the Excel V offers superior precision over other laser devices, making this an excellent choice for skin rejuvenation as well as acne treatment. The handpiece resembles a large pen, allowing for delivery of the laser energy directly where it needs to go to have the greatest effect. Integrated cooling provides a more comfortable treatment experience and minimizes side effects as the skin maintains a consistent temperature throughout the procedure.

Excel V treatments typically don’t take long to perform, and most patients find the procedure to be relatively comfortable. You will be able to resume daily tasks immediately following your appointment. Your skin may be slightly red and tender, similar to a sunburn, after the treatment, but these side effects typically subside within a day or two.

Attacking Acne at its Source

Excel V makes for an efficient acne treatment because it can attack the condition at its source. First, the laser energy may reduce sebum production, which means pores are less likely to become clogged with the substance. More important, the laser affects compounds with the bacteria that causes acne, destroying the bacteria to reduce breakouts and create clearer skin.

While you will likely need a series of treatments to achieve the best possible results, once you achieve that outcome, it should be long-lasting. We recommend four treatments, spaced two to four weeks apart, to give you the clearest, healthiest skin. Your positive results will develop gradually as the bacteria are destroyed and the skin becomes pimple-free over time. We offer packages to our patients to make the process more affordable and to encourage our patients to stick with the full treatment protocol.

Is the Cutera Excel V Right for You?

The Cutera Excel V is a versatile laser that addresses a variety of concerns beyond acne. At Vein Care Center, we use this device to treat superficial spider veins as well as pigmentation irregularities on the skin. Our experience with this procedure ensures we can tailor your treatment to your precise needs and aesthetic goals. At your initial consultation, we will examine your skin and discuss the results you hope to achieve to determine whether the Cutera Excel V is the right choice for you. To learn more or schedule your consultation today, contact the Vein Care Center at 419-227-4472.

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