Microdermabrasion FAQs: How Many Treatments Do You Need?

Microdermabrasion facial

Are you unhappy with the texture of your skin? Do you try to hide your areas of bad skin with your outfit, or even stay home because you feel self-conscious? Are you ready to step out of your hiding and into a healthy complexion? At Satin Med Spa, in Charlotte, NC, we are ready to help with all your microdermabrasion needs.

Microdermabrasion: What You Need to Know

This skin treatment is as easy as it is effective. It’s been in use throughout America since the mid-’90s, and since then has helped hundreds of thousands of people achieve better skin. So what is this skin treatment? How does it work? And how do you know if it’s right for you?

Why Choose This Treatment?

The key to understanding this treatment is in the name: abrasion. This treatment uses low levels of abrasion to gently exfoliate your skin, removing the dead particles so you are left looking renewed. It isn’t painful, and it is considered safe for most skin types. It can help with a whole host of skin issues. From everything to wrinkles, enlarged pores, and blackheads, to acne scars, uneven skin tone and texture, and dull complexion, this treatment allows you to live in your best skin.

If you are having any sort of skin problem, gently removing the dead cells allows healthier cells to thrive. Almost all the cells in our body die about every 7 years. The dead cells are removed from our body through different means. But when it comes to skin, sometimes we need some extra help. If you’ve ever exfoliated your skin at home, what you’re doing is helping to remove the dead cells. Using microdermabrasion is the same idea, except that in a professional’s hands, it can be much more effective than exfoliating yourself.

How Does It Work?

We know that this in-office treatment can provide a world of relief to individuals with skin problems. But how does it actually work? There are a couple of ways that this treatment can be done.

Crystal Microdermabrasion

This form of the treatment is the oldest, and it originally was brought to America from Europe. Because it’s been around for so long, it’s still the most popular form of the treatment. During the crystal treatment, super-fine crystal particles are sent through a tube on the machine. The crystal particles travel through the tube into a wand made of glass or stainless steel.

Through the wand, the crystal particles are sprayed over your skin then simultaneously vacuumed back away through the same wand. Essentially, the process is like a gentle and controlled sandblasting of your skin. Once vacuumed back up, the used crystal particles are deposited into a second receptacle to be discarded after the treatment.

It’s important to be aware that the crystal treatment doesn’t actually utilize the same kind of crystals that are so popular in jewelry. There are a couple options of different particles to use. The most common is aluminum oxide crystals because they offer great abrasive qualities. Also used, although less commonly, is magnesium oxide, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), or sodium chloride (table salt).

Diamond-Tip Microdermabrasion

This newer exfoliating treatment has gained recent popularity because it’s a crystal-free alternative. Theoretically, the removal of the free crystal particles can make the whole process easier and smoother, so to speak. If the crystal treatment is akin to sand-blasting, the diamond-tip treatment is like using sandpaper. It gets the same job done, but with a lot less mess and with a much higher measure of control.

Rather than using free crystals, this treatment uses a wand with a diamond-encrusted tip. The tip, which is abrasive because of the attached diamonds, works to exfoliate the skin and removes the dead skin cells. Simultaneously, the dead skin particles are vacuumed up into the wand to get them out of the way. People tend to prefer this method because it’s cleaner. Even though wand in the crystal treatment vacuums up the crystal particles, some tend to get left behind. By using the diamond version of the treatment, this eliminates any mess that might be left behind.

The increased popularity of the diamond-tip method, along with the higher level of cleanliness, is why we choose to use only this method of microdermabrasion at Satin Med Spa.

The Effects

After the treatment, your skin might be somewhat tender and red, but these symptoms will go away after a couple of hours as the skin begins to heal itself. The treatment doesn’t cause any downtime and you can resume your daily activities immediately. Unlike what you might think, this treatment doesn’t cause any pain.

One of the best parts of this treatment is that the positive results are immediately noticeable because the process effectively removes problem areas from your skin. Your skin will appear smoother and softer immediately as a result. Furthermore, removing a layer of the skin trigger’s the body to respond in the same way that it does when you are wounded. Your body immediately exerts itself to heal what it perceives to be a wound. That means that the skin becomes thicker, smoother, and healthier as it heals.

Beyond the Immediate Benefits

This treatment offers the obvious benefit of exfoliating your skin and removing the dead skin cells. If you’re having a specific area of skin that has some issue, the treatment helps to remove the damaged skin cells to give you a fresh and healthy complexion. But what else does this treatment do?

Dermal Stimulation

During the treatment, a vacuum-powered wand is used to suction up and remove dead skin cells or crystals after they have been used. But that’s not all the vacuum power does. The suction, or negative pressure, of the vacuum works to stimulate the dermis, or the second layer of the skin. This stimulation increases blood flow to the skin, allowing it to heal faster. The suction power triggers a remodeling process of the skin that helps it repair itself into a stronger organ.

Preventing Closed Comedones

Also important to know is that this treatment doesn’t just work to provide immediately smoother skin: it also works to help your skin remain smooth in the future. A common skin issue is the emergence of closed comedones, which are small bumps on the skin. They often look similar to acne but without the reddened color and the sensitivity.

Closed comedones form when skin cells and oil become trapped within the hair follicle, causing it to swell into a bump that you can see. Unlike blackheads, which are also known as open comedones, closed comedones have obstructed pore openings. While you can squeeze your skin to extract a blackhead, doing this on a closed comedo will only further aggravate the skin.

Because closed comedones are created by an excess of dead skin cells, there’s an obvious preventative solution: remove the excess dead cells through exfoliation.

How Many Treatments Do You Need?

Microdermabrasion is an effective treatment for a whole host of skin ailments because it promotes healthy skin. It can be used to help reduce wrinkles or redness, to revitalize complexion, and to rid the skin of age spots or brown spots. It’s great for acne or acne scars, and it will even out your skin tone and texture, and treat enlarged pores and blackheads. It’s just as useful as a preventative treatment as it is a curative for specific skin issues.

Because of the broad application of this treatment, there is no right answer to the question of how many treatments you need. Each complexion is different and requires unique care. That’s why your doctor will work with you to come up with an individualized plan for your skin treatment. They will consider various factors, like your skin problems and their severity, your skin type, and past skin treatments. Together, you can work towards a clearer and healthier complexion.

What to Expect From Your Treatment

We’ve covered the background on what this treatment is, how and works, and what it does. But what happens when you show up for your treatment?

The Consultation

Luckily, there isn’t much you need to do to prepare for the treatment. Before you schedule your treatment, you will meet with a skin care professional to discuss your skin issues and needs and determine if this treatment is the right option for you. During this time, you’ll want to discuss any current or past medical issues, surgeries or cosmetic procedures, and allergies. You’ll also want to let the doctor know about any medications that you are on, either prescription or over the counter.

During your consultation, the medical professional may tell you to stop using things like tanning creams or exfoliating creams for a week or so before the treatment. They may also advise you to avoid sun exposure and not do any waxing beforehand. Just like any conversation you have with a health professional, anything you say is protected by confidentiality.

The Treatment

Before the treatment, you’ll want to remove any makeup and wash your face thoroughly. Because the treatment involves removing portions of a layer of skin, having bacteria or other substances on your epidermal skin could introduce them to your system.

This treatment is done in-office so you won’t have to travel to a large medical facility for it. Usually, the treatment can be completed in under an hour, but this timeline can be affected by several factors, including the size of the area of skin being treated. The treatment is effectively painless, so you won’t be given any numbing agent or anesthesia.

You will be seated in a reclining chair to help you stay comfortable throughout the course of the treatment. Your health care provider will use a handheld device to slowly do away with the outermost layer of skin in specific areas. After the treatment, they will apply a moisturizer and sunscreen to your skin to help promote healing.

Once you are done, you can leave and continue on with your planned activities for the day. Depending on what your doctor suggests for treatment, you may come multiple times to treat your skin issues or you may only have to come back occasionally for maintenance sessions.

Is This Treatment Right for Me?

Now that you understand more about how this treatment works, you might be wondering if it’s the right choice for you and your skin. An aspect of the process that often holds individuals back is fear of pain. The way that this whole treatment works can be intimidating, to say the least. Having the word “abrasion” in the name doesn’t help too much, either.

The reality is that this treatment isn’t painful in the least. It has a scary name, but getting past that is the most difficult part. That’s because the treatment works by targeting very small areas of skin at a time. The health care professional will exfoliate your skin, inch by inch.

Another important thing to remember is the reality of exfoliation. You’ve probably noticed that dust tends to collect all of your home or office. It can seem like a strange phenomenon. After all, this dust is seemingly being created out of thin air. That isn’t what’s happening, though. Dust is almost all comprised of dead skin cells that shed themselves. Our skin doesn’t take much to shed, especially when dealing with dead cells. So even though the name of this treatment might be intimidating, the actual process of removing those dead skin cells is not.

Tried and True

If you are considering using this treatment to get healthier skin, but are still on the fence, why not make an appointment with a skin care professional to discuss your options? When meeting with a skincare professional, you can have all your questions answered and any concerns addressed. Making the choice to have any sort of treatment can be difficult. But when it comes to this treatment, why not try?

Unlike other ways to get healthier skin, this treatment utilizes your own body’s natural healing potential to give you the best skin possible. And unlike other treatments that introduce chemicals to your system, all this does is help your body rid itself of dead cells that are clogging your skin. Rather than putting things in your body, you’re removing unnecessary cells. It’s as natural as skincare can get.


When it comes to skincare, some answers are simple. We all want clear, lustrous skin, and there are a million creams and solutions aimed at helping us achieve it. Instead of investing in topical lotions that may or may not clear up your skin, invest in yourself.

Invest in your body’s ability to care for itself. Invest in your natural healing capacity. Invest in your skin. Help your body reach its full potential by speeding up the process by which your body sheds its dead cells. And this treatment doesn’t just work to get rid of dead skin cells. The negative pressure stimulates your circulation, promoting increased healing capacities and healthier, stronger skin. And the benefits of this treatment aren’t just immediate, they’re preventative. Investing in yourself will help your skin have a clearer future.

For more information, feel free to contact us at Satin Med Spa, in Charlotte, N.C. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about microdermabrasion or any of our other skin treatments. Call us today to schedule a consultation and start on your journey to healthier skin.

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