To reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines, uneven pigmentation, sun damage, oily skin and blackheads.

The treatment:

There are a number of different microdermabrasion systems currently available, which vary in intensity. A doctor or nurse can use stronger machines, while others can be used by beauty therapists.

The practitioner will use a hand piece to direct a fine jet of minute crystals across the surface of the skin. This loosens dead skin, and the crystals and dead skin are immediately vacuumed away. The flow of crystals and the vacuum pressure is customised according to skin type and desired result. Microdermabrasion takes less than 30 minutes, and a course of between 4 - 6 treatments is recommended.

Many laser and intense pulsed light practitioners suggest microdermabrasion before light based treatments, to improve the penetration of the light through the skin.

The results:

Microdermabrasion realigns the skin cells in the top layer of the skin and stimulates collagen growth. This thickens the skin, which in turn improves resistance to ageing and can also help to improve scarring.

The risks:

Mild redness may occur for between 30 minutes and half a day, depending on the aggressiveness of the treatment.

Before you start:

A course of homecare products may improve the results. You must wear a sunblock after this treatment.

Also see:

Chemical peel
Light rejuvenation therapy

Procedure information is copyright Department of Health (http://www.dh.gov.uk. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.