The side effects of microdermabrasion, such as redness and swelling, are often short-lived. Your skin may be dry and scaly for a day or two, or longer if you have sensitive skin. You may also have some minor bruising. The possible side effects of microdermabrasion are minimal and it is a very safe procedure.
The potential drawbacks are very limited, since Microderm only affects the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin. Common minor and temporary side effects include slight skin tightness, redness, bruising, and tenderness. As a general rule, the greater the potential benefits of a cosmetic treatment, the greater the potential risks and side effects. The potential risks of more aggressive treatments, such as dermabrasion and laser, are much greater than those of microdermabrasion.
The physical act of exfoliation, or the friction between the skin and the manual instrument, increases blood flow in the capillaries close to the surface. As the capillaries dilate, they become visible through the skin and cause skin redness or erythema. Your skin will likely return to its normal appearance a few hours after microdermabrasion. If you have sensitive skin, you may notice skin redness that lasts a little longer than a day.
Small colored spots, called petechiae, may appear on the skin after microdermabrasion. Like bruises and broken capillaries, petechiae are often a side effect of prolonged contact between the microdermabrasion device and the skin, or as a result of using the suction cup at too high a pressure. While common, petechiae are just a minor cosmetic problem that can often be hidden with makeup once the skin begins to heal, approximately 24 hours after the procedure. Signs of petechiae may remain for up to two weeks after treatment.
You may experience some dryness, scaly, or itchy skin immediately after microdermabrasion. If you have oily or combination skin, dry skin may not be as obvious, but you may notice a temporary reduction in fat after a microdermabrasion session. The possible side effects after a microdermabrasion session are limited. Patients may experience mild skin redness, tenderness, bruising, or petechiae, each of which disappears within a maximum of one day after treatment.
After dermabrasion, the treated skin will be red and swollen. The swelling will start to subside in a few days or a week, but it can last for weeks or even months. In recent years, dermatologists and microdermabrasion providers have begun to phase out crystal-based microdermabrasion systems in favor of hand-held, diamond-tipped devices. These homemade microdermabrasion kits often can't provide the depth of skin abrasion or remove dead skin cells by vacuuming them like professional microdermabrasion.
Most home microdermabrasion machines and kits are generally weaker than professional in-office treatments.