Choosing the correct cosmetic treatment for your skin can be both confusing and difficult especially when the array of treatments available, sound similar to each other. Microdermabrasion, microneedling and microblading are some of the most popular non-invasive treatments used for rejuvenating the skin and fixing various skin problems. Even though the names of the treatments may sound similar to each other, each of these treatments serves a distinct purpose.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive skin treatment that involves spraying microparticles over the skin using a rotating hand-held device which is attached to a vacuum tube. While the microparticles exfoliate the skin, the attached vacuum suctions the exfoliated microparticles, dead skin cells and debris, thus rejuvenating the skin by stimulating new skin growth and encouraging collagen and elastin production.
This treatment primarily helps in internal skin repair by triggering wound response. Microdermabrasion is used to treat skin problems like age spots, sun-damaged skin, acne and acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks and skin pigmentation.
Some of the other advantages of microdermabrasion include: elimination of clogged pores, improvement of blood and lymphatic circulation within the skin and reduction of the size of skin pores as well as unclogging of the same. However, the treatment should be avoided on patients that have active acne such as whiteheads as the microparticles or crystals have a tendency to burst such pimples and spread infection.
Types of Microdermabrasion: Crystal and Diamond
Crystal microdermabrasion and diamond microdermabrasion are the two types of Microdermabrasion treatments available. Even though the methods used by both the treatments are different, the benefits offered by both the treatments are almost the same: a fresh, smooth and healthier skin.
Crystal microdermabrasion treatment involves using a hand-held device to spray microparticles such as aluminum oxide over the face at high speed and suction out dead skin cells and the exfoliating crystal debris. A vacuum tube attached to the device is used for the suction. The crystals help in deep exfoliation and trigger collagen production underneath the skin. Although, the abrasive nature of the crystals results in a deeper exfoliation, sometimes owing to its texture it not only leads to skin inflammation, but also some crystal particles may be left behind, embedded in the skin for prolonged periods of time.
Diamond microdermabrasion is a comparatively new form of microdermabrasion and uses a wand-like device which is encrusted with a diamond tip and attached with a vacuum to exfoliate and suck dead skin cells and debris like crystal microdermabrasion.
Crystal versus Diamond
The main difference between the two procedures is that while crystal microdermabrasion blasts a flow of aluminum oxide crystals over the skin to exfoliate the skin, diamond microdermabrasion is gentle as it exfoliates the skin by scratching the uppermost layer of the skin.
However, crystal microdermabrasion is believed to be more effective than diamond microdermabrasion because crystals hurled at high speed cause a deeper exfoliation than a diamond tip can achieve by being rubbed on the skin.
Both the procedures take about thirty minutes to be performed. The number of treatment sessions varies on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the patient’s skin condition and treatment objectives.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a non-invasive treatment that has become widely popular for being able to treat a large number of skin related problems and even hair fall.
Microneedling, as its name suggests, is a process that involves pushing or rolling a hand-held device consisting of hundreds of very fine needles over the face and affected areas to cause tiny but controlled injuries on the surface of the skin which trigger a wound repair process and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. For this reason, the treatment is also known as Collagen Induction Therapy.
Prior to injecting the needles, a numbing cream is applied to the skin. In certain cases, supplements or topical solutions are injected into the skin while rolling the microneedling device over the affected skin. This is done because the microneedling procedure is believed to facilitate and quicken the penetration of topical solutions applied on the skin and affected area.
Not only does microneedling treat skin problems like stretch marks, wrinkles, fine lines and acne marks but also improves skin texture and enhances hair growth. Other benefits offered by microneedling include size reduction of skin pores and anti-aging.
Types of microneedling tools: Dermaroller and Dermapen
Dermarollers and Dermapen are the two types of tools used in the microneedling procedure. Dermaroller is a hand-held device, that resembles a paint roller and comes with hundreds of tiny needles which are rolled over the skin to injure and trigger the skin regeneration process.
Dermaroller needles are available in different lengths and each has a different function. The various dermaroller needle sizes are 0.25 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.75-1.00 mm and 1.00-3.00 mm. 0.25 mm needle size is primarily used for facilitating transdermal absorption and does not help in collagen production. 0.5 mm needle size helps produce mild collagen and is mainly used for treating trivial wrinkles, sun-damage, fine lines, stretch marks, etc.
0.75-1.00 mm needle size works most effectively in stimulating collagen production and treats skin ailments such as shallow to deep wrinkles, stretch marks, uneven texture, hyperpigmentation, scars etc. Dermaroller with needle size 1.00-3.00 mm, is used to treat severe scarring, stretch marks, sunburn marks on the body. However, it should not be used on the face as the facial skin is tender and may incur serious injury.
Dermapen is an upgraded form of dermaroller and looks like a pen with numerous micro needles. This tool is also used to puncture the skin and serves almost the same purpose as the dermarollers.
Dermaroller versus Dermapen
Dermaroller microneedling treatment is more painful than dermapen microneedling treatment because the needles in the dermarollers pierce through the skin at various angles and have a tendency to cause micro tears on the skin, leading to a longer recovery time.
On the other hand, the needles in a Dermapen pierce through the skin vertically causing less tear and, thereby, requiring less time for recovery. Since a dermapen is not bulky like a dermaroller, it is far more effective for focused application in small, localized areas which require greater precision.
Like microdermabrasion, each microneedling session also needs about thirty to forty minutes and although three to four sessions are recommended for the best results, this depends on the exact nature and degree of the skin problem that is being treated.
What is Microblading?
Even though Microblading may sound similar to the above mentioned cosmetic treatments, it differs from both the treatments to a great extent. Microblading is a cosmetic treatment that uses a handheld device with micro needles to create tiny scratches on the skin to fill in dye or pigment.
Microblading can be used to on the eyelids to create a semi-permanent look of an eyeshadow and eyeliner, of a defined set of eyebrows, semi-permanent lipstick, lip liner and blush on the cheeks. This treatment is more like a semi-permanent makeup as the effect lasts somewhere between six to twelve months. Since the pigment fades away with time, touch up sessions are recommended for maintaining the desired results.