Microdermabrasion is one of the most popular procedures in aesthetic surgery today. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, microdermabrasion was one of the top five minimally-invasive procedures performed in the United States in 2005, with 838,000 procedures performed by board-certified physicians.

Courier News polled experts on what information physicians should give to their patients before they undergo microdermabrasion.

Physicians should start by telling their patients the best-suited locations to receive their treatments. Most physicians believe that a plastic surgeon’s office is the place to go, because the staff will be medically trained. They should also tell patients about the tools surgeons use and the results they think their patients can realistically achieve.

It is important that physicians speak to their patients about the risks involved. Whereas microdermabrasion is generally painless, performing the treatment on skin abrasions that are already raw can cause irritation. A too-aggressive of a treatment can remove live skin cells as well as dead, which can leave light-colored spots that can take months to go away.

Immediate follow-up care is just basic skin sense, according to experts. Physicians need to speak to their patients about the importance of wearing sunscreen.

Microdermabrasion is not recommended for patients with very fair skin or rosacea. Some patients choose aesthetic microdermabrasion because it feels good, much like a facial. To remove mild acne scars, as well as whiteheads and blackheads, physicians recommend medical-grade microdermabrasion.

The face is the most common place for microdermabrasion, because it is the most visible and it the most exposed to sun and other elements. However, the neck, hands, and chest may also be treated. The back and backs of the arms are candidates for patients who have acne in those areas.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery recommends that patients ask their physicians whether or not they have performed microdermabrasion on the specific part of the body where they want to see results.

[www.c-n.com, January 14, 2007]