Dermaplaning and microdermabrasion are two terms in the medical spa and plastic surgery worlds that have come up with increasing popularity lately. They are two completely different procedures with a few similarities. If you are considering dermaplaning vs. microdermabrasion to rejuvenate your skin, either might be a good option, depending on what results you are looking for.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a procedure that gently sands down the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal the beauty underneath. It is an abrasive treatment, but it is not considered harsh or painful.
There are two popular methods for microdermabrasion. One is a small handheld machine that shoots tiny crystals onto your skin, allowing them to gently scrape away dead skin. It also has a vacuum that sucks up the dead skin cells.
A more modern approach is a special wand with diamonds on the tip for maximum exfoliating power. This diamond microdermabrasion also has a vacuum mechanism to take away dead skin cells that result. Either of these types of treatment are equally valid and effective, and take about 30 minutes to complete. Some patients feel a bit of a scratchy sensation after microdermabrasion in Houston, or just a vibrating feeling on their face, but it is not a very uncomfortable procedure. You can even safely undergo microdermabrasion while pregnant.
What is Dermaplaning?
Dermaplaning is a procedure that also removes layers of dead skin cells. It is performed by a surgeon using a specialized tool called a dermatome, which is somewhat like a razor. This shaves off the layers of dead skin and fine hair that can often trap oil and dirt on the face.
Dermaplaning can be performed as a gentle, all-over procedure, but it can also be carried out on a specified part of the skin to treat a problem area, such as an acne scar. Because of this, the length of time of the treatment depends on what skin imperfections you want to have treated and how large of an area must undergo treatment. It can take from just a few minutes to over an hour.
The Main Differences Between Dermaplaning and Microdermabrasion
When considering micro dermaplaning vs. microdermabrasion, you have to keep in mind what you are treating. Microdermabrasion is a more generalized procedure that can refresh your overall skin’s look and feel, reduce the appearance of acne, reduce stretch marks and even improve discoloration through gentle sanding. Dermaplaning is more akin to shaving the dead skin cells away to reveal the beauty underneath. It smooths the complexion and gives a new look and feel, with best results showing after a few months.
While dermaplaning can be done as a one-time treatment to fix a problem area or a gentle all-over procedure, microdermabrasion is best when repeated about once a month. That keeps your skin looking bright and fresh. Some dedicated patients start out with a more frequent regimen and then scale down to once per month when their skin has the natural glow they prefer.
The recovery time between these two procedures is also vastly different. Microdermabrasion is often referred to as a “lunchtime” procedure because there isn’t any downtime at all. You can book one in the middle of the day and head right back to the office! However, your surgeon may recommend that you use a special lotion or other skin products after the procedure for maximum effect.
The recovery time for dermaplaning is usually longer, but it depends on your specific case. You can expect to be a bit swollen, sensitive and red after the procedure. As new skin regrows you may experience some itching or tingling, but there are medications and creams you doctor can prescribe to help with those side effects.
You can go back to work right away with microdermabrasion, but you will probably not want to go back to work or resume normal activity right away after dermaplaning. You would need to avoid chlorinated pools and any activities that could cause a blow to the face for a few weeks. Avoiding the sun, or at least using plenty of high SPF sunscreen, is paramount until the full coloring returns to your new skin, which could take as long as three months. With dermaplaning you will need to use special hypoallergenic makeup if you want to cover up any resulting redness.
The Similarities Between Dermaplaning and Microdermabrasion
Both of these procedures can be used to improve the look of your facial skin and give you a fresh look. In fact, some surgeons will perform both of these at the same time, fixing one problem area with dermaplaning and giving the rest of the face a rejuvenated look with an overall microdermabrasion treatment. They both involve removing dead skin cells from the face to renew your look and they are both fairly simple procedures to perform. Both of these procedures can keep you looking young and beautiful.
If you have been considering dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion, schedule an appointment for a personal consultation with one of our plastic surgeons to find out which procedure is absolutely right for you.