microdermabrasion treatment systems

Microdermabrasion side effects & risks

Microdermabrasion is an increasingly popular treatment for a variety of skin conditions partly because in comparison to alternative procedures microdermabrasion carries very few risks and side effects. There is always, however, a slight risk and possibility of side effects that comes with any treatment.

Microdermabrasion most common side effects­


The vast majority of microdermabrasion patients do not experience any side effects. Side effects of microdermabrasion that do occasionally occur are usually mild and temporary. The most common side effects of microdermabrasion appear on the facial skin and include;

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Dry skin
  • Flaking

The symptoms of microdermabrasion side effects are in many ways similar to sun burn and these usually subside within a day. Skin flaking may take between 2-4 days to appear; however, this is just part of the process of the skin healing itself.

Microdermabrasion side effects are caused primarily because highly sensitive skin that a patient may have. There is no need to worry or seek medical help if experiencing any of the side effects as they naturally subside.

Side effects in microdermabrasion acne treatment

One side effect that appears especially in acne microdermabrasion patients is a temporary increase in spots. This side effect is know as purging and is a natural reaction to microdermabrasion treatment. The exfoliating process that occurs during microdermabrasion unclogs pores releasing many of the acne causing bacteria. This results in a temporary surge in acne followed by improved skin.

Unsuitable candidates for microdermabrasion

There are some cases in which microdermabrasion should not be performed because the potential for side effects is too great. These include:

  • Pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Active herpes sufferers
  • Malignant tumour sufferers
  • People with Keratosis
  • People using Retin A of accutane

In all of these cases microdermabrasion is likely to result in complications. Pregnant and nursing mothers have fluctuating hormonal levels which will hinder the skin regeneration process.

Acne patients using a hydrocortisone cream such as Retin-A or accutane should discontinue using these creams at least one week before receiving microdermabrasion treatment.

Microdermabrasion risks

There are some very minute risks involved in microdermabrasion if the process is not performed correctly. This is why it s vital that you know your treatment provider has received proper microdermabrasion training. Risks include:

  • Microdermabrasion crystals in eyes
  • Inhaling microdermabrasion crystals
  • Infections

Microdermabrasion machines work on a closed loop circuit. This means that the crystals should never be let out into the atmosphere. This can only happen if the treatment provider makes a mistake which is extremely rare. If microdermabrasion crystals get into t he eyes there will be irritation which is uncomfortable but not highly dangerous. The risk of inhaling microdermabrasion crystals is similar in cause and effect to eye exposure. There will be some temporary respiratory difficulties but nothing more serious as the crystals are non toxic. If this is real worry for you then you should consider diamond microdermabrasion which eliminates the need for crystals.

The risk of infection is only a possibility is your treatment provider doesn’t take adequate hygiene steps. This involves sterilising microdermabrasion tips before use and ensuring only new crystals are used.

Avoiding microdermabrasion side effects

The most common side effects of microdermabrasion can in many cases be avoided provide the right post treatment steps are followed. These include:

  • Avoiding direct sunlight
  • Using moisturiser

After microdermabrasion the skin is particularly sensitive so exposure to sunlight can often result in skin irritation and increased redness. Using a moisturising cream after microdermabrasion also decreases the risk of skin dryness and flaking caused by the abrasive effect of crystals on the skin.