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Microdermabrasion Side Effects

Microdermabrasion Side Effects

If you are looking for microdermabrasion side effects, it is likely that you already have an idea of what the treatment is, how it works, and the different professional and at home options available to you.

Microdermabrasion is a great skin care treatment and many people see incredible results. However, before you invest on your first at home microdermabrasion machine, it is important to know what to expect from your first few microdermabrasion sessions, what are the side effects, and how to manage them.

What Is It?

Microdermabrasion is a procedure that exfoliates your skin using microscopic crystals or a slightly abrasive diamond tool to remove dead skin cells, improve scars, and rejuvenating dull and aging skin. Microdermabrasion is very effective, and you can see improvements in your complexion almost immediately. This procedure tends to be minimally invasive, unlike dermabrasion, which is a similar but more aggressive outpatient surgical procedure used to treat deep acne scars and other skin problems.

Dermabrasion treatments require local anesthesia or a numbing solution on your skin, while microdermabrasion is usually painless – some people compare it to how it feels when a cat licks your skin. Another big difference between dermabrasion and microdermabrasion is the recovery time; while you will need between 10 to 14 days to recover from a dermabrasion procedure, the recovery time can be as little as a few hours following a microdermabrasion session.

Microdermabrasion used to only be available at professional venues such as salons or dermatologists’ offices, setting you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars for each session. But now that technology has made its way into our homes and you can now find professional-grade microdermabrasion machines that are safe to use at home and provide you with the same results you would see at a salon for a fraction of the cost.

If you want to learn more about what microdermabrasion is and what are its benefits head over to our microdermabrasion guide here for the most up to date information and resources.

Side Effects

Side Effects

As with any skincare procedure or treatment, microdermabrasion should be done with caution, particularly on those with delicate skin. However, whether you do it at home or you go to a professional, it tends to be very gentle and effective when done correctly.

Some people do experience side effects during or after a microdermabrasion session, but most side effects tend to be minor and short-lived. Here is a list of the most common side effects of microdermabrasion and how to handle them.

It is important to remember that not everybody will experience the same side effects; some people might experience a couple, other might experience just one, while others will not see any side effects at all. It will all depend on your skin type and other factors.

Redness And Irritation

A very common microdermabrasion side effect is redness of the treated skin or even a little bit of irritation. This happens because your skin is being exfoliated by tiny, solid crystals or a diamond tip in a similar way to how you use sandpaper to sand a surface. It is buffing your skin while ridding it of dead skin cells.

Some people compare the redness and irritation that occur after a microdermabrasion session to the look of a mild sunburn, but it typically goes away within a few hours. If you experience extreme redness or irritation while using your at home microdermabrasion machine, it may be possible that you used a setting that was too harsh on your skin. To treat redness or irritation use a mild, soothing moisturizer (free from fragrance) and avoid direct sunshine for at least 7 days.

Pigment Changes

While microdermabrasion suitable for all skin types and colors, people with tanned or darker skin might notice some alteration to their color structure. As we mentioned earlier, the principle of microdermabrasion is scraping off dead skin cells, and therefore revealing a new skin layer. This new skin layer might be of a slightly different color than patches where you don’t use the machine (sensitive areas like the eyes), but don’t worry, your skin tone will even out in a couple of days to a week. If these off-colored or pinkish patches are painful or irritated, it is likely that the treatment was too aggressive on your skin.

Flaking Skin

Dryness or flaking is very common after a microdermabrasion treatment and it may cause your skin to feel itchy or tingly. To help your skin go back to its natural hydrated state, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply a moisturizer a couple of times a day, and drink lots of water.

Even if you don’t experience any side effects, your skin will always be a little sensitive after a microdermabrasion session so don’t pick any scabs or scratch your face to avoid permanent damage.


Both professional and at home microdermabrasion machines have a two-step method consisting of exfoliating your skin by either spraying tiny crystals or using a diamond tip and then using a vacuum system that sucks the dead skin cells and other debris away from your face. This vacuuming process can leave small bruises on your face, particularly on areas where the skin is very thin and sensitive like around your eyes or lips.

While it may not be possible to avoid bruising, if you know that you are prone to developing bruises or if you are taking blood thinners, try being extra gentle and not pressing the machine too hard on your face. Also, remember to always start with the lowest setting and only increase it if you need to.

Sun Sensitivity

Because you are using a tool much more powerful than your hands to exfoliate your skin, some degree of sensitivity will always occur right after treatment, so your skin will be much more sensitive and susceptible to sun damage. To avoid any sun damage or severe burning, avoid direct sunlight and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen even if you are planning on staying indoors.

Other Less Common Side Effects

While most at home machines use a diamond tip to exfoliate your skin, some professional treatment systems still use tiny crystals to blast away your dead skin. The problem with the latter method is that these tiny crystals can get into your eyes causing you irritation or even infections. Also, though very rare, some people have developed a cough or other respiratory problems after accidentally inhaling them during a microdermabrasion session.

Skin infections are also a rare but possible side effect. Skin infections after microdermabrasion happen when either the part of the machine that comes in contact with your skin was not properly cleaned, or when the crystals used are of bad quality or not handled properly. For example, if a machine was used on a person with severe acne and was not properly cleaned, the bacteria on their skin can transfer to your and be a cause for infection.

You can lower your risk of developing an infection by only going to professional and clean salons or by using your own microdermabrasion machine at home and making sure to clean it well after each use.

Though microdermabrasion in either of its forms is very safe, dermatologists and other skin experts are beginning to move towards the diamond tip method because it seems to be gentler on the skin, more hygienic and doesn’t pose a risk for your eyes.

How To Care For Your Skin After Microdermabrasion

Skin Care After Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is an excellent procedure to keep your skin young and clear, fade unpleasant skin marks such as acne scars, hyperpigmentation or age spots, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. An at-home microdermabrasion machine is an ideal investment if you are interested in taking your skincare routine one step further but don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on regular facial treatments.

The technology behind at-home microdermabrasion machines has evolved quite a lot during the past decade, and there are many machines that you can buy today that will yield excellent results while saving you tons of money.

Microdermabrasion is not only effective, but also very safe and gentle on your skin, and as opposed to other skincare treatments it can be used on any skin type or color. Side effects tend to be very mild and short-lived and the results are immediate, so to maintain your results and minimize side effects here are some steps you can take to take care of your skin after a microdermabrasion session.

Keep It Clean

Use a daily cleanser free of harsh chemicals that will irritate your skin further to wash your face. If you use makeup, don’t use any alcohol-based makeup removers since alcohol will dry out your skin even more. We love this Vitamin C cleanser because it is made with natural ingredients and it is free from any harmful chemicals. Click here to buy it from Amazon.

Also, remember to clean your microdermabrasion machine thoroughly – both inside and out. Clean it after every treatment and let it dry out completely before you put it away.


After you are done with your microdermabrasion session, you will have a new layer of surface skin on your face. To keep your skin looking like new, moisturize often to avoid any dry patches. You should moisturize at least twice a day or whenever you feel like your skin is drying out, especially the first 5 to 7 days after microdermabrasion. This Neutrogena moisturizer for delicate skin gently moisturizes your skin without leaving it greasy or heavy. Click here to buy it from Amazon.

Avoid Tanning And Direct Sunlight

Try to avoid direct sunlight or any other forms of UV light for at least 7 days after your microdermabrasion treatment. Sensitive skin will burn faster and will take much longer to heal, so wear sunscreen even if you are staying indoors and avoid any activities that will make you sweat a lot during the first week after your treatment.

Use Ice Packs Or Aloe Vera

If your skin is very irritated, use a cold compress or an aloe vera lotion will help your skin recover faster and make it look less red.


These were some of the most common side effects of microdermabrasion treatments. Microdermabrasion is a great tool for keeping your skin young and healthy and now with at-home machines, having perfect skin has never been so easy.

Side effects of microdermabrasion don’t happen to everybody, but even if they do, they tend to be very easy to manage and resolve quickly. Remember that to minimize any negative effects you should avoid the sun for a few days after your treatment and to keep your skin moisturized.

Looking for an at home microdermabrasion machine? Check out our microdermabrasion guide which can help you achieve beautiful skin.

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