What are Stretch Marks and What Does Microdermabrasion Do?
To understand how microdermabrasion works, you need to understand the pathology behind stretch marks. Stretch marks, or more scientifically known as striae, are deposits of damaged collagen that are located in the cutaneous layers of the skin. They form when trauma, usually in the form of weight loss, affects these deposits, permanently damaging them. Treament methods are geared at reducing the appearance of these marks.
Stretch marks are permanent tears in this collagen, and cannot fully be cured without surgical removal. They can appear as red or greyish linear lines in the affected area, usually the abdomen or thighs.
The aim is to enhance the aesthetic look of these areas, because they cannot be fully treated without invasive techniques.
How does Microdermabrasion Work?
Microdermabrasion, as the name suggests, is an abrassive therapy to remove the microscopic, outer layers of dermal tissue using a mechanical medium. These cells that are removed are dead tissues, arising from the tissues that propagate new cell growth at deeper layers of the skin. Salicic and glycolic acids are used in combination with the abrasive to remove all excess dead cells in the area. This allows for other, less volatile therapies to be implemented with greater success.
What Types of Materials Are Used?
- Microdermabrasion crystals; sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, aluminum oxide
- Grains made from organic substrate
- Synthetically made diamond-tips
This can be completed with microdermabrasion home kits, at special health spas, or through medical clinics. The best microdermabrasion results typically come from stretch mark sufferers who use their local dermatologist to select and implement the best abrasive. This is also the safest manner, because trained physicians can treat any subsequent side-effects associated with the tissue removal.
While this is a relatively simple therapy, there are very subtle risks. Microdermabrasion, by the nature of the therapy can cause minor skin infections that are usually just local to the treatment. These can be treated topically with over-the-counter ointments or oral antibiotics.
The cost of microdermabrasion varies with each method. At home kits are fairly cheap and usually cost the patient less than 300 dollars. Spas, which employ trained professionals, vary on the type of spa and location (resort spas, etc.) For a quality session with a dermatologist, the cost can range upward of 2,000 dollars.
What must be weighed in however, is the subsequent secondary treatments with microdermabrasion. Obviously quality of treatment is an issue, but microdermabrasion isn’t meant as a sole treatment for stretch marks. Lotions, oils, and even laser therapy should be used in combination with microdermabrasion to enhance the overall efficacy of the treatment.