Difference between Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peel

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are cosmetic procedures that exfoliate the outermost layer of skin to reveal smooth, fresh and healthy cells from under the dead ones. Though both microdermabrasion and chemical peeling are cosmetic skin-care treatments that have similar effects and uses, they are two different procedures and getting these treatments together can cause serious damage to your skin.

The basic difference between the two is in the extent of exfoliation they can achieve. Microdermabrasion is a gentle and non-invasive technique to remove the surface skin, and is mostly used to treat superficial imperfections. A chemical peel on the other hand, is an aggressive exfoliation method used to treat serious skin problems.

Likewise, the recovery time for both these procedures also differs considerably. Patients usually need a few days to recover from microdermabrasion treatment, whereas chemicals peels take weeks or even moths to fully recover.

Side effects of microdermabrasion tend to be only slight redness, swelling and stinging, which fade away after a few hours. A chemical peel on the other hand, can cause blisters, swelling and serious flaking. After a chemical peel you will also be at the risk of permanent changes to your skin tone. The treated area will be extremely red for at least a few days, and sensitive to sunlight until completely healed.

Unlike microdermabrasion, chemical peels come in varying strengths, from mild to medium and deep. Deep chemical peels are usually performed under local anaesthesia since the discomfort is quite high. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is a simple, painless procedure, but some patients may experience sensations of warmth, tingling and burning.

For optimal results, a patient is required to schedule 6 to 12 sessions of microdermabrasion, with two-week intervals. Deep chemical peel on the other hand, is performed only once in a patient’s lifetime.


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    Microdermabrasion is a gentle cosmetic procedure that uses a chemical medium to exfoliate the dead skin cells from the epidermis. It is used to treat superficial skin conditions, such as acne marks, sun damage, discolouration, enlarged pores and fine lines.

    Image courtesy: dsmplasticsurgery.com

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    Chemical peels

    A Chemical peel is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment to scrub away the top damaged layers of the skin to reveal younger-looking, healthier and rejuvenated skin underneath. It is an effective cosmetic procedure used to treat serious skin problems like wrinkles, deep acne scars, severe sunburn marks etc. Chemical peels are best done at a dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s office.

    Image courtesy: thebeautyjunkee.blogspot.com

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