The Ultimate Guide to Microdermabrasion

Last fact-checked: 16 December 2020

Microdermabrasion is a rejuvenation technique used to improve the look of your skin by exfoliating the outer layer to reveal brighter, healthier and younger-looking skin. It works for all skin types on fine lines, acne scars, blocked pores and sun damage to create a healthy glow. 

Learn more about microdermabrasion and find top clinics in dozens of attractive destinations around the world with this Medical Departures guide. 

Am I Suitable for Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a softer form of dermabrasion, with less downtime afterward. Unlike dermabrasion (which is not recommended for dark skin as it can lead to scarring), microdermabrasion is suitable for all skin types.

If you have skin lesions, open sores or other medical conditions, such as a herpes breakout, you may have to wait until these have cleared up or been treated before microdermabrasion can be carried out.

Prospective patients should note that microdermabrasion is a painless skin-treatment that can help with blemishes, sunspots and fine lines, as well as improving skin texture for a youthful, healthy glow.

How Does Microdermabrasion Work? What Does the Procedure Involve?

Microdermabrasion works by spraying tiny exfoliating crystals onto the skin that remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of collagen–the protein building block of healthy skin, bones, muscles and other tissues. It is sometimes combined with a light chemical peel for a more pronounced effect. 

Microdermabrasion is performed using either of two safe methods:

  • Diamond-tip microdermabrasion: a diamond-tipped handpiece is used to gently exfoliate dead skin cells which are then sucked up with a vacuum device. This type of microdermabrasion is safer to use around the eyes than crystal microdermabrasion.

  • Crystal microdermabrasionSmall crystals are blasted onto the surface of the skin, gently polishing the dead skin cells off, which are then sucked up via a vacuum device. 

What Is the Recovery Time?

The recovery time for microdermabrasion is fairly minimal, one of the major plus points of the procedure.

Immediately after treatment, you may experience some redness and swelling to your skin. A good moisturizer with high SPF should relieve this and help your skin to return to normal. You should be able to apply make-up and return to your daily routine relatively soon—although do follow the medical advice given as to what you should avoid doing immediately afterward, such as staying out of the sun. 

How Do I Get Started?

Browse through our global list of microdermabrasion clinics here, with top-rated facilities located around the world in places like Mexico, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. 

You can quickly and conveniently book a free appointment online through our site, or connect with the Medical Departures Customer Care Team to find out more via phone, email or online chat. 


Dermabrasion. Mayo Clinic. 23 May 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dermabrasion/about/pac-20393764

Barrell, Amanda. What to know about microdermabrasion. Medical News Today. 24 October 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323443

Wisco, Lucie. What Is Microdermabrasion? Healthline. 27 September 2018. https://www.healthline.com/health/microdermabrasion