Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are two skin treatments that may sound similar, but they are actually two very different procedures. Dermabrasion works on more layers of skin, so it can treat deep wrinkles, scars, and hyperpigmentation. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, only provides an intensive exfoliation that rejuvenates the skin, but does not work on skin problems that run deep. Before getting one of these treatments, you should understand the difference so that you get the right treatment for your situation.

What is Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a treatment in which a dermatologist or plastic surgeon uses a special instrument to basically sand your skin. This allows new, smoother skin to replace the skin that has been treated. Dermabrasion is often used to remove scars on the skin, especially the face, such as acne scars or pox marks. It can also work on deep wrinkles and other skin problems. However, it cannot help with some skin problems, such as pigmented birthmarks, moles, or burn scars. It can also cause discoloration or scarring in those with darker skin. Dermabrasion is typically performed in a doctor’s office and requires some type of anesthetic. You might also be given medicine to help you relax.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is performed by spraying small exfoliating crystals on the skin to remove the unsightly or damaged sin. It is basically an intensive exfoliation and skin rejuvenating treatment, rather than any type of surgery and does not require any anesthetic. It works best on skin problems such as age spots, dark spots, or dull skin, although it can also help with fine lines and wrinkles. It does not work on removing skin problems that effect many layers of skin, including stretch marks, wrinkles, scars, or deep acne scars. It only makes subtle changes, improving your complexion, and does not affect the skin’s pigment, so it is safe on all skin types and skin colors.

What is the Difference Between the Two?

Dermabrasion is more invasive than microdermabrasion. It affects deeper layers of the skin, so it can work on scars and other significant skin problems. However, it also means there is a longer healing time. You might feel a burning sensation for a few days, and you might be given medicine to help with the discomfort. The healing time lasts between 7 and 10 days, although the skin may remain pink for about six to eight weeks. You have to avoid sunlight until the pink color fades. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, has a smaller window of healing. The skin will be temporarily pink, but within 24 hours it is well.

Because dermabrasion is a more invasive treatment, it also has more possible side effects. It could cause uneven changes in skin color that may be temporary or permanent, it might cause a scar, infection may occur, and there may be a darkening of the skin. Microdermabrasion on the other hand has minimal side effects, typically just the potential for irritation if the crystals get into eyes. Once you have undergone the treatment, be sure to take care of the skin to ensure it heals well and does not lead to more problems.

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Do These Skin Lighteners Work?

Do These Skin Lighteners Work?

Many people try to find the perfect skin lightener to help fade unsightly scars, but are faced with a dilemma as they try to determine which products on the market actually work. Additionally, you have to be careful about using some of the products out there that are slightly effective, yet dangerous. Before you choose a scar treatment to reduce the look of your scars or dark spots, you should know more about the different ingredients. Some of the most common treatments for skin lightening, include lemon juice, hydroquinone, kojic acid, and vitamin C.

Lemon Juice on Acne Scars

Lemons are truly a versatile citrus fruit, with a variety of health, beauty and home cleaning uses. Lemons contain vitamin C, limonene, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), hesperidin, quercetin, naringenin, and other phytonutrients that are beneficial to skin health. Many studies have found beneficial uses of lemons, if consumed, such as aiding to reduce acne. However, lemon juice directly on your skin can cause photosensitivity, and since UV rays can darken your scar, it is not advisable to do so.

Read: How Does the Sun Affect Scars?

Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone has become a popular skin lightening cream, and is a popular ingredient in scar treatment products. Hydroquinone inhibits melatonin, which is the protein that provides your skin color, so it does lighten the skin. However, it can be toxic in high concentrations, including having carcinogenic properties and contains mercury. It has also been associated with ochronosis, a disfiguring skin condition that darkens the skin. It can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, which can increase your risk of sunburn. It is common to have allergic reactions to the chemical and due to this, some countries have banned hydroquinone. It is best to not use hydroquinone and rely upon other treatments to help heal your skin.

Read: The Dangers of Using Hydroquinone to Fade Scars and Hyperpigmentation.

Kojic Acid

Kojic acid comes from Japanese mushrooms and is also a byproduct of the fermentation process that produces sake. It can lighten skin, but it does not help diminish other aspects of scars. It can be dangerous to use because it can cause heightened skin sensitivity, cause hormone disruption, and lead to allergic reactions. It also can increase the risk of sun damage because it weakens the natural defenses against UV rays. Therefore, it is best to avoid kojic acid.

Read: Does Kojic Acid Work on Acne Scars?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and important vitamin that promotes the body’s natural healing processes. Many people know to take vitamin C when fighting a cold or the flu, but it can also help your skin heal from injury and trauma, including reducing scars. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C fight the free radicals that cause cellular damage to the skin, which includes to the melatonin that affects your skin color. Therefore, it can help to lighten the skin and fade scars, especially when using a scar treatment that has a stable form of Vitamin C. It goes beyond just lightening the skin; it also promotes healthy collagen production, which can reduce the size and appearance of scars and keep your skin healthy.

When choosing a scar or skin lightening treatment, you should avoid the harsh skin lighteners such as kojic acid and hydroquinone, and stick with products that have licorice root and especially vitamin C.

Do you have a question about your scars or dark spots? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to help.

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How Does Vitamin C Improve Scars?

How Does Vitamin C Improve Scars?

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins that you can get for a strong and healthy body. You probably already know about the many nutritional benefits that Vitamin C can provide you with, including a boosted immune system and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. However, what many people don’t know is just how crucial Vitamin C can be to one’s ability to heal from injuries, which include scars.

Vitamin C can have numerous benefits on scars when properly formulated for use on the skin. First of all, it can have a huge effect on scar pigmentation, and can be one of your best tools in helping to fade scars, regardless of the type of scars that you have. Not only does Vitamin C in general help to promote healing, but it also has a strong antioxidant effect on the body.

This is crucial when it comes to scar healing and scar depigmentation, because the free radicals that Vitamin C helps to combat are the same ones that can cause severe and permanent cellular damage to your skin. It has been shown to be incredibly effective in helping to fade acne scars in particular, but can be useful for all scars on all parts of the body as well. The ability of Vitamin C to protect the body and boost the immune system is also important in helping to avoid additional irritation, inflammation, and potential infection of a healing wound, which can make a developing scar drastically worse.

Vitamin C doesn’t just have an effect on the pigmentation of scars, though. One of the biggest problems that many individuals face when it comes to the treatment of their scars, whether old or new, is the fact that though they are able to help fade their color, they are unable to reduce their size. Healthy collagen production is necessary to reduce the size and appearance of scarring overall, and that is something that Vitamin C can play a big role in, as this vitamin is essential in the collagen production that is required to formulate healthy connective tissue in a wound.

Read: What is a stable form of Vitamin C?

But overall, one of the most important things to know is that Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing, a medical fact that has been known since the early part of the twentieth century. In addition to ensuring that you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet on a regular basis, it may also be important to begin using a topical Vitamin C scar treatment on your scars as quickly as possible after an injury or the development of a scar in order to see the best possible results.

It’s easy to see just how important Vitamin C is to the healing, fading, and even prevention of scars. Its effect is unparalleled when it comes to treating scars, as it can meet many of the most basic needs of those individuals who are looking to reduce their appearance. Just remember – your body naturally loses Vitamin C over time, so be sure you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet and that you are using a topical scar treatment that contains Vitamin C in order to properly heal any scarring.

Do you have a question about your scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Does Self Tanner Darken Scars?

Does Self Tanner Darken Scars?

Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes a host of new concerns regarding the health and beauty of our skin. Self-tanner is an incredible option for those who want a beautiful, sun-kissed glow without actually having to bake in the sun and absorb its harmful rays . However, both experienced and new users of self-tanner are likely to have a host of questions regarding this type of product, especially when it comes to the effects that it will (or won’t) have on their scars.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer when it comes to whether or not self-tanner can darken your scars. On the whole, scars tend to be unpredictable when it comes to self-tanning products, as scar tissue is different from normal tissue. In some cases, scars may darken along with the rest of your skin. In other cases, the darkening effect will be less than that of surrounding skin. And, in some cases, self-tanner may have no effect on scars whatsoever.

There are two ways to predict how self-tanner will react with your scars. The type of scars that you have will play a big role in whether or not self-tanners will darken them, as well as the level of DHA in the self-tanner.  Acne scars, especially in cases of scars with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, is one example in which self-tanning treatments can make the scars more noticeable. It’s therefore advised that if you choose to use self-tanner, you may want to keep it away from the face, where acne scarring and hyperpigmentation may be more prominent.

Small surface scars will usually darken along with the rest of your skin, though they may still be noticeable afterwards. Self-tanner may have virtually no effect on keloid scars. Their effect on stretch marks and other similar types of scars is often negligible. However, with any types of scarring it is important to point out that self-tanner is likely to have the most effect on older scars.

It’s a good idea to use a small amount of self-tanner to test an area of skin with scars in order to determine the effect that it will have before you put it on all over. Self-tanner lotions are generally preferred on scarred skin because it gives you a greater amount of control over where the tanner goes.

So long as you’ve prepared you’ve test patched a small area of your scar(s) in advance and taken steps to ensure you know what the end result of using self-tanner on your scars will be, you can have a healthy and beautiful summer glow. Just remember that even with a “fake” tan from self-tanner, you should always use broad spectrum sunscreen to protect yourself from sun damage, whether you’re spending the day at the beach or the afternoon in your garden. Self-tanner will not protect you from sun damage, a sunburn or further permanently darkening your scar. And just remember, regular tanning is not an option when it comes to scars.

Do you have a question about your scar? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Does Kojic Acid Work on Acne Scars?

Does Kojic Acid Work on Acne Scars?

Kojic acid is a substance produced by certain Japanese mushrooms. It is also a by-product of the fermentation process utilized in making sake (Japanese rice wine.) It is often found in scar therapies thanks to its ability to lighten skin, including dark scars and other dark spots. However, kojic acid is a potentially dangerous ingredient and individuals considering a scar therapy cream containing kojic acid should learn more about its dangers before deciding to use it.

The short answer to the question, “Does Kojic Acid Work on Acne Scars?” is yes – but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Like hydroquinone, kojic acid can lighten dark scars and spots and even improve melasma (a skin discoloration associated with pregnancy and oral contraceptive use), but its effectiveness is limited to the dark pigment of scars and it does not address other scar needs such as flattening, softening, or reducing in any way other than lightening. In addition, studies suggest some potentially serious health effects.

Heightened Skin Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions: Skin Deep, a database of thousands of cosmetics and their safety profiles, cites kojic acid as moderately to highly hazardous as a cosmetic ingredient, pointing to concerns such as allergies, increased skin sensitivity, and possible hormone disruption. Skin sensitization is a problem because it can result in allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis can cause bumps or a rash, pain, itching, blisters, and dry patches of skin. Its symptoms may mimic those of contact with poison ivy.

Increased Risk of Sun Damage: Kojic acid may also make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage. That’s because it can weaken your skin’s natural defense against harmful UV rays by reducing the amount of melanin present.

Lack of Research: Another problem with kojic acid is the lack of substantial research done to confirm its safety. Some studies suggest a possible link to cell mutation and tumor formation in mammals. Animal studies show kidney, liver, cardiovascular, respiratory, and other side effects, and extensive enough research has not been done to prove its safety for humans.

Because of these concerns, kojic acid is best avoided in scar therapies and other cosmetics. Fortunately, there is no need to trade value for safety. Look for a scar therapy that contains ingredients known to be effective and safe, such as:

Dimethicone Silicone: Promotes hydration and improves the appearance of the scar, including color and size.

Vitamin C: Normalizes collagen and lightens the scar.

ProBiosyn-4: Restores the lipid biolayer, improving hydration and skin elasticity and reducing scar visibility.

Besides kojic acid, other ingredients you should avoid in your scar therapy because they are unsafe or ineffective include hydroquinone, vitamin E, preservatives (including parabens), and fragrances. Also beware of ingredients that, while not necessarily unsafe, may have no scar healing benefits at all, such as petroleum jelly and onion extract.

Along with your scar therapy, be sure to avoid smoking, get plenty of exercise, and consume fruits, vegetables, protein, and other healthy foods for optimal scar healing.

Have a question about your scar? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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