WebMD Medical News
Louise Chang, MD
Oct. 20, 2009 -- Microdermabrasion using a coarse diamond-studded instrument
may induce molecular changes in the skin that help rejuvenate it, a new study
The procedure may improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, and other
signs of aging, University of Michigan scientists report in the October issue
of Archives of Dermatology.
The process involves buffing the skin using grains of diamond or another
hard substance, the researchers say.
To change the appearance of skin, the procedure would have to induce the
production of collagen, the major structural protein in skin, and it appears to
do so, according to the study.
The researchers note that previous studies have shown that microdermabrasion
using aluminum oxide may not always stimulate collagen production.
It's not known, the researchers say, whether more aggressive methods -- not
involving the destruction of skin tissue -- could trigger collagen
Darius J. Karimipour, MD, and colleagues at the University of Michigan,
conducted biochemical analysis of skin biopsy specimens before and four hours
to 14 days after a microdermabrasion procedure on the aged forearm skin of 40
Twenty-six men and 14 women, ages 50 to 83, took part in the study, each
undergoing microdermabrasion with a diamond-studded hand piece of either a
coarse-grit or medium-grit abrasiveness.
Microdermabrasion with the coarse-grit hand piece resulted in increased
production of a wide array of compounds that are associated with wound healing
and skin remodeling, including collagen, compared to untreated forearm skin.
These molecular changes weren't seen in participants who received treatments
using the medium-grit hand piece, the researchers say.
All participants experienced a mild period of redness that lasted,
typically, less than two hours.
"We demonstrate that aggressive non-ablative microdermabrasion (not
involving destruction of skin tissue) is an effective procedure to stimulate
collagen production in human skin in vivo," the researchers write. "The
beneficial molecular responses, with minimal downtime, suggest that aggressive
microdermabrasion may be a useful procedure to stimulate remodeling and to
improve the appearance of aged human skin."
Further study is needed, they add, to determine if microdermabrasion,
performed aggressively, has the capacity to become a worthwhile resurfacing
procedure that results in noticeable cosmetic improvement while minimizing"
other problems and lifestyle interruptions.
SOURCES:News release, University of Michigan.Karimipour, D. Archives of Dermatology, October 2009; vol 145.
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