I have been asked about Salt-a-Peel and microdermabrasion a lot. More and more, people are turning to noninvasive procedures to soften fine lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, rough skin texture, enlarged pores, sun damage and scars caused by acne. Two of these techniques are salt-a-peel and microdermabrasion.
Here are the unique aspects of salt-a-peel versus microdermabrasion
The candidates for both regular microdermabrasion and salt-a-peel are in good mental and physical health and do not smoke. They understand the procedure and its outcome and have realistic expectations. They also tend to be people who really can’t take time off from work, school or other obligations to recover from more intensive treatments such as chemical peels.
It is important for the patient to let the practitioner know if they have any pre-existing conditions before they choose microdermabrasion or salt-a-peel. Some people have keloid skin, which means their skin tends to develop noticeable scarring. They should also let the practitioner know if they are taking any drugs, whether prescription or not, vitamins or supplements. Sometimes this can affect the outcome of even non-invasive procedures such as microdermabrasion or salt-a-peel.
During microdermabrasion, an aesthetician or a doctor removes the upper layers of the stratum corneum. This is what a person sees when they look at their skin. The stratum corneum is made up of about 20 layers of dead, dry skin cells that are bound together by types of fats and oils. These layers protect the lower layers of the skin but is easily damaged, even by going out into the sun. Eventually, the very top layer of the stratum corneum sloughs off as new skin cells push up from below, but this takes time. Treatments such as microdermabrasion and salt-a-peel gently but firmly move the process along.
In microdermabrasion, the practitioner uses a wand that sprays a stream of fine baking soda or aluminum hydroxide crystals over the treatment area that blasts away the dead skin. The wand also comes with a small vacuum that sucks up both the leftover crystals and the shed skin cells. As the layers of skin are removed, so are the signs of skin damage. The treatment prompts the body to lay down new layers of collagen and elastin proteins beneath the skin and to produce fresh, supple skin cells.
Patients report that microdermabrasion is painless and does not require even topical anesthesia in most cases, though they describe a scratching sensation as the wand passes over the skin. There is no downtime, and the patient can return to their usual activities shorty after the treatment. Microdermabrasion generally lasts less than an hour. The dermatologist applies a moisturizer that eases any swelling and redness that appears after the procedure. The moisturizer both eases any discomfort and provides a layer of protection for the skin.
Most patients who opt for microdermabrasion receive about four treatments. They are scheduled a month apart to allow the skin to recover. The great majority of patients are happy with the youthful, supple look and feel of their skin after microdermabrasion.
Salt-a-Peel operates on the same principle as regular microdermabrasion. It removes dead skin cells from the top layers of the patient’s stratum corneum. However, instead of using aluminum hydroxide, salt-a-peel uses pure salt to treat the skin. Salt-a-peel can be used not only on the patient’s face but anywhere on their body, including the backs of the hands. The treatments usually last between 30 minutes and an hour, and like microdermabrasion the ideal is for the patient to return for multiple sessions. This results in the most satisfying treatment.
Like microdermabrasion, salt-a-peel is performed in the doctor’s office, and most people don’t need anesthesia. People describe the sensation of salt-a-peel as a tingling that can be almost pleasant.
The skin usually and temporarily turns pink after this treatment. This color can be hidden by makeup, which women can put on right away. There is no recovery time, and the patient can return to school, work or their usual schedule.
Choosing the Right Person for treatments like salt-a-peel or microdermabrasion
If you live in the Princeton, New Jersey area and are interested in microdermabrasion or salt-a-peel to refresh your skin and remove signs of aging or sun damage, contact the Glasgold Group for a consultation with either Dr. Mark Glasgold or Dr. Robert Glasgold.
Dr. Robert Glasgold is a double board-certified plastic surgeon and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He specializes in facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, Botox and dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane.
Dr. Mark Glasgold is a board certified member of the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He also completed a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face under the American Academy of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.
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