Have you ever wished you could wave a magic wand over your skin and make fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and other small blemishes disappear? Of course, theres no such miraculous solution for the tell-tell signs of age and sun exposure, but now there is a quick and easy way to minimize minor skin flaws. Microdermabrasion is a skin rejuvenation procedure that safely and painlessly removes the uppermost layer of the top layer of skin (stratum corneum). The process improves the skins appearance by removing dead skin cells and evening out imperfections in much the same way that a chemical skin peel does, but with much less trauma to the skin, explains Denise Kennedy, M.D., of the Center for Primary Care Central. The degree of improvement with microdermabrasion is more than might be achieved with the regular use of skin creams containing alpha-hydroxy and somewhat less than that produced by laser skin resurfacing.

MD Peel is an in-office procedure now available at CPC Central. It is performed by trained specialists, requires approximately 20 to 30 minutes per session, and can be used on all skin surfaces, including the face, neck, hands, and chest. The procedure was approved in 1996 by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic skin resurfacing, and is currently being studied to determine its potential in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

The procedure works by delivering micro crystals to gently exfoliate the skin while vacuuming away the exfoliated skin and excess crystal. Microdermabrasion is painless, producing only a slight tingling sensation, and the result smoother skin is immediate. Additionally, exfoliation stimulates collagen-producing skin cells called fibroblasts, causing the skin to begin repairing itself by producing a new, younger-looking layer of skin cells.

Microdermabrasion is the fastest and least invasive way to improve the appearance of the skin. It has been called the lunchtime peel or mini-facelift because it can be done in such a short time and instantly improves the skins appearance, explains Dr. Kennedy. There may be some minor redness immediately following the procedure but it generally fades within a few hours.

According to Dr. Kennedy, microdermabrasion works for anyone men as well as women and people of all ages and complexion types. She generally recommends that microdermabrasion be accomplished in a series of treatments: depending on the desired goal, four to ten treatments about a week apart. Following the initial treatment, she suggests a maintenance session every 4 to 6 weeks.

Proper care of the skin is especially important before and after treatments, Dr. Kennedy advises. Anyone considering microdermabrasion should discontinue using Retin-A and alpha-hydroxy products for three days before and after treatments and use a high-SPF sunscreen or, better yet, avoid sun exposure altogether. Shielding the skin from the sun is especially important after microdermabrasion because removing a portion of the protective layer makes the skin more susceptible to sun damage.

The cost of microdermabrasion at CPC Central is $100 per treatment, or six treatments for $500. Because microdermabrasion is considered a cosmetic procedure, health insurance does not cover the cost. To schedule a consultation for microdermabrasion, contact CPC Central at (706) 868-7380. For further information on the procedure, visit the MD Peel web site: http://www.mdpeel.com.