The researchers, led by Dr. Darius Karimipour, said the procedure appears to induce molecular changes in the skin of older adults that mimic the way skin is remodeled during the wound healing process.
Microdermabrasion is a popular procedure for skin rejuvenation, the researchers said, and it's been suggested the procedure can improve the appearance of wrinkles, atrophic acne scars, dyspigmentation and other signs of aging skin.
Karimipour and colleagues said they conducted a biochemical analysis of skin biopsy specimens involving 40 adults ages 50 to 83 years with sun-damaged skin who volunteered to participate in the study. Each underwent microdermabrasion with a diamond-studded handpiece of either a coarse-grit or medium-grit abrasiveness.
When performed with the coarse-grit, the result was an increased production of a wide variety of compounds associated with wound healing and skin remodeling. Such molecular changes were not seen in individuals receiving microdermabrasion using the medium-grit, the researchers said.
"We demonstrate that aggressive non-ablative microdermabrasion is an effective procedure to stimulate collagen production in human skin in vivo," they said. "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."
The study is reported in the journal Archives of Dermatology.