Microdermabrasion - Hamilton Fraser

We can provide cover for microdermabrasion within your medical malpractice insurance policy.

If you are looking for insurance to cover microdermabrasion, please contact the team on 0800 6343881 or email cosmeticsales@hamiltonfraser.co.uk.

Who does Hamilton Fraser cover for microdermabrasion?

Hamilton Fraser provides electrolysis cover for doctors, nurses, dentists, beauticians (NVQ level three in general beauty or equivalent beauty qualification), dental therapists, dental hygienists, dental nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, operating department practitioners and physiotherapists.

What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure which is used to exfoliate the skin. It can be used on the face, neck, chest, back and hands.

There are two main types of microdermabrasion procedure: crystal microdermabrasion and diamond microdermabrasion.

Crystal microdermabrasion uses fine crystals and a vacuum to exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells to improve the texture and appearance of the skin.

Diamond microdermabrasion is a crystal-free version that uses a diamond-tipped wand to exfoliate instead.

What does microdermabrasion do?

Microdermabrasion works by stimulating blood flow, which can improve cell production, in turn improving skin’s elasticity and texture and leading to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.

Because microdermabrasion is a mild treatment and causes minimal damage to the surface of the skin, results are subtle. Only the uppermost dead skin layers are removed, but with the outer layer of skin removed, the layers beneath the surface increase their production of new skin cells, renewing the surface layer and improving the appearance of the skin.

What is microdermabrasion used for?

Microdermabrasion can help treat a range of conditions including:

- Reducing fine wrinkles and signs of ageing

- Making the skin appear more even

- Treating sun damage, brown age spots, acne scars and enlarged pores

- Stretch marks – some stretch marks respond well to microdermabrasion

- Can be used in combination with chemical peels or some skin creams, for example to enhance the effects of topical anti-ageing products

What happens during a microdermabrasion treatment?

As with any procedure, the patient should always have a consultation with the practitioner prior to the start of treatment to take the patient’s medical history, manage expectations and talk through potential side effects and aftercare. If agreed that the procedure can go ahead, the patient should sign a consent form to confirm that they have understood any risks associated with microdermabrasion. At Hamilton Fraser, we recommend that practitioners take photographs which can be used for a ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison if needed at a later date.

Before the treatment begins, the patient’s skin is cleaned and they are provided with goggles to protect their eyes.

During a microdermabrasion treatment, the practitioner moves a handheld device over the skin, blasting a stream of fine micro particles across the skin. The intensity of the treatment can be varied either by increasing or decreasing the amount of crystals used, the pressure used, or the length of the treatment.

In the case of crystal microdermabrasion, the type of crystals used depends on the type of device, but it can range from crystals of aluminium salts and sodium bicarbonate crystals to sodium chloride (plain table salt) crystals. The movement of the tiny crystals under pressure loosens the outermost epidermal layer of the skin so that the dead skin cells can be removed and vacuumed away, along with the crystals, which are not reused. All the waste goes into a separate, closed container to avoid contamination from dead skin products.

Following the treatment, many practitioners will incorporate microdermabrasion into a complete facial treatment involving a face mask and perhaps a facial massage.

Microdermabrasion treatment should not be painful, and usually takes around 30 minutes for the face and 20 minutes for the neck, but it can take longer for stretch marks, which can take up to two hours.

How long do the effects of microdermabrasion last?

The results of microdermabrasion are not permanent, and the length of time results from a treatment last varies from person to person, depending on age and how well the patient responds to treatment. One treatment leaves the skin softer, smoother and more radiant, but a series of treatments is more effective for combatting the appearance of ageing and improving the skin’s texture and tone.

Who should not have microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is less invasive than dermabrasion and is not suitable for deeper wrinkles and scars, deep hyperpigmentation problems (areas of darker pigment) or broken veins in the skin. While dermabrasion is only suitable for people with fair skin, microdermabrasion is suitable for people with any skin colour.

People who have taken the prescription only acne medication, isotertinoin in the past six to 12 months may need to wait before having a microdermabrasion treatment as there is an increased risk of complications such as scarring.

Microdermabrasion is not be suitable for patients who have any active skin infections, such as a cold sore breakout, or a history of problems with skin healing / scarring.

What are the side effects of microdermabrasion?

The side effects of microdermabrasion are usually minor and don’t cause too much irritation to the skin. It is normal for patients to experience some tightness and redness and this may last an hour two after treatment, but can go on for longer. This is more likely with a deeper treatment, for example to treat stretch marks, and with more sensitive skin around the eye region. Other side effects include:

- Swelling

- Redness or sunburn-like symptoms

- Bruising

- Burning or stinging sensation

- Increased sensitivity to sunlight

- Some spotting of blood following treatments aimed at scar tissue or stretch marks

- In very rare cases, there is a small risk of scarring

What is the recovery time from microdermabrasion?

One of the benefits of microdermabrasion is that it offers the benefits of a treatment without the inconvenience of recovery time. Most patients are able to return to work immediately after the treatment.

Like all treatments, by following the pre-treatment and post-treatment recommendations, most patients can minimise any side effects or complications from microdermabrasion and expect a quick recovery. These include:

- Staying out of the sun before and after treatment

- Using a simple moisturiser or one provided by the practitioner to help hydrate the skin

- Not using self-tan for one to two weeks before or after treatment

- Not waxing, plucking or bleaching before or after treatment

- Avoiding activities that cause perspiration until redness has subsided

- Avoiding swimming pools or spas that are treated with chemicals until skin has returned to normal

- Avoiding very hot water

- The practitioner may supply an antiobiotic ointment for use following deeper treatments

What training is required to perform microdermabrasion?

There are dozens of training courses available from numerous providers offering training in microdermabrasion. Courses are available for medical professionals only as well as beauty therapists and dermatologists.

Some courses will require practitioners to have achieved at least an NVQ level two qualification or in beauty therapy, or to hold a nursing, dentist or pharmacist licence.

Our guide to training in aesthetics contains more information on how to get the most out of training and the importance of making sure it meets the eligibility criteria required for the purposes of insurance.

Who can perform microdermabrasion?

Who can perform a microdermabrasion treatment depends on the type of machine being used. Mild microdermabrasion machines can be used by trained beauticians, but more powerful machines that are suited to deeper treatments are designed for medical professionals such as doctors and nurses only.

Microdermabrasion claims: example scenarios

As with any treatment, all known side effects must be explained to the patient in the consultation and the patient must sign a consent form which outlines that they understand the risks, prior to the procedure.

Although microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure, administering the treatment does involve specialist skills and equipment and, just like any other treatment, it is not totally free from risk. While most patients experience minimal side-effects, and these should all be explained and documented during the consultation, it only takes one patient to react more intensely.

For example, in rare cases and mostly amongst people who have taken a prescription only acne medication such as isotertinoin, a patient may experience scarring following a microdermabrasion treatment, and decide to raise a claim against the practitioner. If the patient hasn’t been told that scarring is a potential, albeit rare, side-effect of microdermabrasion, or the practitioner doesn’t have evidence to demonstrate that they made the patient aware of this potential side-effect, the practitioner can be found negligent. In this scenario, the policy would pay out as the practitioner would be covered, even though the issue was with the consultation rather than the procedure.

Claims top tip: Always make sure you have explained all the potential side-effects of a treatment to the patient and taken a detailed medical history to make sure there are no contraindications between the proposed treatment and any medication the patient is taking, and that this is documented.