Vibradermabrasion - New technique for superficial exfoliation

David Kist, Mary Flor, Brian Zelickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Microdermabrasion is a fairly new procedure that has been reported anecdotally to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin. The process consists of a series of treatments, mostly performed by estheticians, that use aluminum oxide crystals and mild suction to remove the topmost layer of dead skin (the stratum corneum). The microdermabrasion machines currently on the market have several drawbacks, including small spot size (which can lead to uneven and slow treatments) and the use of aluminum oxide crystals that become aerosolized and form a residue that remains on the skin after treatment. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a vibradermabrasion system (Vibraderm™) versus a standard particulate microdermabrasion machine in the treatment of photodamaged skin. A secondary objective was to quantify the side effects of these 2 therapies. Eleven patients aged 24 to 43 years were selected to receive treatment once a week for 5 weeks. Each patient was treated with the vibradermabrasion system on one side of the face and a standard particulate microdermabrasion machine on the other side. The sides were randomized to treatment. Treatment parameters for microdermabrasion were 2 passes with 10 to 30 psi. Vibradermabrasion treatment consisted of 4 passes with a medium coarse paddle. Photographs were taken prior to each treatment and one week after the final treatment. Improvement in fine lines was evaluated by 3 blinded observers on a visual analogue scale from 10 to 100. Two patients (aged 69 and 70 years) were treated with the vibradermabrasion system on the dorsal surface of the arm 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Biopsies were then performed for histologic examination. Of the 11 patients treated, 64% (7/11) perceived improvement in the tone and texture of their skin on the vibradermabrasion side versus 55% (6/11) of patients on the microdermabrasion side. Eighty-two percent (9/11) of the patients preferred vibradermabrasion to microdermabrasion. There was noticeably less posttreatment erythema after vibradermabrasion treatment compared with microdermabrasion. Histologic analysis showed that vibradermabrasion evenly removed portions of the stratum corneum, and a reactive epidermal hyperplasia occurred after treatment. Immunohistochemistry showed increased staining for type I collagen in the superficial papillary dermis posttreatment. Vibradermabrasion compares favorably with standard particulate microdermabrasion; the clinical results of the study presented in this article are similar. However, most of the patients preferred vibradermabrasion because there was less discomfort during treatment and less erythema after treatment than there was with standard microdermabrasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalCosmetic Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005


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