Irving, Texas — A new system uses handheld vibrating paddles to improve both exfoliation and absorption of topical preparations, say physicians who have used it.
Called Vibraderm (Vibraderm Inc.), the system is becoming a popular tool for performing microdermabrasion and boosting results of procedures, including chemical peels and photoaging treatments.
"Vibraderm removes the surface layer of skin and simulates a tiny bit of inflammation. For me, what that means is it's a great way to infuse products more deeply into the skin so that one can deliver them where they're needed to sun-damaged areas," says Eric Bernstein, M.D., a dermatologic laser surgeon in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and clinical associate professor of dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.Because every patient gets his or her own exfoliation and Vibrafusion paddles, Dr. Bernstein adds, "It's totally hygienic. There's no sterilizing of tips or worrying about cross-contamination."
He says that another unique element of Vibraderm is that its lack of sand or particles means it leaves no post-treatment residue.
Using the Vibraderm
"The vibrating motion stimulates the skin and feels great," Dr. Bernstein reports. "Most importantly, it has separate paddles that allow one to infuse products directly into the skin."
Frequently, Dr. Bernstein uses Vibraderm to infuse an antioxidant/alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) product he has developed. He says the benefits of this combination have "blown away any other microdermabrasion device I have used. Vibraderm is great for photoaging, melasma and pigmentary disorders, fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, brown spots and acne."
For photoaging, Dr. Bernstein says, "One achieves a lot more synergy when one aggressively uses conservative therapies, meaning the Vibraderm allows one to give a super-infusion of topical product between laser treatments."
In Dr. Bernstein's practice, a typical patient requires four to six sessions at monthly intervals, followed by maintenance once every two to three months.
To exfoliate, the manufacturer recommends treating six zones with a medium exfoliation paddle for two minutes each. These zones include the forehead (plus eyebrows), both sides of the face, the chin and lips, the neck and the décolleté.
Conversely, the nose and orbital rim require a small exfoliation paddle, gently applied for one to two minutes.
To infuse topical products, a separate Vibrafusion paddle provides an irregular surface without abrasive qualities. A typical chemical peel requires four to six minutes to fully penetrate the skin, according to Vibraderm.
"Dr. Bernstein's Citric Solutions product takes about a minute to infuse," adds Nicole Baltimore, a medical aesthetician in Dr. Bernstein's practice. "I may decide next to use The Concentrate (La Mer) and add some moisture back into the skin, which also takes a minute." Conversely, a thicker product might require two minutes, she says.
Vibrafusion works in areas such as the back of the arms and legs, as well as the feet, Ms. Baltimore adds.
"If I'm trying to treat the bottom of someone's feet," she says, "I'll use something that has an even more aggressive exfoliator with grit in it, followed by a heavy-duty cream to smooth the area. That's going to take longer than (treating) the face."
Vibraderm provides a much more relaxing experience for patients than microdermabrasion, she says.
"The only time I find any sort of tingling is if I'm infusing an AHA product into the skin. Also, the vibrating motion can tickle or make some people sneeze" when applied around the nose, Ms. Baltimore notes.