Allergic Reactions to Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a technique used to smooth out uneven surfaces on your skin. Aluminum oxide crystals are placed on your skin and removed with the use of suction. As the crystals are removed, the outer layers of your skin are peeled away. Microdermabrasion can be done alone or in combination with another treatment method. Speak to your doctor about side effects of microdermabrasion, including allergic reactions.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


According to Oakbrook Terrace Dermatology Associates, the topical creams used before, during and after microdermabrasion treatment could cause:

  • an allergic reaction [1]( 'inline-reference::AgingSkinNet; Microdermabrasion: What to Expect Before
  • During,
  • After; October 2008')

Signs of an allergic reaction include itching, redness, swelling and the presence of a rash. Once the cream is no longer applied, symptoms should go away.


The aluminum oxide crystals are not likely to be responsible for any allergic reaction that occurs during a microdermabrasion treatment. Aluminum oxide is an inert material and should not produce allergy symptoms when applied topically. If you are allergic to aluminum, however, a reaction could occur. A 2010 study has tied vaccinations to potentially causing an allergy to aluminum 2. According to researcher Eve Netterlid from Lund University in Sweden, pruritic nodules resulting from vaccinations may lead to an aluminum allergy.


Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect an allergic reaction has occurred after a microdermabrasion treatment. He may wish you to come for a visit to evaluate the severity of your reaction. To reduce swelling, itching and minor discomfort, a hydrocortisone cream may be recommended. The cream is applied topically to the affected areas for one to two days until symptoms dissipate.


Besides allergic reactions, other side effects may occur as a result of the procedure. Slight redness and tenderness may appear around treatment areas. Also, some bruising and discoloration could appear as a result of the suction from the vacuum. Sun sensitivity may be apparent as well and you should wear sun protection while outdoors. Most side effects from microdermabrasion do not last for a prolonged period of time.