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One of the disadvantages of nonsurgical procedures is its short-term effectiveness, which would lead the patient to repeat the procedure in order to maintain results, says Dr. Jaibaji.
If you’re curious about, but unfamiliar with, your nonsurgical cosmetic options, check out this list of the top five most popular, compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:
Derived from bacteria, botox is injected into a targeted facial muscle to block nerve impulses. This temporarily weakens the muscle, diminishing wrinkles. Botox can be used to treat forehead lines, crow’s-feet and frown lines between the eyebrows — but this last one is the only FDA-approved cosmetic usage. Results generally last three to four months, and side effects may include headache, soreness and mild bruising.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Gel
This is a lubricant produced naturally by the body. It helps restore smoothness by binding with water to plump up the skin. Like Botox, HA is an injection that lessens the appearance of wrinkles. The difference is that HA fills wrinkles, while Botox affects facial muscles. The effects of HA last anywhere from 4 to 12 months. Bruising, redness, swelling and pain may occur, but usually go away within seven days.
These remove the top layer of skin, reducing depressed scars and giving the skin a more even color. It takes up to 14 days for new skin to appear, and there are often special instructions about how to care for the skin as it heals. Infection and scarring can occur if the instructions are not followed.
Laser Hair Removal
This process destroys hair follicles with heat. It may take a few treatments, but eventually the hair loss is permanent, doing away with the need to shave. Side effects can include blistering, discoloration after treatment, swelling, redness and scarring. While laser hair removal is safe, the FDA has received reports of serious and life-threatening side effects associated with using large amounts of a skin-numbing cream sometimes applied before the procedure. Consult a health care professional before agreeing to the cream.
Using a handheld device, microdermabrasion gently buffs away the top layer of skin. This exfoliation helps minimize sun spots, shallow scars, fine lines and uneven tone or texture on the face, neck, chest and hands. Five to 16 treatments are typically needed to see results. Side effects may include pink or slightly red swollen skin, which goes away within a day or so.
While you don’t need a referral for these nonsurgical procedures, it never hurts to talk with your primary care physician about any concerns or questions you have.
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