Years ago, people who wanted to kiss their facial wrinkles goodbye did so surgically, with a facelift, spending thousands of dollars and possibly several weeks recovering. Today, however, people wishing to change their appearance have additional options, which can be done in a doctor's office rather than an operating room, with little or no anesthesia. Here is a rundown of some of the nonsurgical cosmetic procedures and what they entail.
In some cases, more than one treatment session is required to achieve the desired result. Side effects are generally temporary and the risks and recovery times may vary. Your doctor can give you an estimated recovery time that is specific for you. Cosmetic procedures that are not due to a medical condition are generally not covered by insurance.
—A chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the wrinkled top layer, so that a healthier layer can take its place. You are awake during the procedure.
Side effects—temporary tingling, burning, swelling, redness, flaking, and increased sensitivity, especially to the sun
Recovery time—immediate to 21 days, depending on the strength of the chemical solution used
Description—Microdermabrasion is a form of "controlled surgical scraping," in which the outer layer of the skin is exfoliated with an instrument that blasts tiny aluminum oxide particles against the skin to smooth out lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. You are generally awake during the procedure. The doctor may apply a local anesthetic to the area being treated.
Side effects—redness, swelling, discomfort in the treated area, itchiness as new skin grows back
Potential risks—temporary swelling, increased skin sensitivity, sun sensitivity
Description—The Botulinum toxin is injected into facial muscles to temporarily paralyze them, thereby reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. You are awake during the procedure, which is generally painless. Although, you may feel a slight burning sensation on injection. Effects are temporary and last about four months.
Description—The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the spider veins are injected with a solution called a "sclerosing agent." Approximately one injection is administered for every inch of spider vein, resulting in anywhere from 5-40 injections per treatment session. A cotton ball and compression tape are applied to each area of the leg as it is finished. You may be asked to wear compression stockings after the procedure. You are awake during the procedure and may feel a slight burning sensation. But, the needle used is so thin and the sclerosing solution is so mild that pain is usually minimal. Results are usually permanent after a few sessions.
Side effects—temporary bruising and redness at injection site, leg cramping
Description—A laser beam is directed at the area of unwanted hair. Areas treated include the face, arms, legs, back, and bikini area. You are awake during the procedure and must wear special glasses to shield your eyes from the laser beam. The procedure is virtually painless, although you may feel a very slight stinging or tingling sensation in the area being treated. Hair generally grows back in a few months, but becomes finer with multiple treatments, eventually resulting in permanent hair removal.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a