Get the Facts About Common Cosmetic Procedures

Curious about cosmetic injectables, laser hair removal, laser skin resurfacing or chemical peels? Get the facts about these procedures.

cosmetic procedures - woman looking in the mirrorForget going under the knife in search of younger looking skin. These days, the bulk of procedures designed to restore a more youthful appearance to your face (and sometimes hands and neck) are done on an outpatient basis, often in the doctor's office. These "lunch hour" face lifts include botulinum toxin treatments to improve the look of frown lines, dermal fillers to plump out wrinkles and laser procedures to smooth away bumps, age spots and scars.

Top Five Nonsurgical Cosmetic Procedures:

Today's nonsurgical cosmetic procedures are relatively affordable and so accessible—with short healing times and almost immediate results—that they've contributed to a nearly 500 percent increase in cosmetic procedures between 2003 and 2008. Of the 9.3 million cosmetic procedures performed in 2010, 83 percent were minimally invasive.

And they're not just for the very rich anymore. A 2009 survey of 687 members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) found that the typical patient who opts for injectables and/or fillers for her face is a working, married woman between the ages of 40 and 55 with one to three children. Nearly half had total household incomes under $100,000.

Their main reason for the procedures? To look more relaxed, less stressed and rejuvenated.

According to the ASAPS, the top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures can all be performed in the physician's office and none require general anesthesia, although it may be used in some instances. Most can be performed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists and sometimes other specialists. No matter which physician you use, make sure he or she is board certified in their specialty. Medical personnel, such as aestheticians, may perform some of the procedures, usually under the supervision of a physician; make sure aestheticians are licensed by your state.

If you are pregnant or nursing or trying to become pregnant, talk to your obstetrician first about whether the procedure is safe for you.


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