Cosmetic Procedure Options

Cosmetic Acupuncture

What it is:  Cosmetic acupuncture is the insertion of less-than-hair-width needles placed in the superficial layer of the skin.
What it does:   Uplifts the overall health of the person, evens out the complexion, smoothes out fine lines, reduces deeper wrinkles, increases the collagen production in the skin.
Downsides: Requires consistent schedule of at least 10 treatments to maximize effects.
Side effects: Improved health!.

 

Fat Injections

What it is:  Fat injections transfer your own fat cells from one part of your body to another.
What it does:   “Fills in” under the eyes if the area looks a little sunken or too wrinkled.
Downsides: The fat can necrose (die) which makes it shrivel up. There is no way to control the shrinking or lumpiness that can result from these injections.
Side effects: Swelling and bruising and uneven or lumpy surface.

 

Collagen Injections

What it is:  Collagen injections are purified bovine (cow), porcine (pig) collagen or Alloderm (a natural collagen harvested from cadavers) injected into the skin.
What it does:   Reduces fine lines.
Downsides: With repeated use, the risk of an allergy to the collagen increases.
Side effects: Swelling, skin loss, irritation, redness, viral infections, visible white bumps in the skin, allergic reactions, and changes in skin color.

 

Botulism Toxin Injections (BOTOX)

What it is:  Botulism toxin injections to temporarily paralyze muscles.
What it does:   BOTOX smooths the forehead or other areas.
Downsides: Injections currently cost an average of $400 for each facial region treated.  Results are temporary, needing to be repeated two to three times per year for each area worked on.
Side effects: Bruising, muscle weakness if the botulism leaks to nearby muscles, asymmetry of facial expression, eyelid drooping , inability to make facial expressions, inability to close eyes completely, decreased blinking, turning outward or inward of the edge of the eyelid, double vision, headaches, respiratory infection, flu-like symptoms, nausea, facial pain.

 

Dermalogen

Extracted from skin of a cadaver. Injection.

 

Fascia Injections

Harvested from white connective tissue of cadaver.  Injected or surgically implanted.

 

Hylaform Injections

Tissue made up of a molecular component of the human body (cadaver).

 

Artecoll Injections

Synthetic beads that do not get absorbed by the body – they stay in the lips and raise them.

 

Cosmetic Resurfacing/Laser Skin Resurfacing/Laser Peel

What it is:  These techniques burn off the skin layer by layer.
What it does:   Gives your skin a smoother look.
Downsides: Cannot return to work for a minimum of two weeks after the procedures.  Anyone who plans to undergo a laser procedure should take a course of anti-viral medication because it can activate the herpes simplex virus and cause severe facial and/or body outbreaks of herpes (even for those with or without a history of herpes either Type 1 or Type 2.  It may take six months for the redness on your face to go away.  There will be a line of demarcation where the laser procedure ends.  You will forever be
sun sensitive and may experience hypo- or hyper-pigmentation.

 

Intense Pulsed Light Treatment (Light Laser, Photo Laser, Photofacial)

What it is:  A series of intense light energy used to penetrate through the skin where the energy is absorbed by dilated blood vessels and brown spots thereby reducing them.  The heat causes damage to the vessel or lesion and then the body begins the healing process.
Downsides: Some people need treatment every three weeks for some months.
Side effects: (rare) Blistering and slight bleeding, hypo- or hyper-pigmentation which may be permanent, and the very rare risk of scaring.

 

Dermabrasion

What it is:  Dermabrasion is a machine controlled surgical sanding of the skin.
What it does:   Dermabrasion gives a smoother appearance to the skin.  This procedure can benefit the pitting scarring caused by acne.
Downsides: Immediately following the procedure there is redness, swelling, some difficulty eating and talking, tingling, burning, and aching.Depending on the depth of the treatment, redness can last up to three months and the return of normal pigmentation may take six to twelve months.  Some practitioners recommend a course of Acyclovir to prevent herpes with this procedure, too.
Side effects: Changes in skin pigmentation, blotchy appearance of the skin, emergence of whiteheads, enlarged skin pores or the development of keloids or hypertrophic scars (rare).

 

Chemical Peel

What it is:  The chemical peel is the application of chemical solutions or acids to the skin to shed several layers of skin.
What it does:   A chemical peel can reduce blotchy and uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and acne scars.
Side effects: Uneven pigmentation, infection, crustiness, redness, and scarring.

 

Thermage

What it is:  Thermage is the use of radio frequency energy to the skin.  It heats the lower layers of the skin to tighten collagen.
Downsides: Thermage may hurt and the results are often not immediate.  It can take a few months to determine whether it really worked or not.  It doesn’t work in 40% of the cases.
Side effects: Some people get pretty severe swelling, dimpling, or even scarring after the procedure.

 

Facelift or Rytidectomy

What it is:  A facelift is a surgical procedure where excess fat is removed, the facial muscles tightened, and the face redraped.
Downsides: Likely to need repeating every seven to ten years.
Side effects: As with all surgery, possible death.  Also hematoma, nerve injury leading to numbness, infection, poor skin healing, sloughing of skin, hypertrophic (red, raised, and painful) scarring, reduced blood flow to the skin, a “stretched” look, and uneven hairline.

 

Eyelid Lift or Blepharoplasty

What it is:  An eyelid lift is the removal of excess skin and/or fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids.
Downsides: If not done properly, may result in not being able to close the eyes again.
Side effects: Same as for facelift plus possible blindness.