Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS, reviews the top 3 non-invasive facial cosmetic procedures.
Some of the most exciting changes in the medical field have been in the area of cosmetic surgery. New techniques are constantly evolving to keep up with the ever increasing demand of patients who want to look their best while still appearing natural and healthy.
One of the most interesting trends in cosmetic surgery is the introduction of non-surgical procedures. With these procedures, patients who are looking to enhance their beauty can do so quickly and painlessly without the recovery time. Not only are these procedures faster and easier, but they are also more often than not safer than aggressive surgical procedures.
A few of the most popular non-surgical procedures involve facial rejuvenation. The following are the top 3 non-invasive facial cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 2012 Report.
The first and most popular non-surgical procedure is Botox, as use of this injectable has increased by 8% since 2011 with more than 6.1 million injections performed in 2012. Botox is a cosmetic form of botulinum toxin that will temporarily reduce or eliminate fine lines in the face, including frown lines, forehead creases, and crow’s feet.
Botox injections temporarily paralyze the muscles associated with wrinkles. By taking the tension out of these muscles, the face ends up looking smoother, younger, and more refreshed. Botox injections have also been found to relieve migraine headaches, help excessive sweating, and reduce muscle spasms in the neck and eyes.
While these injections are quick and easy, they should still be performed under the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon. If they are not administered by someone who is properly trained, Botox injections can result in drooping eyelids, facial pain, and muscle weakness — not to mention an unnatural look that patients want to avoid.
#2. Soft Tissue Fillers
The second most popular non-surgical procedure is soft tissue or dermal fillers. As part of the aging process, collagen in the skin decreases, causing wrinkles and a loss of fullness and volume in the face. Collagen loss most commonly occurs around the eyes, mouth, cheeks, jaw line, brow, and nose. The injection of soft tissue fillers into the skin can temporarily plump these areas, allowing for fuller lips, softer facial folds around the cheeks/mouth, and even improve the appearance of facial scars received from injury or severe acne.
Leading the pack in soft tissue fillers is Juvederm, with more than 1.4 million procedures performed in 2012. As with Botox, Juvederm and other facial fillers must be injected by a board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure the safest and best possible results.
#3. Chemical Peels
The smooth, even complexion we all are born with can take a beating as we age. Sun exposure, acne, and lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol intake or smoking can cause the skin to look uneven and blotchy. A chemical peel can help smooth the texture of the facial skin, as it consists of a chemical solution that causes dead skin to slough off and eventually peel away. The regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
Chemical peels range from $150 to $6,000 and can be done in the patient’s home or at a plastic surgeon or dermatologist’s office. However, if the procedure is being performed at home, it is best to seek out medical advice before self-administering the peel.
Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS, is Chief of the combined Divisions of Plastic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. For more information about Dr. Grant or to contact him, visit his website at www.robertgrantmd.com.