Traditional Surgical Procedures
Modern medicine has enhanced our overall health and longevity by leaps and bounds. Age and environmental factors continue to take a toll on your skin. Skin elasticity, for example, decreases over time, regardless of how well you care for your skin, which contributes to the aging process.
Many look to various cosmetic procedures to tighten skin, remove wrinkles, and restore a youthful appearance to turn back the clock. Though traditional facelifts and surgical cosmetic procedures remain popular, technological advancements have made several new, non-surgical procedures even more attractive.
Now, you can get the results of cosmetic surgery without the surgery. Most of them can take place during a brief appointment and produce rapid results that last for several months.
New Non-Surgical Procedures
These new, non-surgical procedures include Botox injections, facial fillers, and chemical peels. They’re minimally invasive, which means there is often less downtime than with surgery and recovery and fewer risks. You also get to see results in just a few hours or days after treatment. Expect to heal quickly and get right back to your life within a short time.
The results of non-surgical cosmetic procedures often last a few months, perfect for touching up small wrinkles around the eyes or lips, reducing age spots, or tightening sagging skin. This allows patients to enjoy the benefits of youthful skin without the complications that are often associated with surgery, like open incisions, swelling, or bruising. These are some of the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures currently available.
Botulinum (Botox) Treatment
Botox is a safe, highly purified form of botulinum toxin derived from the botulinum bacteria. With millions of injections provided every year, it’s one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments available. When small doses of the toxin are injected into specific muscles in the face, they can lead to smooth, younger-looking skin by temporarily paralyzing these small muscles.
On the face, when those paralyzed muscles relax, they prevent and minimize the appearance of fine lines, like crow’s feet, frown lines, or the forehead furrow. Botox can also reduce turkey neck when injected into the vertical bands of muscles along the neck or plump up thin lips.
Botox can be injected in as little as 15 minutes and causes little pain upon insertion with a tiny needle. Within a couple of days, you’ll start to see smoother skin around where the doctor places the shots.
Since the treatment is temporary, the effects will begin to wear off as the muscles start to contract again, usually between 3 to 6 months after the initial treatment. Consistent Botox injections will need to be performed less frequently after that.
Dermal fillers enhance a more youthful appearance by restoring fullness to the face. They work well to soften wrinkles, reduce scarring, contour the nose or plump thin lips, and greatly minimize bags and dark under-eye circles.
These fillers are either injectable implants or substances that add volume to the face. Hyaluronic acid fillers, known as Restylane and Juvederm, are some of the most popular options. These fillers are made from a naturally-occurring sugar that stimulates the production of new collagen where applied.
Collagen itself is the oldest and most well-known cosmetic filler. It’s the protein that gives skin its firmness, allowing hyaluronic acid fillers to diminish moderate to severe wrinkles when injected directly into problem areas. Other common fillers include calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethylmethacrylate beads (PMMA), or even fat from the patient’s thigh or belly.
Injecting facial fillers does not take long, but it can be painful. The doctor may apply a topical numbing cream before the injection, even though a numbing agent usually comes premixed with the filler.
There may be noticeable bruising or redness near the injection site for a few days after treatment. Depending on the filler used, results can last between six to nine months or even longer. Opting for dermal fillers designed to stimulate collagen production usually requires a smaller dose for each subsequent treatment.
Chemical peels work using chemical solutions to remove the top layers of skin that contain old, dead cells to reveal fresh, smoother-looking skin. Chemical peels are often used on the face, neck, or hands and can be used in conjunction with other non-surgical treatment options like microdermabrasion for maximum benefits. These are excellent for reducing wrinkles, age or sun spots, shrinking large pores, improving the skin texture, and treating some types of acne.
These peels rely on various chemicals, often including solutions that are a mix of lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, phenol, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA), depending on the goals and desired strength of the treatment. The acidic solution is gently applied or massaged into the skin during a procedure that usually lasts between 30-90 minutes and may tingle as it sits on the skin.
Lighter chemical peels have virtually no recovery time. A medium peel that goes a bit deeper may take a day or two to recover from as the skin’s outer layers peel off to reveal the new skin below. Deeper peels may take two to three weeks for the swelling and crusting to abate, but produce more dramatic, longer-lasting results. Lighter treatments can be performed every few weeks, while moderate to deep peels can be performed once or twice a year.
Benefits of Non-Surgical Procedures
- Natural results: While these non-surgical treatments don’t promise facelift caliber results, they promote healing and rejuvenation by stimulating collagen and elastin production. This approach ultimately provides more natural results while minimizing many post-treatment risks. Since these treatments are subtle, you don’t run the risk of botched surgery results as long as they’re performed by a professional.
- Convenience: Electing not to go under the knife gives you a lot more flexibility when it comes to the treatments themselves. Most take an hour or two every few months and only require a few days for redness or peeling to occur before you’re back to your normal routine. Surgery often requires you to take time off work for the surgery and several days or weeks for swelling and bruising to subside.
- Fewer complications: Technology makes surgical procedures safer than ever, but open incisions always lead to the potential for complications like infection, bleeding, or scarring. Minimally invasive techniques significantly reduce the risk of future complications and are often less painful.
- Long-lasting results: Costly creams and serums can only do so much to revitalize your appearance. Botox and fillers, for example, can keep wrinkles at bay for months at a time and only take a few short visits for touch-ups in between.
Find a Qualified and Skilled Surgeon
Non-surgical cosmetic procedures are a great way to leverage minimally invasive techniques to achieve a more youthful appearance. In short sessions at various intervals, you can effectively reduce wrinkles, even skin tone, and improve skin texture. You’ll quickly see results that last for months at a time.
Though these procedures do not require you to go under the knife, you must find a licensed doctor to perform them. While it may be tempting to consider a medi-spa or more casual settings involving aestheticians instead of licensed professionals, these are all still serious procedures. When performed incorrectly, there can be disastrous, long-term side effects.
If you’re considering any of these non-surgical procedures in the Chicago area, look no further than Dr. Regan Thomas, a renowned, Board Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon. The American Institute of Plastic Surgeons has recognized Dr. Thomas as one of the Top 10 Best Plastic Surgeons with an impeccable patient satisfaction rating. Contact him here to request and book an appointment to begin your journey to a more youthful appearance!