29 April 2011

Don't be skinned alive - choose professional skin treatments

If you're thinking about cosmetic or dermatological procedures, be careful. What you see isn't always what you get.

If you're thinking about cosmetic or dermatological procedures, be careful. What you see isn't always what you get. A number of people have harmed, disfigured or scarred from what should have been relatively risk-free dermatological work.

"Patients are being enticed into glamorous day spas, skin clinics, beauty salons, and even some unscrupulous doctors' offices with promises of qualified medical care. What they are too often ending up with is untrained technicians and damage that can take years to repair," says Dr Harold Brody, president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

  • Dermabrasion: This involves the use of an abrasive instrument to mechanically "sand" or resurface the skin, achieving a rejuvenated, more youthful appearance. It is often used to treat substantial scarring, sun damage and pigmentation problems.
  • Laser resurfacing: Using laser light energy, this procedure heats and removes the top layer of skin cells, allowing new, unblemished skin to grow. Often used to remove scars, pigmentation problems, precancerous skin growths, even small tumors, and to diminish lines and wrinkles.
  • Non-ablative laser treatment: Penetrates below the skin surface to stimulate the production of collagen, a natural substance that helps plump skin, creating a more youthful appearance. Also helps to tighten underlying loose skin.
  • Chemical peel: A chemical solution is applied to remove outer layers of aged, discoloured or irregular skin, allowing fresh, new skin cells to grow. Most often used for wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, skin discoloration, age spots, dull skin texture or mild acne scars.
  • Botox injections: A derivative of the Botulism bacteria, this treatment, when injected into the skin in tiny amounts, paralyses small facial muscles causing the surrounding skin to relax, thereby diminishing lines and wrinkles.
  • Laser hair removal: Short pulses of energy generated from a laser light source help to injure the hair follicle, eliminating active hair growth and stunting re-growth. Skin type, skin colour and hair colour all respond differently to this treatment.


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