Health & Beauty - Cosmetic non-surgery

PUBLISHED: 17:16 23 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 20 February 2013

Health & Beauty - Cosmetic non-surgery

Health & Beauty - Cosmetic non-surgery

Facelifts and breast implants may have been all the rage a few years ago but nowadays those are so passé darling! Thinking women, and growing numbers of men, are seeking out non-surgical treatments for everything from thread veins to sweaty armpits.

Botox Injections


What are they for?
Lines and wrinkles; excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
How do they work?
Injections of a preparation made from Clostridium botulinum bacteria are injected into parts of the face affected by wrinkles or crows feet. This blocks messages from the nerves which causes muscle contraction. The muscles relax and wrinkles smooth out. In the case of excessive sweating the injection is into the sweat glands which reduces sweat production its particularly popular for men.
What types are there?
Botox (recently renamed Vistabel) is the best known brand but there are others. The procedure itself takes around 15 or 20 minutes to perform. It takes up to two weeks to see the
full effects, which usually last three or four months.
Expect to pay:
From 175 per treatment for facial injections.



Skin peels


What are they for?
Scarring left by severe acne or rosacea; sun damage; uneven skin tone; signs of ageing such as wrinkles.
How do they work?
The peel which can contain a number of chemicals is applied to the skin, usually the face for a time that has been determined according to your skin type and the condition you are having treated. The product is removed and over the next few days your skin peels away and the new skin underneath is usually smoother and has fewer imperfections.
What types are there?
There are numerous skin peels on the market. Some, such as CosMedix use alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids. Although they sound high tech in fact alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic acid (found in sugar), lactic acid (in sour milk) and citric acid (found in oranges and lemons), while beta hydroxy acid is more commonly known as salicylic acid found in plants such as willow and meadowsweet (and also the active ingredient in wart remover). One of the newest skin peels to hit the market is Obagi Blue Peel which uses a low concentration of trichlororoacetic acid. The paste applied to the face turns blue when its ready to come off.
Expect to pay:
Prices vary enormously accordingto your skin and the treatment you are having.
A detailed facial skin analysis and one-off skin peel could cost as little at 100 while a six week course could be 500 or more.



Dermal fillers


What are they for?
Wrinkles, laughter lines, thin or wrinkled lips, hollow cheekbones.
How do they work?
Dermal fillers are made from gels that are injected under the skin surface to plump out wrinkles and lines.
What types are there?
Most dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in skin and cartilage. Some fillers are made from collagen derived from cows. As this can cause allergies you will need a skin test before using this type. Scientists have found that excessive sunlight reduces levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin, leading to signs of ageing.
Expect to pay:
A typical single dermal filler treatment costs around 175.


Injectable implants


What are they for?
Small breasts, thin buttocks.
How do they work?
Injectable implants have been described as boob jobs without the knife. A gel is injected behind the breast gland through a small incision (under local anaesthetic) and increases the size of the breast by one cup size. Although the procedure can be performed fairly quickly it takes about 15 minutes there is some soreness afterwards and patients need a check up after two weeks. The effects last around 12 to 18 months and yearly top-ups are recommended.
What types are there?
The most commonly used is Macrolane which is made from hyaluronic acid (see dermal fillers).
Expect to pay:
Initial treatments are around 2,500 to 3,000 with top-ups costing around 1,500.


Lasers


What are they for?
Fat removal, varicose veins, skin problems and many more
How do they work?
It depends on the problem being treated. In the case of varicose veins, for example, laser light energy is passed intravenously down the vein causing it to collapse and close, eliminating the problem. Blood that would once have flowed down the faulty vein is diverted to other healthy veins. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and takes about 45 minutes.
What types are there?
As many types as there are conditions needing to be treated! The technical details dont matter, lasers have revolutionised the treatment of many troublesome conditions.
Expect to pay:
Laser treatment for varicose veins is likely to cost around 2,000.


Ultrasound


What is it for?
Fat removal
How does it work?
Ultrasonic assisted liposuction is most commonly used to remove fat from parts of the body where its not wanted around the buttocks, thighs, at the top of the arms. A small instrument is inserted into the area of fat (under local anaesthetic) through which ultrasound vibrations are passed, which turn the fat into a liquid that can be removed.
What types are there?
Vaser Lipo and LipSonix are two of the best known.
Expect to pay:
1,500 to 3,000 is typical for treating the whole front of abdomen.



Radio frequency


What is it for?
Sagging skin, stretch marks, slack jawline, wrinkles.
How does it work?
Heat is passed through the top layers of the skin using radio waves to tighten the underlying collagen. The surface of the skin is kept cool during the after the procedure to ensure that only the lower layers are treated. The process is said to firm up the collagen that is there and stimulates the growth of new collagen for up to six months afterwards. It can take six to eight treatments to see effects, depending on the problem being treated.
What types are there?
There are several brands around including Thermage, Accent XL (used for body contouring), Aluma.
Expect to pay:
Prices vary widely depending on the condition being treated but six treatments for stretch mark reduction would typically cost from 200.




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