Exposure to the sun, genetics, and time itself all play a part in the aging process of your skin. Simply accepting this aging process is no longer the only option, as there are effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can reduce many of the prominent signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sunspots, and spider and varicose veins. Additionally, laser technology can now lessen or completely remove the appearance of natural skin imperfections as well as things like tattoos. Acne and acne scarring are also common reasons people seek out cosmetic procedures. The expanse of today's cosmetic procedures is far ranging, and the topics covered here are only an introduction, but the below images and descriptions illustrate and define many of the more common types of cosmetic techniques, ranging from Botox injection to laser therapy. Cosmetic procedures for ethnic skin (ie, those with olive or darker skin) are increasingly available and are also discussed.
The field of laser dermatology encompasses a wide range of cosmetic laser types and effects. Laser therapy can be done for general "skin renewal" or can be used to target very specific areas of the body or specific problems. Examples include laser treatment for acne, laser treatment to minimize or eliminate scars, laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal, or laser treatment to minimize the appearance of vascular lesions.
Some of the other more common cosmetic procedures include botulinum toxin (commonly, Botox®) injection, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, sclerotherapy, chemical peel, and soft tissue augmentation (collagen injection or fat injection).
The content in the topics below includes an overview of each procedure; what results can be expected; what happens before and during a procedure; what to expect after a procedure, including post-procedure care; what risks / side effects each procedure carries; and what potential alternatives there are to each procedure.
Click an individual cosmetic procedure for relevant clinical images and content.