If you’re dissatisfied with your appearance, you’re not alone. Since 2000, plastic surgery procedures in the United States have increased by 110 percent. In 2015, 15.9 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed,
But a change to your body doesn’t have to involve significant surgical risk. There are an increasing variety of minimally invasive or surgery-free procedures and beauty treatments available for patients interested in improving their appearance without going under the knife.
Procedures ranging from skin treatments to laser resurfacing to injections. Although the effects of minimally invasive procedures typically take longer or are less dramatic, they’re often better suited to a more natural appearance for patients who don’t want their procedures to be visibly obvious.
1. Botox injections
The most well-known minimally invasive procedure is undoubtedly Botox. This popular toxin injection reduces wrinkles and fine lines, smoothing out facial features marred by age. The procedure works by blocking muscular nerve signals, preventing them from contracting and keeping your skin smooth.
Although Botox is popular for its effectiveness and simplicity, often requiring little more than a needle injection, some patients—approximately 1 in 200—develop a resistance to the toxin and its effectiveness over several years of long-term use. However, for the other 199 patients, the procedure remains effective and a lower-cost way of treating wrinkles and signs of aging.
2. Laser skin resurfacing
Lasers are a popular tool in non-invasive beauty procedures. Laser skin resurfacing helps users reduce wrinkles, liver spots, uneven skin tones, signs of sun damage and scars, as though giving you a new layer of skin.
There are two kinds of laser skin resurfacing procedures. One is less invasive than the other, but both involve surface-level treatment. A wounding laser removes thin layers of skin to rejuvenate it. A non-wounding laser stimulates collagen growth and tightens the skin underneath. Although it’s less effective, it also has a shorter healing time.
3. Laser liposuction
Laser liposuction is an alternative to traditional liposuction that avoids invasive surgery to remove fat. Studies have found that the procedures effectively “liquefies fatty tissue, coagulates small blood vessels, induces collagenesis with remodeling, and promotes tissue tightening,” making it a useful procedure for those looking for minimally invasive body sculpting.
Laser liposuction is not the only non-surgical liposuction procedure, although it is one of the most effective. Patients can also turn to ultrasound liposuction, radiofrequency liposuction and cryolipolysis, or the use of cryogenic freezing to remove fat cells.
4. Laser hair removal
One exceptionally popular procedure for both men and women is laser hair removal. This carefully aimed treatment seeks to remove unwanted body hair permanently by damaging the hair follicles’ ability to produce new growth.The process burns the follicle at the root, and works best on those with light skin and dark hair.
Studies have found laser hair removal safe as long as it’s performed by a medically trained professional, which it isn’t always performed by. Be sure to check that the person performing your procedure has a medical license and is trained to perform the procedure.
5. Soft-tissue fillers
Dermal fillers are an alternative to Botox that help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles in your face. They work by replacing the fat naturally present in our faces that thins with age. Without this fat, your faces loses some of its natural shape and contour. Dermal fillers, which can be viewed as a no pain facelift, can also be used for lip injections, increasing cheekbone prominence and reducing the appearance of scars.
For all of these procedures, a doctor is likely to emphasize that only certain patients who meet certain characteristics are suited for these procedures, and not everyone will get the results they want. They will also caution patients to be realistic about their goals, as non-invasive procedures can only do so much above the muscle to improve one’s physical shape.
However, with a good doctor and a positive outlook, you can find an appropriate minimally invasive procedure to improve the parts of your body you wish looked just a bit better.
Featured photo credit: Adobe Stock via flickr.com