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Millions of non-surgical cosmetic procedures are performed annually worldwide.

In rapidly growing numbers, women are visiting dermatologists, aestheticians and plastic surgeons for injections of Botox, Restylane, and other soft tissue fillers, for laser skin treatments, for removal of tattoos, varicose veins, and unwanted hair.

The top procedures for women are soft tissue fillers, Botox, and chemical peels, followed by microdermabrasion, treatment of leg veins, and laser hair removal.

Soft tissue fillers and other injectables

Artecoll, Radiance, Radiesse

Artecoll is a new implant product used to treat folds and wrinkles of the face, for lip augmentation, acne scars and other skin disorders. Unlike traditional collagen and fat injections that last 3-6 months, Artecoll can last up to 5 years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not currently approve Artecoll, but in six years’ use in Europe, South America and Canada, it has been proven safe with less than 0.1% of incidence rates reported. Approval from the FDA is anticipated soon.

Hyaluronic acid fillers Restylane, Restylane Fine Lines, Perlane, Hylaform, Hylaform Plus, Juvederm Considered the new future of cosmetic dermal fillers, Restylane is the most highly purified form of hyaluronic acid gel on the market. Completely natural, biodegradable, non-animal derived, it poses no risk of rejection. It lasts longer than Botox. Six months is standard and a year is not unusual. Restylane has just been approved by the F.D.A. Restylane Fine Lines addresses those finer lines of the upper lip. Other products are better for deeper facial contours like cheeks and chins.

/botox.jpg" width="120" height="160" align="left">Botox, Dysport

These injectables can reduce the appearance of certain wrinkles. It's particularly effective on forehead wrinkles, frown lines and crow's feet. The substance temporarily paralyzes the muscles that cause wrinkles and prevents wrinkles from forming. This results in a fresher, younger looking appearance. Dysport is also a botulinum toxin, which is not yet approved by the F.D.A. in the U.S, but is very popular and well liked by doctors.

Fat Injection

Some choose to have fat injections instead of collagen. Usually done when undergoing liposuction, some of the fat is removed and treated, then used to fill in facial lines and wrinkles, and to fill lips. Increasingly, fat is used to enhance feet or hands. Allergic reaction is not an issue because the fat is harvested from the ’s own body.

/collagen.gif" width="133" height="120" align="right">Collagen-based fillers Zyderm, Zyplast, CosmoDerm, CosmoPlast

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein used in the aesthetics industry primarily to fill surface wrinkles, lines and scars and on the face and sometimes the neck, back and chest. It fills in these lines and creases to restore youthful looks in the patient’s appearance. These are decreasing in popularity because the newer injectables cause less, or no, reaction.

Laser and light treatments

Cool, hot, IPL, Erbium, carbon dioxide, pigment, Alexandrite, Lyla. It seems there's no end in sight to the development of specialized laser and light tools for the dermatologist and esthetician. Many treat only one problem. The good news is they're all available in Subic. If you are scheduled for a treatment back home and don't want to miss it, or if you want to try one without making a large financial commitment, you can do it here.

/hair_rmoval.jpg" width="300" height="186" align="left">Laser hair removal

This is a permanent fix for unwanted hair. Most patients tolerate this straightforward procedure well. But some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, and topical anesthesia may be used. Since the laser tends to affect hair follicles that are in the active growth phase, a series of three or four sessions are generally required to disable the hair follicles. Depending on the amount of hair and the size of the area being treated, the sessions can vary from a few minutes to an hour or more.

Laser resurfacing helps minimize fine lines particularly around the mouth and eyes. Brief, high intensity emissions of light remove layers of damaged or wrinkled skin at precisely controlled levels of penetration. Sometimes laser resurfacing is performed in conjunction with a facelift. As loose, sagging skin is tightened and firmed by a facelift, skin texture is improved by laser resurfacing.

The procedure may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgical facility, or surgeon’s office, depending on its extent. Even patients who remain awake during the procedure report feeling only minimal discomfort. After the surgery, the pain is mild to moderate.

Lasers can sometimes be used to remove facial scars, acne scars, and unwanted hair.

Other skin resurfacing and other treatments:

Chemical peel

This procedure uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. It is helpful for those individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation. Chemical peel may also remove pre-cancerous skin growths, soften acne facial scars and even control acne.

A medium to deep chemical or laser peel requires a minimum two weeks stay in a controlled environment, with daily change of dressings for the first week.

/microdermabrasion4.jpg" width="190" height="144" hspace="5" align="right">Microdermabrasion

This process helps diminish fine wrinkles, sun damage, and acne scars. A highly controlled spray of fine chemical crystals are applied under vacuum pressure to the skin. It can leave your skin softer, smoother and fresher looking. The process involves far less pain and recovery time than laser or chemical peels, with no anesthesia or irritation.

Varicose & spider veins

There are several procedures to have varicose veins eliminated or removed. These include injection or sclerotherapy, excision of veins via micro-incisions, 'stripping' of veins; transluminal-powered phlebectomy (vein removal).

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