|Are fake boobs a faux pas? It all depends on who you ask. When it comes to cosmetic surgery we all have our own level of tolerance as to what is acceptable and how much plastic is pathological. But what if your smile makes you sad, or your eye sight is impairing your better judgment? Why should you suffer when a relatively minor procedure or fix can make you feel a whole lot better about yourself?|
This recently became a nagging question after I met up with an old high school friend of mine down in South Beach. Something was different, very different about Darren. When he turned around and asked me to rub lotion on his shoulders, I realized that this was the first time I had ever seen my friend bare back at the beach. You see, the otherwise confident Darren had always been plagued by the hair that carpeted his back and now, just 12 laser zapping sessions later, he could very well have been a Baywatch poster boy.
We all have that blemish or imperfection that we wish we could correct, whether it is the crooked bite that forces you to smile with locked lips or spider veins that keep you all clad even in blazing temperatures. Thankfully, a whole range of options are now available to growing numbers of women and men like Darren who are turning to ways of improving their looks without major surgery.
In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in the United States rose by nine percent in 2007, to nearly 10 million. The top five were Botox, hyaluronic acid fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion.
And just in case any guys out there were wondering, according to industry figures men represented the fastest growing segment. Since 1997, non-surgical cosmetic and skin procedures among men have increased 722 percent, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
What it is: An effective way of brightening your smile by eliminating stains created from smoking, eating and imbibing certain drinks (such as coffee, tea and alcohol).
The Process: Gum tissue is first covered to protect it from being irritated. A whitening gel is then applied to the teeth and then activated by a high intensity light or laser to increase the lightening effect on the teeth. In-office treatments take about an hour, and can lighten your teeth up to eight or ten shades in one treatment.
Approximate Cost: $300 to $500.
What it is: These porcelain veneers are thin customized covers put over the front surface of a tooth. Veneers are typically applied to fix crooked, small, or chipped teeth.
The Process: In the first visit, the patient is examined and impressions are made of the teeth. Next the Dentist will grind down or shave the underlying teeth and outfit patients with temporaries. After the veneers have been custom-made at a lab, the patient goes back to the dentist to have the veneers placed on the teeth. It's usually about a 2- to 2½-week turnaround time on those.
Approximate Cost: $1,000 per veneer.
Lasik Eye Surgery
What it is: LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is an eye surgery treatment that reshapes the cornea in order to produce clear vision for individuals who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism.
The Process: The ophthalmologist conducts a pre- LASIK eye examination to determine whether a patient is a good candidate for the surgery. To begin the correction procedure, the eye is anesthetized with topical eye drops. Next the surgeon creates the flap on the outer surface of the eye to expose the underlying cornea. The cornea is then reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap is replaced.
Approximate Cost: $499-$2500 per eye.
Laser Hair Removal
What it is: Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses laser light to remove unwanted hair. The laser targets dark pigment, called melanin, in hair. Common treatment locations include back, armpits, upper lip, ears, neck, and the Brazilian line (for men tbis last one is referred to as the Manzilian!)
Process: A topical cooling gel is applied to the skin and then a trained professional presses a hand-held laser instrument to your skin. Once activated the laser light passes through your skin's surface and the intense heat damages the hair follicles to inhibit hair growth. It takes several treatments to provide an extended hair-free period.
Approximate Cost: Prices range between $400-$450 per session.
What it is: Microdermabrasion is a skin-refreshing technique that exfoliates your skin to stimulate cell turnover, improve skin tone, and to soften and polish away mild sun damage, scars and facial wrinkles.
The Process: A powerful device is used to spray crystals onto the skin's surface resulting in a gentle abrasion or polishing of the uppermost layer of dead skin cells on the skin's epidermis.
Approximate Cost: Prices range between $100-$150 per treatment.
All of these procedures can change your life. Just the same, we at SingleEdition remind you to always research the anticipated procedure and the experience of the provider, making sure to carefully check references and to understand all potential complications and/or inherent risks.
What it is: For individuals who suffer from excessive sweating, also known as hyperdrosis, Botox® can be a solution.
The Process: Botox is injected into the skin of perspiration-prone areas such as the armpits or palms and temporarily paralyzing nerves endings to stop sweat production. Sweating typically begins to decrease after two days, and within a week, patients experience a significant and often dramatic reduction in sweating.
Approximate Cost: Treatments vary but the average cost is $750 for both underarms.