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Cautions about Laser Surgery, Botox and Hair Removal

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 22 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Laser Botox Treatment Teeth Whitening

There are many new and popular beauty treatments - but as the methods used to make us more beautiful get more hi-tech, do the risks increase with them?

Laser Facial Resurfacing

This is when a cosmetic surgeon uses a laser to destroy the surface layer of your skin, which in turn exposes the lower layer, or dermis. Then, the laser heats the dermis back up to stimulate re-growth of collagen. The wound heals, and as it does, new skin forms with less wrinkles or previous scars. Laser treatment is often used to treat blemishes such as port wine stains and spider veins, and also to remove unwanted tattoos. The treatment is usually done under local anaesthetic, and can last anything from a few minutes to over an hour.

After a treatment you will need to;

  • stay indoors and away from the sun where possible. If not possible, use a sun screen with a high SPF.
  • keep your skin well moisturised with a basic, hypo-allergenic moisturiser
  • use baby shampoo or mild shampoo on your hair
  • try to keep your face as still as possible

Side Effects of Laser Facial Resurfacing

You may find that after treatment there's;

  • some discomfort
  • swelling and occasionally oozing for up to two weeks
  • some redness that could take up to three months to subside
  • scabs - this is part of healing

As with all procedures, there are some potential, but rare, complications.

  • Skin infection
  • Changes in skin pigmentation
  • Scarring
  • Reactivation of existing cold sore virus

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening treatments are based on a bleaching process, usually carried out in a dentist's surgery, using peroxide based compound. You can sometimes buy kits to take home, which will be a lower concentration. If it's carried out by a trained dentist, the risks of teeth whitening are low, and can be very impressive.

You can also have laser whitening, which is when a dentist puts a rubber dam over your teeth to protect the gums, the bleaching product is painted on your teeth, and a laser is used to activate the chemical. This can work faster than traditional teeth whitening procedures as the laser light accelerates the chemical reaction. It can potentially make your teeth five or six shades lighter.

The higher the concentration of peroxide the more effective it will be but strong concentrations can also cause damage to gums and lips, so make sure that your dentist isolates your gums and lips when carrying out the treatment

Side Effects of Tooth Whitening

  • sensitivity during or after the initial treatment
  • sharp shooting pains in your teeth lasting a couple of days
  • sore throat
  • white patches on the gums

Laser Hair Removal

If you have unwanted hair that you're just dying to get rid of, Lasers can be used on most areas where you have hair growth.

The most popular areas are:

  • face
  • bikini line
  • under arm
  • legs
  • Stomach.

It's best for new hairs that are just starting to grow, and you'll probably find that you have to have several treatments in the same area. It's unlikely to remove all of the hair for good - but it does slow down re-growth. Laser hair removal works best on pale skin.

What Can I Expect From Laser Hair Removal?

The treatment can sting and it usually takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on how large an area is being treated. After you've had a laser hair removal treatment, you can find that your skin is swollen and reddish, but it should be back to normal within a day or so.

Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal

You can be left with dark marks or slight pigmentation which should fade in time.

It's best not to have laser treatment if;

  • you're sensitive to light
  • have an infection close to the area you're having treated
  • you've been treated for acne recently.

Botox

Much has been said about the wisdom of injecting a toxin into your skin, but in fact Botox is a very safe procedure. Botox has been used to treat wrinkles since 1990 and is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the UK.Botox is injected with a very fine needle, directly into the muscle. A Botox treatment takes around 10-15 minutes.

When is Botox Not a Good Idea?

You should avoid having a Botox treatment if:

  • You're pregnant or breast feeding
  • You're taking muscle relaxants
  • You have any inflammation or infection close to where injections would be given.

What Are The Side Effects of Botox?

Sometimes the muscles which have been injected get too weak, which could cause droopy eyelids, problems raising your eyebrows, or drooling. These problems will reduce as the Botox effects wear off.

If you have too many Botox treatments, your body can develop which stop it from being effective altogether.

As more and more ways to stop the ageing process and beautify ourselves are developed, there are potentially more things that could go wrong - but in all honesty, most of the procedures, when they are carried out by a professional, are very low risk and the only damage you'll see is to your bank balance!

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