The pressure to maintain a youthful appearance in spite of one’s age is very real and, at times, overwhelming. While society provides enough incentive to try to maintain a perfect look, the cosmetic industry doesn’t let people forget about the pressure to look good, either. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, for example, has a page-long infographic on their website detailing the best cosmetic surgery for anyone at any age. With the infographic’s attractive design and repeated images of Barbie-like figures, the information is obviously targeted at women, who face the brunt of cosmetic expectations. It is also notable that the infographic contains no material about the risk of any of their mentioned procedures.
Sometimes anti-aging procedures can actually have the opposite of their intended effect, however, especially if a patient has one done when they are still quite young. Brian Biesman, M.D., the director of the Nashville Center for Laser and Facial Surgery, notes that those seeking cosmetic procedures are younger than ever. He, however, believes in avoiding surgery before it’s needed. When preventative-style anti-aging surgery is completed to stave off aging, it can actually cause patients to have a stiff appearance. It’s the dreaded “worked on” look that makes people look older than they actually are. However, if you are ready for a cosmetic procedure, is there one you should get? Are there procedures to avoid? The following paragraphs are just an overview of procedures of which you should probably steer clear.
1. Anything Over $500
There are a variety of anti-aging procedures that do not cost an arm and a leg to have done. And, most of them are far less invasive than actual surgery. Consider that plastic surgery requires anesthetics and a long recovery time, sometimes overnight in the hospital. These all add up to a majorly expensive bill when it comes time to pay. Whether or not you have the thousands of dollars you need to shell out for invasive plastic surgery, the fact is that there are more cost-effective options. Microdermabrasion, for example, can cost as low as $100, but it works to reduce fine lines and uneven texture. Chemical peels, injections, fillers, and sclerotherapy (the treatment of spider or varicose veins) can all cost under $500 and have many benefits.
2. Stem-Cell Surgery
In an effort to find treatments for baldness and wrinkles, some doctors have experimented with stem-cells, which are essentially cells that can become different specialized cell types. So, the idea is that you could reinitiate hair growth or collagen production through stem-cells. This procedure is actually popular in Russian beauty salons. The problem here is that there aren’t many studies on its safety and there probably aren’t many regulations on the salons. There are also reports that suggest some of the stem-cells come from poor mothers who are paid to have late-term abortions and sell the fetus so that stem-cells can be harvested. The bottom line is, until this procedure gains more ground with reputable surgeons, it’s best to avoid it.
3. Surgery Requiring Incisions on Your Face
Although the face is the focal point for most people who want plastic surgery to fight the signs of aging, it can be a bad deal to have any procedures that require your face to be cut. After the procedure, you will probably require a one- to two-day hospital stay, and recovery can take even longer. And while surgeons try to strategically hide scars, there is always the potential that one will be visible or in the way. And, scarring can take six months to heal, if it heals at all. It may be better to stick to more natural methods to fight aging than to end up with a permanently scarred face. If you are still looking into cosmetic surgery, be sure to consult with a reputable plastic surgeon or dermatologist to see which procedures will be beneficial for you before proceeding.