Non-surgical cosmetic treatments have won much praise in recent years. Often these treatments are gentle on the skin, safe and produce great results. However, that does not mean every option is good for you.
In this post, we will introduce you to four non-surgical cosmetic treatments that you should re-evaluate more closely before making your final decision.
Vampire Breast Lift
Vampire Breast Lift (VBL) uses injections of platelet-rich plasma - extracted from a patient's own blood - into the breasts. A provider spins the blood in a centrifuge, a machine that spins your blood at high speed. The centrifuge separates your blood into three components: platelet-rich plasma, white blood cells and red blood cells.
The treatment, marketed as a non-invasive alternative to a surgical breast lift, promises to improve the appearance of the breasts and overall décolletage by minimising the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks and adding subtle volume for a more youthful, perkier cleavage.
The truth is, however, that scientists have not studied the effectiveness of vampire blood lifts. For one, in many cases the actual improvements are negligible.
Patients looking for more dramatic breast rejuvenation (for example, to reverse changes caused by breastfeeding, severe weight loss, or ageing) would be better off looking elsewhere.
Also, the long-term side effects and risks are unknown.
Finally, this procedure involves blood, and carries the risk of transmitting bloodborne diseases, especially if you are working with an inexperienced provider who does not follow proper safety protocols.
All these are things to be mindful of when making a decision.
Permanent Makeup/Cosmetic Tattooing
Many women may dream of skipping their morning makeup routine, but for those who opt for permanently tattooed makeup, the reality can be more like a nightmare. This is especially true if they do not know what they are getting into.
Permanent makeup, also called cosmetic tattooing or micro-pigmentation, is done with the use of a pen that contains iron oxide and tattoos the skin to create the appearance of makeup.
A tattoo can mimic eyeliner or lipstick, or it can darken and create the look of thicker eyebrows. It can also conceal scars and even out an uneven hairline.
All is good until the day you change your mind and want to remove it. Unlike our filler treatments that fade with time, that is not the case with cosmetic tattooing.
Even today's complement of high-tech tattoo removal lasers is unable to remove some tattoos completely. These tattoos are most often found on the inner folds of the eyelids and on the lips. This is why it is very difficult to take them away.
If you don't like the results you may still be stuck with them. And even though you might like the result in the short term, fashions change.
Other concerns include
Nodule formation and scar tissue: the body may view tattoo ink as a "foreign body" and respond by forming nodules (called granulomas) around the pigment particles.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) complications: A few individuals who have undergone an MRI scan of their head have reported swelling or burning in the tattooed area.
While the promise of permanent makeup can be appealing, you should think carefully about this decision, especially if you’re a younger person. Remember that areas on the face (such as the eyes, eyebrows and lips) also change over time with age and you may not like the look five years down the line.
Ablative Carbon dioxide (C02) Laser Skin Resurfacing
An ablative carbon dioxide (C02) laser skin resurfacing procedure is an aggressive form of laser resurfacing.
The ablative component means that intense heat is used to vaporise skin cells (as opposed to non-ablative lasers, which heat the underlying skin tissue without damaging the surface)
People who opt for ablative skin resurfacing with a carbon dioxide laser usually have more severe sun damage, scars, fine lines and/or wrinkles, skin sagging, changes in skin texture and tone, or some variants of precancerous skin lesions.
Since there is no other cosmetic skin treatment that can match the aggressive skin changes that can be achieved with ablative CO2, only those who are willing to endure pain and possible complications should opt for this treatment.
But even then, you are probably better off opting for the lesser extreme options of laser surfacing.
First, there are only a handful of technicians in the UK and around the world who can safely perform a fully ablative CO2 laser.
Second, the list of possible side effects following an ablative C02 laser skin resurfacing is long and includes burns or skin cell damage, scarring, blotchy hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, reactivation of herpes simplex (cold sores), bacterial infections and milia (white bumps)
Unlike other non-surgical cosmetic procedures that are often referred to as "lunch break" treatments, ablative CO2 will demand much more from you.
First, a special form of local anesthesia (in some cases full sedation) is used, so you will need someone to drive you home afterward.
After this, you will need to stay at home for at least 14 days. At this point, you will probably be medically fit to return to work.
However, there will still be redness, inflammation, a grainy skin texture (orange peel skin), and possibly hyperpigmentation, and it may take 3-6 months for these to fully subside.
The biggest advantage of this procedure is that the results are permanent. Once the healing is complete, the skin you are left with is your new skin.
You just need to be sure you can handle the risk and the long recovery process involved.
The basic idea behind non-surgical cosmetic treatments is to change the skin safely and gently. I am not sure how ablative carbon dioxide fits into this ethos. But that's also for you to decide, isn't it?
Dermal fillers, also known as facial fillers, are one of the most common cosmetic procedures. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in 15-20 minutes. In most cases, it can even be performed immediately after your consultation.
That aside, there are different forms of fillers.
Here at Dr Aesthetica, we are big proponents of hyaluronic acid fillers due to their multiple advantages over other fillers available on the market today.
Chief among these is that HA fillers are temporary and reversible.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, "How is that an advantage? I want my fillers to last as long as possible!"
If you have read about potential complications of fillers, you have probably come across the rare but still scary complications that occur when a filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel.
Although we all hope never to face such a scenario (and probably will not), it would be disingenuous of anyone to tell you that this risk does not exist even among the most experienced injectors.
So while permanent fillers do offer the advantage that you do not have to come back every 6-9 months for follow-up treatment, the risks might outweigh the benefits.
What if something goes long, and the filler needs to be extracted?
Removal treatments do exist, but they are very difficult and complex (and can be expensive too ).
It is also important to note that some temporary fillers that don't use HA still carry the same risk.
As it stands, only HA fillers are reversible with a simple injection of hyaluronidase (an enzyme that breaks down HA)
But even if you disregard the potential risks, there is one more thing to consider.
There is no guarantee that you will be satisfied with the long-term results! What do you do then?
If you opt for a reversible treatment like HA filler, that's not a problem either.
The bottom line is that you should take a holistic approach when choosing the filler you need for your face. Do not have tunnel vision and limit your decision-making to one factor - the results you want.
Let Us Help You Make The Right Choice
Dr Aesthetica is a medical aesthetics clinic that offers dermal fillers and other cosmetic procedures. The clinic has a team of licenced and fully qualified technicians who are certified and trained to perform a wide range of cosmetic procedures.
We want all our patients who work through our doors to rest assured that every treatment they received in performed with the uttermost diligence and care.
Dr Aesthetica, with Doctor Farmah, welcomes patients from Birmingham, across the UK and abroad.
Our medical aesthetics clinic is located on Bristol Rd S, Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
To see Doctor Farmah and his team in action, visit Dr Aesthetica's Instagram page.