It seems like every day there are new breakthroughs that promise to make us look and feel younger. Creams and lotions make claims to erase the hands of time, so how do we separate the hype from reality? When we reviewed the most current statistics reported by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, we learned that among the 15.5 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed in 2016, the top 5 were: Botox injections (Botulinum Toxin Type A, 7 million procedures, up 4% from 2015); Soft Tissue Fillers (Hyaluronic acid injections, 2.6 million procedures, up 2% from 2015); Chemical Peels (1.36 million procedures, up 4% since 2015); Laser hair removal (1.1 million procedures, down 1% from 2015); and Microdermabrasion (775,000 procedures, down 3% from 2015).
We consulted award-winning Plastic Surgeon Dr. Brian S. Coan, Founder of CARE Plastic Surgery in Durham and Cary, NC. Dr. Coan states that in his practice experience, mature patients, both men and women, are more likely to seek cosmetic procedures to reverse the effects of aging. The most common concerns of mature patients include correcting loose skin, improving the look of jowls and reducing extra eyelid skin. Many patients request facial procedures to help address the inevitable effects of time that can cause patients to look unhappy, tired, or serious and older than they actually feel. Other popular procedures Coan offers older patients include abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and neck lifts. Dr. Coan states, “Necklifts and eyelid lifts are extremely popular with men, whereas a majority of my female patients prefer to address their lips, jowls and overall facial aesthetics with full facial rejuvenation or facelift procedures.
Dr. Coan mentions that many patients look to turn back the clock, yet still wish to look like themselves, “Many of my patients come in saying that just because they look older doesn’t mean they feel older. Many people are looking for procedures and products to help make their outer appearance more in line with how youthful they feel inside.” Dr. Coan also says that non-surgical procedures may offer an alternative for budget-conscious patients who prefer less recovery in exchange for more subtle improvements. He also stresses that non-surgical procedures do not last forever and it is optimal to ensure your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and also preferably a member of the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
What are the most popular “lunchtime” cosmetic treatments? How long do results last? (editor’s note: results may vary)
Botox (Botulium Toxin A injections).
How long: 3-4 months
What it is: Injection that temporarily reduces frown lines, forehead creases, crows feet near the eyes and thick bands in the neck. The toxin blocks nerve impulses, temporarily paralyzing muscles that cause aging wrinkles. The treatment also works by giving the skin a smoother, more refreshed appearance.
Juvederm (Hyaluronic acid fillers)
How long: 8-12 months
What it is: Hyaluronic acid fillers work by plumping the skin to create a more youthful appearance. Areas most commonly treated include thin lips, shallow contours, facial creases and wrinkles, nasolabial folds. Fillers also work to improve the appearance of recessed scars.
Chemical Peels – Phenol, (TCA) trichloroacetic acid and (AHAs) alphahydroxy acids
How long: Medical grade peels usually require 1-3 treatments and generally last 6-24 months.
What it is: Medical grade chemical peels 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.
Laser Hair Removal
How long: Generally performed in a 4-5 successive treatments with touch-up 1-2 times per year.
What it is: A medical procedure that uses an intense, pulsating beam of light to remove unwanted hair. The process works by passing a light beam through the skin and targets dark pigment in hair. When the light beam hits the hair follicle (where hair growth originates), the intense heat destroys the hair follicle.
How long: Usually done in a series of 4-5 treatments over 1-2 months. Lasts 6-14 months.
What it is: A skin-freshening treatment that helps repair facial skin and the effects of aging. The healthcare professional uses a device like a fine sandblaster to spray tiny crystals across the face, mixing gentle abrasion with suction to remove the dead, outer layer of skin.
Editor’s Notes: After Fifty Living thanks Brian S. Coan, MD and Care Plastic Surgery (Durham, NC) for this informative article.
An example of Dr. Coan’s surgical results may be seen on The Doctors. (See the video, here).
Dr. Coan was recently named as a 2016 Real Self Top 100 plastic surgeon and is frequently sought after as a leading plastic surgeon by various media outlets, including NBC-17, ABC-11, Durham Magazine and Alamance Woman Magazine. He has been named Best Plastic Surgeon in Durham seven years in a row (by Durham Magazine), and recently received the distinct recognition as one of North Carolina’s Top Plastic Surgeons rated by U.S. News and World Report.
As an award-winning plastic surgeon and founder of CARE Plastic Surgery, Dr. Coan offers science-based surgical, non-surgical and laser procedures for cosmetic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.
In addition, we acknowledge and thank ASPS for the surgical procedure figures. ASPS Procedural Statistics represent procedures performed by ASPS member surgeons certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery® as well as other physicians certified by American Board of Medical Specialties-recognized boards. © ASPS, 2017.