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Botox, Fillers, Lasers, And Peels: Skin Rejuvenation Without Surgery

Crow’s feet, wrinkles, blemishes — the list of things that can bother you about the skin on your face might seem endless. These things can leave you feeling self-conscious about your appearance and knock your confidence down a notch.

But you don’t need to give up — getting rid of these problems and improving your skin may be much easier than you think.

Nonsurgical rejuvenation procedures, such as botox, fillers, lasers, and chemical peels, can improve the appearance of the skin on your face. Compared with surgery, these procedures tend to be generally safer and less expensive, and usually involve little to no recovery time.

    Fast facts about nonsurgical rejuvenation procedures

  1. They can treat wrinkles, scars, and sun damage. 
  2. They can improve skin volume, tone, and texture. 
  3. Results are less dramatic than with surgical procedures — but recovery time is shorter. 
  4. Most treatments are done in an office, like a medical spa, in 90 minutes or less. 
  5. Results are usually temporary and last 3 months to a year or longer. 
  • Botox

    Botulinum toxin — commonly referred to as Botox — is an injectable solution. It’s used to temporarily reduce or completely get rid of fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

    Botox injections are designed to block nerve signals to the muscle receiving the injection. This prevents the muscle from contracting, leading to fewer facial wrinkles.

    There are many uses for Botox. Some of the most common include:

    • Smoothing facial wrinkles — crow’s feet, forehead furrows, frown lines, lip lines, and nose wrinkles (called bunny lines)
    • Diminishing neck bands
    • Improving the appearance of skin dimpling in the chin
    • Lifting the corners of the mouth
    • Softening a square jawline
    • Decreasing the amount of upper gums that show when smiling

    What happens during a botulinum toxin injection?

    1. Your physician will inject small amounts of botulinum toxin into the desired areas using a very small needle, which usually causes little, if any, pain. However, the area can be numbed with a topical cream or by applying an ice pack before the injection.
    2. The number of injections will depend on your facial features and the extent of your wrinkles. For instance, crow’s feet might take two to three injections while brow furrows might take five or more.
    3. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes.

    What’s the recovery like?

    There is no recovery or required downtime after the injections. There’s also no local anesthesia, so there’s no need to wait for any sedation to wear off. You’ll be able to resume normal activities, like going back to work and even exercising, immediately.

    You shouldn’t rub or massage the treated areas, though, because it can make the Botox move to another part of your face. This can cause facial weakness or.drooping.

    What are the possible risks?

    Botox injections are usually very safe, but complications can occur. They include:

    • Bruising, pain, or redness at the injection site
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Temporary facial weakening or drooping

    Though very unlikely, Botox can spread beyond the treatment area, causing breathing problems, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness, and slurred speech. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these or similar symptoms.

  • Dermal Fillers

    Have you ever wondered how celebrities get their lips looking so plump? Unless they have some serious luck with genetics, it’s probably because of dermal fillers.

    As you get older, you inevitably lose fat under your skin. Without that fat, your facial muscles are closer to the surface, making things like smile lines and crow’s feet more noticeable. The skin can also stretch over time, which takes away volume in your face.

    Dermal fillers are injectable substances used to get rid of wrinkles and add volume. The fillers are mostly made of your own fat or materials that occur naturally in the body. Some may include a safe, man-made substance.

    Common uses of dermal fillers include:

    • Plumping of the lips
    • Enhancing shallow contours on the face
    • Softening of facial creases and wrinkles
    • Improving the appearance of scars that have sunken in
    • Reshaping abnormalities in the contours of the face
    • Decreasing or removing dark circles below the eyes

    What happens during a dermal filler injection?

    1. Your physician will evaluate your face and skin tone in the areas that you want to change. They may mark strategic points on your face or take photos of the areas that will be treated.
    2. The injection sites will be cleaned with an antibacterial solution. Your physician might numb the skin, or they might place a very cold instrument against your skin to help ease the pain. While you might feel a little bit of pain, it shouldn’t be severe.
    3. Your physician will inject the filler. It only takes a few moments per injection site, but the need for massaging, evaluating, and possibly injecting more filler can add to the time. The entire process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

    What’s the recovery like?

    You’ll be given an ice pack to bring down any swelling and to help with discomfort. The area might be tender for a couple of days, but it usually isn’t painful enough to require medication.

    You will be able to resume most normal activities right away, but it’s usually recommended to avoid intense physical activity for 24 to 48 hours. This helps with any swelling and bruising.

    Initially, the injection sites might be overfilled — swollen, bruised, numb, red, hard, or hypersensitive. Applying ice and massaging the areas should help improve these symptoms within a few hours or days.

    Let your physician know if the side effects don’t go away, as you might need medications or other injections. Depending on the substance your physician uses in the filler, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to heal.

    What are the possible risks?

    Severe complications from dermal fillers are uncommon, but the potential for risks will vary depending on the type of filler that you use. Risks include:

    • Skin marks that look like acne
    • Bruising, bleeding, and swelling at the injection site
    • Infection at the injection site
    • Formation of lumps
    • Skin rash, itching, or redness

    As with any procedure, it’s possible that you won’t be happy with the results. And most fillers dissipate over time, so you may need to consider getting further injections in the future to maintain the results.

  • Laser Skin Resurfacing

    Laser skin resurfacing — also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization, or lasabrasion — is used to help with facial wrinkles, scars, and blemishes

    Laser skin resurfacing uses lasers, or beams of light. The laser sends short, concentrated beams of light to remove unwanted, damaged skin. The laser is very precise and allows your physician to remove one layer of skin at a time, which causes fewer complications, like skin lightening.

    Once the outermost layer of skin (epidermis) is removed, the laser will heat the layer that’s right below it (the dermis). This process smooths and firms the skin.

    Common uses of laser skin resurfacing include:

    • Fixing fine lines or wrinkles around the eyes, forehead, and mouth
    • Diminishing scars from acne or chickenpox
    • Fixing skin from a facelift that no longer moves as it should
    • Improving aged or damaged skin
    • Removing liver spots, birthmarks, and warts
    • Improving skin tones that are yellowish or grayish
    • Decreasing the size of enlarged oil glands on the nose

    What happens during laser skin resurfacing?

    1. You may be started on a series of skin treatments to prep your skin — this could be 6 or more weeks before your procedure.
    2. Your physician may give you a local anesthetic or sedative to help you relax. They will clean your face and give you eye protection to protect your eyes from the laser.
    3. Your physician will use the laser on the areas that you want to be changed. They will then apply special dressing to protect the tissue that has been treated. You may need further dressing changes or topical treatments to heal. The entire procedure takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

    What’s the recovery like?

    You may need to change the dressings and apply topical ointments as your skin heals. The reaction to lasers can differ depending on the person, but most of the time, it feels like a mild sunburn. Your skin will likely have some redness and swelling, which may itch or sting for a few days.

    For some patients, healing can look like a severe sunburn. In this case, the skin will be raw. It may ooze, and it might even blister. It’s important not to pick or scratch at the healing skin, as this can cause scarring.

    You’ll need to clean the treated areas 2 to 5 times a day with a saline or diluted vinegar solution, depending on your physician’s instructions. It’s also essential that you use sunscreen every day — your skin is sensitive as it’s healing, and sun can damage it quite a bit. You may also need to use lotion to keep your skin hydrated.

    About 5 to 7 days after the procedure, your skin will become dry and will peel. After your skin peels, the new skin will initially appear pink, but it will lighten over the next 2 or 3 months. It may be a year until the pinkness completely goes away, though.

    What are the possible risks?

    Laser skin resurfacing is generally safe, though there are a few risks, such as:

    • Acne flares
    • Bacterial infection
    • Skin darkening or lightening
    • Small white bumps, called milia, which can be removed with gentle cleansing
    • Prolonged redness
    • Scarring
    • Swelling

    You can help avoid risks by elevating your head when you sleep, icing the treated areas, and avoiding smoking, as this can complicate the healing process. It will generally take 1 to 2 weeks for a full recovery.

  • Chemical Peels

    If the skin on your face or neck is uneven, wrinkled, spotted, or scarred, you may be interested in a chemical peel. Chemical peels are similar to laser rejuvenation procedures because they remove the outermost layer of your skin, which can be damaged by sun exposure, acne, or aging.

    There are three techniques a physician can use for a chemical peel: light, medium, and deep. With a light chemical peel, the improvements are subtle at first, but you’ll see a healthy glow continue to develop as you continue treatments. A medium chemical peel will make your skin noticeably smoother and fresher-looking. And a deep chemical peel will provide the most dramatic results, but recovery takes the longest.

    In general, though, chemical peels won’t treat deep facial lines or wrinkles, significantly loose or sagging skin, or very deep scars.

    Chemical peels are commonly used for:

    • Reducing acne, acne scars, or other scars
    • Removing fine lines or wrinkles
    • Fixing irregular skin coloring
    • Removing rough skin and scaly patches
    • Improving sun-damaged skin

    What happens during a chemical peel?

    The procedure for a chemical peel differs slightly for light, medium, and deep treatments. Each treatment will begin with cleansing your face thoroughly.

    What the Peel Involves: What to Expect After the Peel:
    1. Brushing the chemical solution onto your skin and leaving it there for a few minutes, during which you may feel mild stinging
    2. Washing the peel off.
    Your skin may turn red and you may experience some stinging, skin flaking, or irritation for a few days.
    1. Brushing the chemical solution onto your skin and leaving it there for a few minutes, during which you may feel burning or stinging The treated area may also turn a whitish grey color.
    2. Washing the peel off and neutralizing the chemicals with a cool saline compress
    Your skin may turn red or brown during the next few days. The peeling process should start within 48 hours and can last up to a week, during which you’ll need to keep your skin well-moisturized.
    1. Being given a sedative to relax as well as a local anesthetic to help you not feel any pain
    2. Brushing phenol — an antiseptic and disinfectant alcohol — onto the skin
    3. Removing and neutralizing the chemical with water to subdue it
    4. Spreading a thick coat of ointment over the treated area to prevent dryness and pain (Note: Sometimes, this ointment will be covered with tape or medicated gauze)
    You may experience peeling, crusting, skin redness, and discomfort for several day or weeks following the peel. Any swelling should go away in about two weeks, but your skin can remain red for up to three months.

    What’s the recovery like?

    Both a light and medium chemical peel will usually cause redness, stinging, skin flaking, and irritation. A medium chemical peel may also lead to some color changes in your skin, but avoiding sun exposure and using sunscreen for several months can help you avoid this. The side effects usually subside after multiple treatments.

    A deep chemical peel requires a longer recovery. You’ll experience peeling, crusting, skin redness, and discomfort for a few days to several weeks. Your physician may prescribe pain medications.

    The swelling should go down in about 2 weeks, but redness may last for up to 3 months. You can usually return to some normal activities, such as working and light exercise, after about 2 weeks.

    Though the recovery is longer, dramatic results from a deep chemical peel can last up to 10 years.

    What are the possible risks?

    Light chemical peel risks include:

    • Hyperpigmentation — too much pigment on your skin, causing brown spots
    • Infection

    In addition to the risks of a light chemical peel, medium chemical peel risks also include:

    • Prolonged redness, possibly longer than a few months
    • Permanent scarring

    Deep chemical peels include the risks of both light and medium chemical peels, as well as:

    • More frequent sunburns than before the procedure, especially without proper sun protection
    • Heightened risk of complications for people with heart disease because phenol has been associated with heart problems

Why Choose Stormont

Located in Topeka, Kansas, Stormont Vail Health is a community-driven organization. It offers close to home care and with limited travel requirements, it will be easier for you to get the care you need in a community you trust.

In 2018, Stormont Vail achieved Magnet designation for a third time. Magnet designation is one of the highest awards in nursing excellence and high-quality patient care. Only 9% of US hospitals have earned this recognition. The Joint Commission — with more than 50 years of accrediting hospitals in high quality standards — has also accredited Stormont Vail Hospital.

With several plastic surgeons and a nursing team that’s been recognized for excellence with the prestigious Magnet designation, Stormont Vail Health has an experienced and skilled medical team to help you explore whether non-surgical rejuvenation procedures are right for you.

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