AgingSkinNet Spotlight Article
Cheaper Isn't Always Better
How to evaluate the deals offered for cosmetic procedures

It seems that just about everyone is cutting back on expenses these days. While this trend offers consumers some great deals, you sometimes need to consider more than price to know how great a deal really is. The following explains two points you should consider before a cosmetic procedure to avoid compromising your safety and results.

  1. Medical training and experience of the person performing the procedure
    Paying for medical training and years of experience performing cosmetic procedures can actually save you money — and protect your safety. While this may seem hard to believe with cosmetic procedures so widely available, the truth is that experience counts. Undesirable results rise dramatically when the person performing the procedure lacks medical training and experience performing cosmetic procedures.

    Still not convinced? Data shows that dermatologists are seeing more patients who have had complications when the cosmetic procedure was not performed (or supervised) by someone who is board-certified in dermatology or a similar medical specialty.

    Many patients seek treatment for damage caused by an overzealous laser procedure. Using a laser on the wrong setting for the person’s skin can remove more than unwanted hair. It can lighten skin color, resulting in whitish spots or a zebra-stripe pattern on the skin. In untrained hands, lasers also can cause burns and even permanent scarring.

    With fillers, the more commonly seen side effects are bleeding and visible lumps and bumps.

    Even mild chemical peels and microdermabrasion can produce less-than-desirable results in inexperienced hands. You can see uneven skin color afterward.

    How to avoid this potential hidden cost: As the results seen after a cosmetic procedure depend almost entirely on the knowledge and skill of the person performing it, the American Academy of Dermatology urges everyone to select a doctor who is board certified in dermatology or a similar medical specialty.

  2. Results that sound too good to be true
    The promise of permanent hair removal after a few laser sessions or blemish-free skin following a chemical peel sounds great. Who would not want to spend a bit of money to eliminate the cost of hair removal or acne medications from one’s budget?

    The truth is that today’s procedures cannot deliver these results. Lasers can remove hair and permanently reduce hair growth, but maintenance treatments are often necessary. A chemical peel can be part of an effective acne-treatment plan, but it won’t cure acne.

    How to avoid this potential hidden cost: Do your homework before scheduling the procedure so that you have realistic expectations. To find out what you can expect, visit the section of this site called Cosmetic Procedures.

Dermatologists Can Offer Solutions for Budget Conscious
There are many options for treating signs of aging — and more emerging. A dermatologist can help you explore options within your budget. For example, some patients opt for fillers instead of an invasive procedure that requires downtime. Others trim costs by choosing prescription-strength creams and ointments rather than a procedure. Wise selection of over-the-counter products also can help diminish some signs of aging. A dermatologist has the training and knowledge to help you select a safe and effective option that fits your budget.

More Information
10 Questions to Ask Before a Cosmetic Procedure
Cosmetic Procedures

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Telling a dermatologist how much you can comfortably spend allows the doctor to discuss options within your budget.





© American Academy of Dermatology, 2010  All rights reserved.
Page last updated 4/23/09

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