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Out-patient dermatology treatments

Dermatology treatments, including Botox, laser surgery and dermabrasion, can be done in a dermatologist's ( skin specialist's) consulting room.

Botox

Botulinum toxin injection is a cosmetic procedure used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Small, diluted amounts can be injected directly into specific muscles, causing controlled weakening of the muscles. As a result, the injected muscle cannot contract, causing the wrinkles to relax and soften. The treatment is most often used on forehead lines, crow's feet (lines around the eye), and frown lines.

The procedure takes only a few minutes and no anaesthesia is required. The botulinum toxin is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect.

The most common side effect of botulinum toxin injection is temporary bruising. A small percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping, which usually resolves itself within three weeks. This development is usually caused by migration of the botulinum toxin. For this reason, you shouldn't rub the treated area for 12 hours after an injection or lie down for 3 to 4 hours.

Chemical peels

A chemical peel, also known as dermapeeling, is a technique in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin. The affected skin peels off, leaving the new skin smoother.

Chemical peels are performed on the face, neck, or hands. They can help reduce:

To perform a chemical peel, the doctor cleans the skin and then applies a chemical solution (such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, or salicylic acid) to affected areas on the skin. These applications produce a wound, paving the way for regenerated skin.

After the chemical peel, your skin will be red and will peel for up to a week before the benefits can be seen. The process can be repeated as necessary.

Possible side effects include reactivation of cold sores ( herpes infection) in patients with a history of herpes outbreaks. This can be prevented or treated with an oral medication.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion, or surgical skin planing, is an abrasive procedure that "sandblasts" the skin to create a smoother layer of skin. Dermabrasion is used to treat scars, pox marks, age ( liver) spots, and skin lesions.

In the dermabrasion procedure, the doctor cleans and freezes the skin. To perform the abrasion, the doctor uses a high-speed instrument equipped with a wheel or brush to strip off the top layers of skin.

Your skin will feel rough and "burnt" after the dermabrasion procedure, and will be pink for a while before the benefits of dermabrasion can be seen. Stay out of the sun for several months and be sure to use sunscreen when you do go outside.

Risks of dermabrasion can include uneven changes in skin colour, scarring, and infection.

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