Doctors warn against do-it-yourself treatments
April 19, 2012
While the high cost of some plastic surgery procedures has caused some people to seek dangerous alternatives such as using unlicensed individuals and potentially dangerous ingredients, others have chosen to perform them on their own at home, which also poses serious risks says reports from ABC news and CBS Pittsburgh.
The low cost and ease of buying a do-it-yourself kit for a non-surgical cosmetic procedure such as microdermabrasion, laser hair removal or a chemical peel is causing many to try these treatments out on their own. However, doctors warn that they may end up doing more harm than good.
CBS Pittsburgh reports that plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists are seeing an increase in individuals who have had to endure pain and long-term skin damage due to some at-home treatments.
"We've had patients come in the day before their daughter's wedding and done an at-home chemical peel and come in with second degree burns," a Pennsylvania-based cosmetic dermatologist told the news provider.
Experts say that although prescription-strength acids used for chemical peels can be found online and obtained without a prescription, consumers should avoid them.
"If you stumble upon a website selling prescription-strength retinoid, that should be a red flag and [you should] seek professional help first… because there are certain reactions that can happen and certain products you don't want to mix together with those," the dermatologist told CBS Pittsburgh.
Caution also needs to be used when trying a do-it-yourself laser hair removal, as misuse can cause burning, redness and scarring. In-office treatments are also likely to be much more successful.
"The companies say after five treatments you have a 50 to 70 percent reduction in hair growth," an industry expert told ABC News about at-home laser removal. "I expect 70 to 100 percent from office devices."
Permanent damage can also result from microdermabrasion kits and scrubs that promise to exfoliate the skin and produce a more glowing complexion. Over-scrubbing can result in pain and bleeding.
"They start to think if a little bit is good, more is better," said the Pittsburgh-based dermatologist. "So, they start to do more for their skin and that can really damage the barrier function of the skin."
Whether you want to restore a more youthful glow to the skin or get rid of unwanted hair, consulting with a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist is recommended in order to achieve the desired result and maintain safety.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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