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Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery) (cont.)

Cosmetic Procedures: Non-Surgical

Botox Injection: Botox is injected into a facial muscle to paralyze it, so lines don't form when a person frowns or squints.


  • face pain
  • muscle weakness
  • flu-like symptoms
  • headaches
  • loss of facial expression
  • droopy eyelids
  • asymmetric smile
  • drooling

Collagen/fat Injection: Collagen from a cow or fat from your thigh or abdomen is injected into facial wrinkles, pits, or scars.


  • trigger an autoimmune disease
  • contour problems
  • hives
  • rash
  • swelling
  • flu-like symptoms

Dermabrasion: A small, spinning wheel or brush with a roughened surface removes the upper layers of facial skin. A new layer of skin appears during healing, giving the face a smoother appearance. Used to treat facial scars, heavy wrinkles, and problems like rosacea.


Hyaluronic acid injection: This gel is injected into your face to smooth lines, wrinkles, and scars on the skin.


  • swelling
  • infection
  • redness
  • tenderness
  • acne
  • lumps
  • tissue hardening
  • risks unknown if used in combination with collagen

Laser hair removal: Laser light is passed over the skin to remove hair.


  • hair regrowth
  • scarring
  • change in skin color

Laser skin resurfacing: Laser light is used to remove wrinkles, lines, age spots, scars, moles, tattoos, and warts from the surface of the skin.


  • burns
  • scarring
  • change in skin color
  • infection
  • herpes flare-up (fever, facial pain, and flu-like symptoms)

Sclerotherapy: A solution is injected into spider and varicose leg veins (small purple and red blood vessels) to remove the veins.


  • blood clots
  • color changes in the skin
  • vein removal may not be permanent
  • scarring

Chemical Peel: A solution is put onto the face (or parts of the face) that causes the skin to blister and peel off. It is replaced with new skin.


  • whiteheads
  • Infection
  • raised scarring
  • allergic reaction
  • cold sores
  • color changes or blotchiness
  • heart problems

Tooth Whiteners (peroxide agents):Depending on the product, either you or the dentist applies peroxide using strips; a mouth guard with gel; or a tray inside your mouth around your teeth


  • If not customized for you by a dentist or dental hygienist, there may be unknown ingredients and unknown results

Medically reviewed by Michael J. Wheatley, MD; American Board of Plastic Surgery

SOURCE: The National Women's Health Information Center ( Last update: 5/19/2005

Last Editorial Review: 5/19/2005


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