Cosmetic procedures to enhance your facial features


Facial fillers are injectable substances that temporarily add volume to your face, and help reduce wrinkles and creases. — AFP

I am pondering whether or not to have some plastic surgery done on my face. I want a slimmer nose and to enhance my cheekbones.

That is actually cosmetic surgery, rather than plastic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery is a discipline of medicine that is focused on making your appearance better through either surgical or medical techniques.

It is performed on any part of the body for the main purpose of enhancing its beauty or aesthetic appeal.

The areas that cosmetic surgery are performed on can actually function well and properly on their own.

The sole reason for the surgery is that you believe they can be made more aesthetically appealing.

Plastic surgery, on the other hand, is a surgical speciality that focuses on the reconstruction of the face and body because they do not function properly.

That part of your face or body may also lack beauty, but making it look better is not the main purpose of the surgery.

Basically, plastic surgery is reconstructive.

Oh. OK, I’m talking about cosmetic surgery for myself then. What types of cosmetic surgery are there?

Plenty. For your face alone, you can consider these:

  • Botox – to reduce wrinkles
  • Cheek lift (midface lift) – to reduce smile lines (nasolabial folds), wrinkles and/or sagging
  • Nose surgery (rhinoplasty) – to improve the appearance of your nose
  • Chemical peel – to reduce wrinkles, scars and/or discoloured patches on your skin
  • Chin enhancement surgery (genioplasty) – to improve the contours of your chin, neck and jawline
  • Dermabrasion – to smoothen skin and reduce fine lines, scars, age spots and wrinkles.
Wait, I am interested in dermabrasion. I see that many clinics offer this, especially those who say they specialise in beauty. Are they safe?

It is best to get a doctor who specialises in cosmetic surgery to do it for you.

Dermabrasion removes the outer layers of your facial skin with a rapidly-rotating device.

It is painful and you may need to be numbed with anaesthetic drugs. You will need a medical doctor for that.

After dermabrasion, your skin may also be very sensitive and blotchy for several weeks.

You may be prone to infection then.

You need a doctor to monitor your condition, and possibly prescribe medications if you have complications.

Ultimately, you may need up to three months for your skin to become normal again after dermabrasion.

OK. What other things can I do to cosmetically enhance my face?

You can also consider:

  • Eyebrow or forehead rejuvenation (brow lift) – to raise your eyebrows and improve the appearance of your forehead and the area around your eyes
  • Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) – commonly done in Asia to create double eyelids
  • Face lift – to reduce sagging
  • Neck lift – usually done together with a face lift to reduce sagging and/or the fat under your chin
  • Facial contouring – to reshape your face
  • Facial fillers – to add volume to your face and reduce wrinkles and creases.
I was actually considering facial fillers. Are they the same as Botox?

No. The main difference is in how facial fillers and Botox work.

Facial fillers are substances that are injected into your skin.

They are temporary and help to smoothen out wrinkles.

You may have mild pain, bruising and swelling for a week after receiving a facial filler.

You may also need a touch-up injection.

Botox, on the other hand, is an injectable neurotoxin (botulinum toxin), which is used to smoothen out wrinkles and lines.

It blocks nerve signals in the muscles it is injected into, thus preventing them from moving.

Therefore, wrinkles and lines are reduced, or even removed.

Botox is usually used to smoothen wrinkles around your eyes, forehead and mouth, and can work for up to six months.

It is not the only brand of injectable neurotoxin that can be used to smoothen wrinkles; it just happens to be the best known and most widely used.

Other brands of botulinum toxin include Dysport, Jeuveau and Xeomin.

I saw this procedure called “laser resurfacing” being advertised.

Yes, it is a type of facial rejuvenation procedure using lasers to treat wrinkles and fine lines.

It, however, cannot eliminate sagging or excess skin.

It was developed as a technique that is safer and can reduce healing time.

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health, computers and entertainment. For further information, email starhealth@thestar.com.my. The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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