Cosmetic Surgery

Can laser surgery zap stretch marks?

Laser surgery is currently being developed for the treatment of stretch marks . However, these treatments don't remove stretch marks - they simply make them fade. The laser responds to dark colours only, so laser treatment is likely to be most effective in the early stages, when stretch marks are dark red or brown. However, a series of treatments might be required for visible results. Faded, flesh-coloured marks will probably not respond to laser treatment since they won't be easily detected.

Is surgery effective on cellulite?

Not really. Although liposuction has proven effective in taking off inches, it does not counter cellulite itself. Liposuction removes collections of fatty tissue from the legs, buttocks, abdomen, back, arms, face, and neck areas. It uses a 'vacuuming' technique to remove this fatty tissue, leaving minimal scarring. Because liposuction does not change the structure of the skin, it can't eliminate cellulite forever. Liposuction is a costly surgical procedure that can also hinder the body's natural circulation and waste-elimination processes while the body heals.

For a temporary fix, try models' favourite solution: Rub wet ground coffee on cellulite-prone areas of the body. Apparently it works wonders before photo shoots!

Peel or laser?

How do I choose the right peel or laser treatment when there are so many on the market?

Anyone considering a skin treatment has to be realistic about the problem she has and the degree of improvement she hopes for says Helen S. Colen, MD. Certain procedures offer only superficial results and simply do not last long - to maintain results, repeated treatments will be needed.

Some of the most effective procedures are, unfortunately, often the most aggressive - involving pain or considerable discomfort, periods of downtime (during which the patient is not presentable enough to appear in public) and expense. In the end, the procedure(s) an individual selects will depend not only on the skin problem she is seeking to correct, but also on how much discomfort she is prepared to tolerate and how much time and money she is willing to invest. Any course of action that goes beyond superficial 'freshening up' should be undertaken thoughtfully, and in consultation with a doctor, who can explain each process, its risks and recovery time.

Information provided by Helen S. Colen, M.D.