As the mercury rises, so does the demand for cosmetic treatments. We look at what procedures are hot right now, the costs and what is involved with each treatment.
“Our appetite for cosmetic treatments in Australia outstrips that of other countries, largely due to the greater skin damage and earlier ageing caused by our exposure to the sun, which is reflected by the high rates of skin cancer in this country,” says Dr Susan Austin from the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA).
As patients seek less ‘social cost’ or down-time (often associated with permanent surgical options), non- and minimally-invasive treatments have grown in popularity.
“These non-surgical treatments are often ‘walk in, walk out’ procedures that are completed without the need for general anaesthetic and may involve the use of fine needles but are less traumatic than surgery,” says Dr Austin.
Muscle relaxants, like Botox® or Dysport®
Designed to relax muscles and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The cost varies from $300 – $800+ depending on the individual patient and the treatment area.
Injectable dermal fillers
Used to plump the skin and rectify sagging skin. Dermal fillers have grown enormously in popularity due the greater choice, says the CPSA. For a long time there was only one brand of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) dermal filler, now there are a number of competing brands that are gel-like, relatively pain-free and offer a more natural (less stiff) result in the skin. Furthermore, the HA can be dissolved if the patient does not like the outcome. This puts the patient very much in control of the process, and they feel more confident to continue with treatment recommendations. The cost is approximately $600-$1200 per vial, depending on the type of filler.
Used for skin rejuvenation or resurfacing and is the least ‘invasive’ of the cosmetic treatments. It can be used to treat dull skin, reduce the appearance of large pores, rosacea and acne. The treatment involves the exfoliation of the upper epidermis (top layers of skin) with a vacuum-like technique. The cost for one treatment is approximately $150.
There are a number of different laser technologies for skin rejuvenation, sun damage and acne scarring. One of the most common forms, laser resurfacing, works by precisely removing layers of the skin, which are then replaced by cells located in the hair follicles and skin glands that grow and reline the skin surface. During this process new collagen tissue is also formed in the deeper layers of the skin. There is also fractional laser technology, which is another form of laser used to deal with larger areas. Costs vary, but for example, the Pearl Fractional laser for whole face costs from $2,000 for a single treatment.
Laser or broad band light treatment
This is another popular treatment used for facial veins or pigment to freshen the look of the skin and reduce sun damage. It is used to even out complexion. The cost varies according to the size of the area treated but may range from $200 to $600 per treatment.
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal works by emitting a beam of light which passes through the skin to the hair follicles where it is absorbed. The laser energy is transformed into heat which destroys the hair follicle, leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. Because lasers work on colour, the best results are achieved on dark, coarse hairs on people with fair skin. Darker skin and lighter hair can be treated, but the expected results are less due to lower energies being used to protect the skin or less energy being absorbed by the appropriate cells due to the lack of hair colour. Similarly laser hair removal may not be effective for people with white or colourless (blonde) hair. Cost varies depending on the individual patient and the area being treated but can start at approximately $150 for 10 minutes.
For more information about non-invasive cosmetic treatments visit www.cosmeticphysicians.org.au.