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Most Minor Cosmetic Procedures Safe, Study Concludes

Fillers, neurotoxin injections and lasers have low complication rates, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are nearly risk-free, a new study says.

Researchers examined the results of more than 20,000 of these procedures -- such as fillers, neurotoxins and the use of laser and energy devices -- performed by 23 dermatologists at eight centers across the United States.

Minor complications, such as bruising, swelling, redness, bumpiness or skin darkening, occurred in less than 1 percent of patients. There were no major complications.

Complication rates for fillers were 0.52 percent, the study found. The complication rate for fillers was slightly higher than for energy devices and neurotoxins. This is because fillers are slightly more invasive, according to the researchers.

The findings were published Nov. 5 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

"The message for patients is that if you are thinking of getting one of these procedures, you are not indulging in something drastic or high-risk," study leader Dr. Murad Alam, a professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said in a university news release.

"The take home is these procedures are very safe and can be mixed and matched to give the individual a significant cosmetic benefit, rather than getting one big cosmetic procedure that might be risky," Alam added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about cosmetic surgery.

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Nov. 5, 2014
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