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A Guide to Skin Treatments

(HealthDay) -- In 2001, members of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery expect to perform almost 4 million procedures. Although treatment for skin cancer remains the most requested procedure, the following treatments are also among the most popular:

  • Dermabrasion: This involves the use of an abrasive instrument to mechanically "sand" or resurface the skin, achieving a rejuvenated, more youthful appearance. It is often used to treat substantial scarring, sun damage and pigmentation problems.
  • Laser resurfacing: Using laser light energy, this procedure heats and removes the top layer of skin cells, allowing new, unblemished skin to grow. Often used to remove scars, pigmentation problems, precancerous skin growths, even small tumors, and to diminish lines and wrinkles.
  • Non-ablative laser treatment: Penetrates below the skin surface to stimulate the production of collagen, a natural substance that helps plump skin, creating a more youthful appearance. Also helps to tighten underlying loose skin.
  • Chemical peel: A chemical solution is applied to remove outer layers of aged, discolored or irregular skin, allowing fresh, new skin cells to grow. Most often used for wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, skin discoloration, age spots, dull skin texture or mild acne scars.
  • Botox injections: A derivative of the Botulism bacteria, this treatment, when injected into the skin in tiny amounts, paralyzes small facial muscles causing the surrounding skin to relax, thereby diminishing lines and wrinkles.
  • Laser hair removal: Short pulses of energy generated from a laser light source help to injure the hair follicle, eliminating active hair growth and stunting regrowth. Skin type, skin color and hair color all respond differently to this treatment.
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