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Most popular procedures safe, effective

Article-Most popular procedures safe, effective

Chicago — Many popular cosmetic procedures are both safe and effective when performed by qualified individuals, according to a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. For some treatments, however, data is still lacking, researchers say.

Investigators analyzed 98 studies on cosmetic procedures in order to reach conclusions on some of the most common procedures currently available to consumers. Researchers found that patients wanting to smooth wrinkles should feel safe getting injectables such as Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA, Allergan), Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA, Medicis) and other neurotoxins, which were found to be effective as well as safe.

Other procedures that deliver scientifically confirmed results include liposuction and laser procedures to treat broken blood vessels, port wine stains and rosacea and to remove brown spots and hair, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

The study also identified a few procedures that, although effective, have less scientific evidence behind them. They include use of infrared light or ultrasound devices to shrink and tighten the skin, use of low-level laser light to remove fat, and super-cooling of fat cells to “melt” fat. Though these procedures are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and have proved safe and effective in the short term, less is known about their long-term safety and effectiveness because they are relatively new, according to surgery.org.

“Overall, cosmetic dermatologic procedures are extremely safe,” the authors wrote in the study abstract. “However, detailed information about safety and effectiveness, and especially comparative effectiveness, is not available for many procedures.”

The study appears in the January issue of Dermatologic Clinics.

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