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Small cosmetic procedures can make a world of difference

Key iconKey Points

  • Be upfront with your dermatologist about what's bothering you about your appearance
  • He or she will be able to give you realistic expectations and treatment options

If you think the trendy world of cosmetic procedures has passed you by, think again! It's never too late to take steps to make yourself feel better about your appearance. Remember, 50 is the new 40!

The reality is women and men are looking better than ever, later in life, and why shouldn't you be among this particular "in" crowd? All it takes is a simple conversation with your dermatologist or dermasurgeon.

LET IT ALL HANG OUT When you go for a consultation, don't hold back.

This is the time to express all the inner wishes you have about your appearance, as well as any frustrations you may have about little lines here, brown spots there. There's a lot that can be done, but your dermatologist can't help if she or he doesn't know what's bothering you. Cosmetic dermatology is a rapidly changing field with new procedures and treatments constantly being introduced. You can also ask what your doctor thinks might make you look more youthful. It may be something simple that you hadn't previously considered or didn't know about.

For instance, as we get older the area under the eyes tends to sink in a bit. But this is an area that is easily remedied with an injection of a filler called Restylane. It can plump up the under eye area significantly, immediately taking years off your appearance.

If you have been making routine "inspections" of your jawline in the mirror lately and deciding that it isn't as firm and tight as it once was, you'll be happy to know that a relatively quick and easy liposuction procedure in that area can do wonders for reducing the appearance of jowls and tightening the jawline and neck area. It's like having a mini facelift! You can go home immediately after and there is very little "recovery" time. It is a safe, time-tested procedure that can make you feel revitalized and look much more youthful. And, you get the added bonus of not having to go back to your doctor every few months for a touch up.

OUT, OUT DAMN SPOT! They say that hands can tell volumes about your age and for many people that truth often comes even before your face begins to show signs of age.

Hands come in all sizes, but as we get older they lose a lot of the underlying fat and collagen that keeps them looking youthful. Veins pop up and brown spots can sometimes be so plentiful they seem to turn your hand into one big freckle. The good news is that lasers can pretty well zap away those brown spots and injections of fillers can once again return a new plumpness to your hands.

If you are sufficiently bothered by how they look, you can even have a mini "handlift" to tighten and eliminate excess skin. If you want to stick to simple measures, ask about topical "spot-removers" such as TriLuma, which applied daily can gradually lighten brown spots. It can do the same for brown "freckles" on your face and chest as well.

So, don't be shy about asking for help and don't feel resigned to anything that disturbs you about your appearance. Today, there is so much that can be done before resorting to big, invasive procedures.

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