Women's Health (cont.)

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Women's cosmetic concerns

To many women, "cosmetic" means a make-up preparation for external use, such as lipstick or eye-shadow. "Cosmetic" can also mean a medical procedure done to correct defects or for the sake of appearance. It is probably an underestimate that more than 600,000 cosmetic procedures are performed each year. The variety of procedures and the number of women undergoing cosmetic surgery is continuing to increase.

There are very few areas of the body for which a cosmetic procedure has not been developed. There are processes to improve the texture and tone of skin such as dermabrasion and chemical peels. Collagen and Botox injections can modify unwanted wrinkles and creases. Birthmarks, moles, and varicose veins can be treated with a variety of techniques. Lasers can eliminate unwanted hair, whereas lack of hair (baldness or alopecia) can often be remedied with drugs or surgical implants.

Liposuction is the removal of fat under the skin. Body contouring to reshape or "sculpt" the body is done with ultrasonic and tumescent liposuction techniques. Various "lifts" and plastic surgery remove skin and fat and reposition skin and tissue.

Millions of women have undergone breast augmentation or reduction over the years. These procedures remain both popular and controversial. Breast reconstruction, especially following breast cancer, is usually viewed in a different light. Because all of these cosmetic procedures are also medical in nature, it is important that a woman understand their risks and benefits.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2015

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