Cosmetic procedures are becoming more and more common nowadays, especially minimally invasive or non-surgical procedures. These include injectable treatments such as Botox and fillers; laser treatments such as hair removal, photofacials, and resurfacing; and chemical peels. A common concern is that patients do not see the results they want immediately. It is important to have a thorough discussion with your doctor prior to your treatment about realistic expectations for each procedure. These procedures for the most part are directed at treating various aspects of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, discoloration, and textural irregularities. It is important to understand that these changes did not occur overnight, and consequently will not be corrected overnight. Furthermore, one must realize that minimally invasive procedures will not produce results equivalent to surgical procedures such as a facelift.
Standardized photography is critical to be able to see results. Photographs should be taken prior to the procedure and several weeks after the procedure to be able to see good results. These photographs should be taken in the same positions, with consistent lighting, and without makeup or jewelery. It is common for people to forget what they looked like before a procedure because we look at ourselves in the mirror every day and hence remember what we looked like yesterday.
Before undergoing a cosmetic procedure, be sure to talk with your doctor about what kinds of improvements you will see and how long it will take to see improvements. Also be sure to take photographs before and after the procedure to see the changes.