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Facelift vs. Good Skin Care

 The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that 126,000 facelifts were performed in 2012, marking a 6 percent increase in the popularity of the procedure. Many more men and women are considering facelifts than ever before as today's procedures are simpler than the ones performed decades ago and result in shorter recovery time. But how does a facelift compare to a good skin care regimen? Read on to learn more about the basic points of comparison:

- Speed - A facelift takes 2 to 4 hours with stitches often removed within as little as 5 to 14 days, so you'll see a visible difference quickly. Skin care products may produce minor results within 2 to 4 weeks, but it often takes several weeks or months of regular daily use to see noticeable improvement.

- Results - Many people mistakenly believe that beautiful results are guaranteed with a facelift, but this is not the case. If you don't choose a reputable, experienced surgeon, you may not be pleased with the results following the procedure. Similarly, the success of your skin care regimen will depend on your selecting products that are of good quality. You must also use them as directed to get the most benefits from their formulas. It’s also important to note that facelifts are often less successful at reducing signs of aging in men than in women.

- Cost - Costs of facelifts and topical skin care products can vary greatly. For facelifts, the most complicated procedures can cost $20,000 or more. The expenses are not usually covered by health insurance, but most doctors do offer payment plans. The most expensive topical skin care products are generally under $200 with many priced below $100.

- Side Effects and Risks - The biggest side effect associated with skin care products is signs of minor skin irritation, such as redness, dryness, peeling and itching. Plastic surgery will cause pain and swelling for several days after the procedure. There is also a risk of scarring, infection, excessive bleeding, nerve injury and loss of feeling.

An important thing to keep in mind about facelifts is that their results are not permanent. As you age, the collagen levels in your complexion will continue to decline, resulting in the need for subsequent facelifts. Your plastic surgeon is likely to recommend that you adopt a healthy skin care routine to use daily after the procedure, meaning that even if you opt for a surgery, you can't avoid a good skin care regimen entirely.

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