Call it another legacy of the baby boomer generation. Cosmetic surgery is surging. People are lining up for laser surgery to make their skin look younger, Botox injections to eliminate crow’s feet, breast enhancementsand reductions for aesthetic and health reasons and liposuction to eliminate unwanted body mass.

The baby boomer generation is young at heart, more active and involved, and they want their faces and bodies to reflect this youthfulness. So they are undergoing plastic surgery in record numbers – for a variety of reasons.

A recent study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that many are turning to plastic surgery to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace. The most popular procedures are (relatively) low-cost, noninvasive and have the added benefit of reduced recovery times that won’t keep patients away from work so long that their jobs are on the line. Though the popularity of procedures varies by age, what follows are definitions for some of the most common cosmetic surgery treatments:


The No. 1 noninvasive procedure for patients 30 and older, Botox is a botulinum toxin that is injected into wrinkles, lines and creases in the face or neck to reduce their appearance. The toxin works by blocking nerve impulses, temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles, to give the skin a smoother appearance.

Chemical Peel

Phenol, trichloroacetic acid or alpha hydroxy acid is applied to the face to remove the skin’s damaged outer layers and smooth the uneven textures caused by blemishes, wrinkles and variances in pigmentation.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

This treatment directs the light from a laser onto wrinkled, sun-damaged and stretch-marked skin to improve the skin’s appearance. Its use has shown the highest increase among noninvasive cosmetic procedures for men and women since 2005.

Hyaluronic Acid

An injectable filler, hyaluronic acid products such as Restylane and Juvederm are used to soften skin folds and reduce wrinkles, smile lines and crow’s feet. The treatment lasts about six months.


Although this is definitely invasive, it is the most popular surgical procedure for people ages 20 to 59.Liposuction, a.k.a. lipoplasty, is used to slim and reshape body areas by removing excess fat deposits.

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