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Study: Cosmetic procedures can make patients look almost a decade younger

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Reflections for laser skin rejuvenation.
Reflections for laser skin rejuvenation.

Men and women who consider going under the scalpel, needle or laser in order to get rid of wrinkles often have one very specific question in mind: “How young will this make me look?” A team of researchers at the University of Toronto recently quantified just how much difference cosmetic procedures can make in other people’s perception of age.

In order to reach their conclusions, the team of scientists showed a group of medical students photographs of 60 patients before and after a facelift and asked them to estimate their ages. On average, the images of the individuals after their operations were rated as being about six to eight years younger than their before pictures.

The study’s lead author and plastic surgeon, Nitin Chauhan, M.D., spoke with about the findings.

“It’s nice to have an objective measure,” said Chauhan. “Some of our patients like to have concrete numbers to look at, and the more information you can provide, the more it facilitates decision-making.”

The results may help healthcare providers manage patient expectations during counseling, which is a very important part of the cosmetic procedure process.

“Nothing we do is magical,” he said. “We do certainly get 60-year-old patients who want to look 40, and this will help us when we discuss expectations.”

The desire for a slightly younger looking appearance is not only a common reason for obtaining a cosmetic procedure, but it’s also a sign that an individual is a good candidate for the treatment or operation, as long as they’re doing it for their own satisfaction, according to

Wanting to simply enhance your own natural beauty signifies that you have realistic expectations of what procedures – from Botox injections to invasive facelifts – can do for you. Individuals who seek plastic surgery or other treatments to look like another person may want to discuss this with their healthcare provider, who can determine whether they are a good candidate for the procedure or if they would be better off choosing another way to boost their self-esteem.

Additionally, invasive surgeries like facelifts and tummy tucks aren’t for everyone. If all you need is a slight change, consider the number of new laser or injectable treatments – such as laser skin rejuvenation or Restylane injections – which come with fewer risks and provide noticeable results.