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Alternatives to Botox

Updated on July 21, 2014

Skin never lies. When you age, it shows! And because humans are very conscious about how they look, dozens of products and procedures have been developed to reverse the signs of ageing. Amazingly enough, the magic of cosmetic surgery has made looking younger more possible than ever.

When it comes to wrinkle fighting, the most popular treatment is Botox, also known as botulinum toxin. A treatment for facial nerve problems in the 80’s, Botox is now the weapon of choice by men and women who want to get rid of fine lines on their faces. In 2009, nearly three million Americans had Botox injections, a majority of them ranged from age 35 to 65.

But for those who are deathly terrified of needles, are there alternatives to Botox? Yes! As matter of fact, there is more than one way to battle fine lines and wrinkles. Check out some other skin tightening methods right here:

Thermage / Radiothermoplasty

This procedure uses a device that emits radiofrequency (RF) energy that penetrates the skin and encourages it to produce more collagen. RF is relatively painless, but there may be a slight heating felt on the skin, so some doctors apply a mild topical anesthetic prior to the treatment.

After the procedure, the patient may experience slight swelling or redness on the skin. Rare cases involve a burning sensation as well as blistering, which will eventually wear off. Other names for Thermage are ThermaCool and Thermalift, and a one-time treatment can range from $1,000 to $3,000.

PSR / Plasma Skin Regeneration

One of the newest skin tightening procedures around, plasma skin regeneration uses plasma energy to reach the deeper layers of skin and to stimulate cell renewal. Collagen production increases, helping the skin to become firmer, and eventually shedding off the older layers of skin. A topical anesthetic is also applied before the procedure, which normally is completed after one doctor’s visit.

Side effects of PSR can include redness and swelling. Some patients experience brown spotting and flaking, which will peel off a few days after the treatment. Even weeks and months after the PSR, the skin continues to rejuvenate itself. Rather costly, though, as one PSR treatment can go over $3,000.

IPL / Intense Pulsed Light

For those who don’t like the heated feeling of Thermage, or the rather pricey tag on PSR, then IPL may be an alternative to Botox. Also termed as photorejuvenation, this procedure uses bright pulses of light to stimulate the skin to produce collagen and to tighten the fine lines. It is a milder and less painful treatment compared to other options.

IPL side effects can include redness and temporary bruising, and it may take from four to six doctor’s visits to achieve the optimum results. However, IPL is not ideal for people who are sensitive to UV. Each IPL treatment can cost around $500.

Things to remember

Although there are several alternatives to Botox, making a selection isn’t as simple as picking the cheapest or the least painful treatment. Of course, it requires the advice of a medical professional, who will assess the patient to know whether he or she is a viable candidate for any skin tightening procedure.

As you can see, for people who want to beat the clock, Botox is not the only way to go. Who wouldn’t want to be deceptive about their true age? Perhaps with a little help from cosmetic surgeons, the skin can tell a lie – and look years younger!


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