The Oscars are just around the corner, which means many Hollywood stars are getting nipped and tucked. But did you know you could make yourself "red carpet ready" without having to go under the knife?
"We sometimes call them 'lunch hour procedures,' " says Dr. Douglas Sidle, a double board-certified Chicago plastic surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "This means little bruising or recovery time, and a significantly lower cost."
Want to suck the fat from your muffintop? Zeltiq could be just what you're looking for. This relatively new nonsurgical procedure freezes fat cells in select areas for around $1,800 a treatment.
"You only need to go in once," says Sidle. "People can read a book while they're getting it done. This is very appealing because you don't have to go under anesthesia, you aren't spending thousands of dollars. But it isn't pain free."
Sidle says the results of a Zeltiq treatment aren't as dramatic as the suction procedures—but the recovery time is shorter.
"People are worried about losing their jobs, so they aren't racing to take time off to have cosmetic surgery," he says. "The ideal candidate for Zeltiq is already in relatively good shape, but just can't seem to get rid of those trouble spots."
Sidle says because of the state of the economy, facelifts are being replaced by injections such as Dysport. Like its older cousin Botox, these injections temporarily paralyze the muscles, therefore reducing the appearance of lines or wrinkles.
"It's so much faster to get an injection than to have a surgery," he says. "Since Dysport came on the scene in 2009, it's giving Botox some competition. In the last year, more and more people are choosing it over Botox because they want what's new. They're very similar, though. And you might be able to find Dysport for less because it's trying to be competitive."
Treatments cost between $300 and $800 depending on how many areas you inject, and can be done in ten minutes. But beware of clinics who offer Dysport at a significant discount. They may be diluting the product, which can mean you pay less up front, but have to go back sooner than expected.
"If properly injected by someone qualified, these treatments should last 3 months," says Sidle.
Sidle says people are coming in for Dysport injections as early as in their 20s.
"It's no longer people who have wrinkles that want to minimize their age lines—now I'm seeing women right out of law school who want to stop the wrinkles before they even start. You'll see results within five days. It's easy and fast, and that's what people are looking for. And you can come in for a treatment and go right back to work."
And men, don't forget about Propecia—it's not new, but this treatment for hair loss is effective, and it's cheaper than ever.
"This is for men only," says Sidle. "I recommend this to any of my male patients suffering from hair loss. Studies show 66 percent of patients can regrow hair, and while you still need a prescription for Propecia, it only costs $1.70 a day."
Even though it's easier than ever to "get some work done," Sidle feels this in-and-out trend won't last forever.
"I think once the economy gets better, more and more people will come back in for the traditional facelifts. I'm already seeing an increase in women getting rhinoplasty, or what many call 'nose jobs'. It's only a matter of time."