Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, including fillers, neurotoxins and laser and energy device procedures are exceedingly safe and have essentially no risk of serious adverse events, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study that analyzed more than 20,000 procedures around the country.

This is believed to be the first large, multi-center study that prospectively analyzed the rate of adverse events among tens of thousands of cosmetic procedures done at many centers around the United States by experienced dermatologists. These procedures are used to decrease the visible facial signs of aging.

When side effects -- such as bruising, redness, swelling, bumpiness or skin darkening -- occur, they are usually minor and go away on their own, the authors report. Such minor adverse events occurred in fewer than 1 percent of patients.

For many years, there was a perception that minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are safer than larger, more invasive cosmetic procedures.  However, there was little evidence to back up this belief.

The new study, published in JAMA Dermatology Nov. 5, was led by Murad Alam, M.D., professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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