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The newest cosmetic procedures boast close to no downtime and natural-looking results. No wonder everyone (even your doctor) wants to do lunch.

You know what they say. After thirty, it’s bangs or Botox. A growing number of people are choosing the latter: Cosmetic medicine is now an estimated $12 billion a year industry in America.

This is no Los Angeles. In Rhode Island, vanity is a term for license plates. “People in New England feel they should age gracefully,” says Dr. Leon Goldstein, a plastic surgeon with offices in Providence and Connecticut. “What happens in California happens in New England about five to ten years later.” Still, according to the American Society for Plastic Surgery, nearly two million people in New England and the mid-Atlantic region opted for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures last year.

Once the purview of ladies who lunch, cosmetic work no longer discriminates. An increasing number of men are seeking out Botox and wrinkle fillers. The demographics are also getting younger; many patients now opt for treatments in their thirties. According to Dr. Marla Angermeier, a dermatologist in Providence and clinical associate professor at Brown University School of Medicine, advances in cosmetic medicine have made it more attractive to the mainstream in the past decade. “It’s become more socially acceptable,” she notes. “The price range is more accessible, and with minimum downtime, procedures now appeal to people from all walks of life.”

And to doctors of all specialties. Because nonsurgical cosmetic treatments are a cash-upfront cow, medical practitioners from all fields are milking the industry—which can make patient safety an issue. While many procedures are effective and safe when performed correctly, they pose risks in the wrong hands. continue reading »

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