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Describe What Cosmetic Medicine Is

What Is Cosmetic Medicine?

Cosmetic medicine provides treatments for improving the visual aesthetics of the body without using surgery. The procedures performed by a cosmetic practitioner are normally minimally or non-invasive in nature involving the treatment of the superficial layers of the skin.

Common procedures include:

- Dermatology such as acne treatment, skin care and minor dermatological surgery like mole removal.
- Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and skin rejuvenation techniques to make the skin appear younger.
- Botox (botulinum toxin) and derm filler injections to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Transfer of fat to reduce the signs of ageing.
- Laser and other light therapy treatments.
- Procedures to diminish the prominence of scars or minimize scar tissue.
- The removal or treatment of varicose veins also called sclerotherapy.
- Anti-wrinkle therapies.
- Treatments for skin conditions such as eczema.
- Treatment of skin cancer.
- Hair removal.
- Hair replacement.

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Medical and technological advancements are constantly being made in the field of cosmetic medicine. As a result, practitioners may need to update their training on a regular basis and may need to renew any certifications that they have received as and when needed.

Cosmetic medicine is a specialized field and all qualified practitioners must have fulfilled the following minimum requirements to perform the above mentioned procedures:

- Completed a degree in medicine.
- Be registered as a practicing physician or medical practitioner.
- Practiced as a doctor or medical practitioner for a period of 3 years post graduation.
- Completed a diploma in cosmetic medicine and passed the related theory and practical examinations.

However, it is not necessary for a practicing doctor to complete a course in all the above mentioned procedures. They can specialize and receive training only in injection therapies, light or laser therapy or skin peel and dermabrasion techniques. 

It is also possible for those in the nursing profession to hone their skills to become a cosmetic nurse. A cosmetic nurse normally prepares a patient for a procedure, assists the doctor during the procedure and cares for the patient after the procedure. Some procedures can be performed by a cosmetic nurse.

Any person who does not have these qualifications does not have the necessary training to provide the treatments. Treatment from an unqualified practitioner can result in complications and unsuccessful treatment. In some cases, this can cause irreversible damage to the skin or physical appearance of an individual.

Any practicing physician may enhance the services that they offer by furthering their studies into cosmetic medicine. A cosmetic practitioner is not a cosmetic or plastic surgeon and cannot perform surgical procedures under general or local anesthetic that are aimed at improving physical appearance.

However, cosmetic practitioners can also advance their studies into becoming a plastic or cosmetic surgeon. This will require additional training, education as well as an internship. However, it is more common for registered and accredited cosmetic or plastic surgeons to branch out into the field of cosmetic medicine than it is for cosmetic practitioners to advance to becoming a surgeon. Cosmetic doctors and surgeons may also be accredited to different societies or organizations.