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Skin Color and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Face Lift, Plastic Surgeon, Rhinoplasty Comments (0)

Ethnic patients accounted for about 31 percent of all cosmetic plastic surgeries in 2011, according to a survey released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Many experts suggest that the growing acceptance could be attributed to the surgical techniques that aim to preserve a person’s ethnicity and to create natural results.

It is a sacrosanct rule to use surgical techniques based on the underlying anatomies of patients.

*  African-Americans have a thicker skin than Caucasians, making them able to tolerate nasal implants used in rhinoplasty surgery (or nose job) without having to worry about high risk of implant protrusion.

*  Some Asian descents lack an eyelid fold, making double eyelid surgery the most popular procedure among these patients.  Contrary to popular belief, it does not aim to erase the ethnicity as the fundamental shape of the eyes is preserved.

*  Patients with a darker skin are more prone to heavy scarring or keloids than Caucasians.

Some studies haves suggested that Africans and Hispanics are 16 times more prone to keloids than Caucasians, making cosmetic plastic surgery more challenging.  But with the advances in techniques, it has now become possible to hide and minimize the appearance of scars.

For instance, closed rhinoplasty has made it possible to hide the scars because the technique uses incisions placed inside the nostrils.  Aside from eliminating the risk of visible scarring, the approach has also been found to result in shorter recovery and less bleeding compared with open rhinoplasty wherein surgeons cut the strip of tissue separating the right and left nostrils.

Poor scarring must not be automatically blamed on darker skin as the main culprit is the use of incorrect surgical technique, too much skin manipulation, and extensive incisions.  The problem has also been attributed to poor wound healing.

Studies have shown that poor wound healing after surgery—which is often caused by smoking, use of aspirin and other blood-thinners before an operation, and inefficient blood clotting ability—has more impact on the appearance of scars more than the skin color of a patient.

While dark skin is more susceptible to heavy scarring than lighter complexion, the former has its own advantages.  According to several studies, darker-skinned individuals—those of Hispanic, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern descent—are less prone to wrinkles and photo-aging than Caucasians.  For this reason, they tend to have facelift surgery at a much later date compared to Whites.

Aside from the skin color and underlying anatomies, ethnic plastic surgery also gives importance to the “standard of beauty” of the minorities.

admin @ March 19, 2013

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