A new study has found that people who choose minimally invasive cosmetic procedures do so because they want to feel good, not just look good. For the study, researchers polled roughly 500 U.S. adult patients, most of whom were white women, aged 45 and up. All had undergone some type of relatively non-invasive cosmetic procedure between 2016 and 2017.

The results revealed that nearly seven in 10 chose the procedure to improve their psychological well-being. More than half also wanted to protect their health, boost their confidence levels in a social setting, or look "professional" at work. The study was published in JAMA Dermatology.

Patients' motivations for cosmetic procedures are not trivial. People who get such treatments are sensible, normal people who are not just obsessed with their appearance. They have a range of motivations.

Cosmetic Treatments

Cosmetic treatments used to mean getting traditional plastic surgery, like a facelift or tummy tuck. This required general anesthesia, cutting and sewing the skin, significant risk of scarring, and days to weeks of recovery time.

Invasive And Non-Invasive Procedures

More recently, dermatologists have pioneered non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures, which provide many of the same benefits as traditional plastic surgery without the risk, scars, and downtime.

Laser Treatments

And the procedures which range from laser treatments for brown spots to wrinkle reduction, liposuction and tattoo removal have become more popular than traditional cosmetic surgery. These newer procedures accounted for the majority of the more than 7 million aesthetic services performed by U.S. dermatologists in 2016.

Interestingly and surprisingly, we found that in many cases, patients' reasons for getting something done were different than just improving physical appearance and more complex. A personal desire "to feel happier and more confident in themselves, with the overall better quality of life" was the most prevalent motivation.

Those polled had undergone a wide range of non-invasive procedures, including laser and light treatments for brown spots, blood vessels, wrinkle reduction, scar treatment, and hair removal; chemical peels; non-surgical skin tightening and fat reduction with radiofrequency energy, cold treatment, or ultrasound.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Minimally invasive procedures may break the skin, but just barely, he added. Those include filler and neuro-modulator injections "to fill out the sagging, aging face while reducing lines and wrinkles," alongside liposuction through tiny openings to suck out excess fat.

Dr. Samuel Lam, a facial plastic and hair restoration surgeon in Plano, Texas, didn't find the poll results surprising. It is important to know what would be helpful with minimally invasive procedures, and which ones would not help at all or at times make things worse.