Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Cosmetic Surgery Glossary

Abdominoplasty: A surgical procedure done to flatten the abdomen by removing extra fat and skin and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall. This procedure is commonly called a tummy tuck.

Acne: A skin condition characterized by the excess production of oil from sebaceous glands in which the hair follicles become plugged.

Acne scar: Scar due to severe acne. The scars can range from deep pits to scars that are angular or wavelike in appearance.

Age spots: Small flat pigmented spots that are most often seen on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun over a period of years. Age spots usually occur after the age of 40.

Albinism: An inherited disorder in which there is no pigmentation in skin, hair, or eyes due to the absence of melanin, the substance that gives skin its color.

Alopecia: The complete or partial loss of hair.

Autologen: A material used in lip augmentation to produce a look of fuller lips. Autologen is derived from your own skin and then injected into the lips.

Azelaic acid: A naturally occurring substance that can be used in skin care products to treat mild acne.

Benzoyl peroxide: An antibacterial medication used to combat the bacteria that aggravate acne.

Beta hydroxy acid: An oil-soluble exfoliant that is commonly found in skin-care products. Beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid) is used to treat wrinkles, blackheads, and photo-aging.

Blepharoplasty: A primarily cosmetic surgical procedure that reduces bagginess from lower eyelids and raises drooping upper eyelids. The procedure involves the removal of excess skin, muscle, and underlying fatty tissue.

Breast augmentation: A surgical procedure done to increase breast size.

Botox: A substance derived from botulinum toxin that works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, causing the muscle to relax.

Brow lift: A surgical procedure in which the skin of the forehead and eyebrows is tightened to eliminate sagging eyebrows or correct frown lines in the forehead.

Chemexfoliation: See "chemical peel."

Chemical peel: A process in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the production of new skin cells. This process is also called a chemexfoliation.

Cholasma: See "melasma."

Collagen: The major structural proteins in the skin that give it strength and resilience.

Copper Peptide: A common ingredient found in skin care products, copper peptide is used to promote the production of collagen and elastin in the skin.

Contracture scar: A type of scar in which a permanent tightening of skin occurs, often in response to a burn. This type of scar may affect the underlying muscles and tendons, limiting mobility and possibly damaging the nerves.

Crows Feet: The fine lines found around the eyes. They are often caused by sun exposure. Smoking can also contribute to their formation.

Brush Up on Beauty

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site HonCode: Health on the Net Foundation AdChoices