Some of the less obvious uses of technology are in the field of beauty

We are all very familiar with the examples of advanced technology that we see every day.  When walking along any street in a town or city in the UK, we see people talking, taking photographs, checking e-mails or perhaps booking a train or taxi on line – all on their phones.  Very few people look up at the planes flying overhead or think twice about the information being flashed up on hoardings and matrix screens all around us.

There are many other, less obvious uses of technology however, especially in the field of beauty.  It has long been possible to have, for instance, a “nose job”, or a change of hair colour, but modern technology and medicine have advanced far beyond that.   Victims of horrific burns or road accidents can take some comfort in the fact that cosmetic surgery can rebuild their face painstakingly, which helps tremendously with their self-confidence.   

Of course, it isn’t just accident victims who can benefit.  We all know how self-conscious teenagers are about their appearance.  Did you know, though, that the transparent ceramic used for invisible braces is actually a spin-off from space travel, which put particular demands on the materials used in the spacecraft?  Many teenagers have been thankful for this particular development – no longer do they have to suffer from unsightly metal braces to change the shape of their teeth, but this wonderful invention can barely be noticed whilst in use.  Dental implants are another innovation that can improve appearance at any age, though at a cost!

Other spin-offs from space travel include ultra-sound scanning, now widely used in pregnancy and for heart conditions and the infra-red ear thermometer, used in hospitals throughout the world.

Dramatic changes in appearance are perhaps less common, except in crime fiction, but many people have taken advantage of cosmetic surgery to tighten up face muscles that may have become a little “saggy” with age, to add to or reduce the size of breasts, buttocks, cheeks or chins.  It is possible to have the shape of eyelids and eyebrows changed, whilst even eye colour can now be altered through the use of different coloured contact lenses. 

A word of caution: Some of these innovative beauty treatments can be very costly, whilst others carry health risks.  Be sure of what you want and why, carry out as much research as you can before committing yourself and always use a reputable practitioner.