Simulated results of needle and laser skin treatments
Photo: Philippe Salomon
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The Middle Way: Needles and Lasers


Concern: Crow's Feet and Forehead Lines
Botox injections can make your crow's-feet disappear. Results are noticeable within a week and last at least three months. The injections can soften the grooves between your brows and across your forehead as well. If the lines are deep, your doctor can also inject a hyaluronic acid filler, like Restylane, in the lines to achieve total smoothness.
Cost: $400 for Botox; $600 for Restylane.

Concern: Hollows Under the Eyes
A hyaluronic acid filler with a very soft consistency (like Juvéderm Ultra) can be injected in the tear troughs to plump sunken areas under the eyes. You see results immediately, and they last up to a year.
Cost: $600

Concern: Nasolabial Folds
Injecting a hyaluronic acid filler (like Juvéderm UltraPlus and Perlane) in the cheeks will lift that area and soften the nasolabial folds. Results last six months to one year. Injections of your own fat sometimes last longer but require a two-part procedure—the fat must first be suctioned from your thighs or buttocks.
Cost: $600 for hyaluronic acid filler; $1,500 for fat transfer.

Concern: Slackening Jawline
Fillers can add definition to a softening jawline. Calcium-based Radiesse works well in this area; Juvéderm UltraPlus and Perlane are also effective. Results last up to six months.
Cost: $700 for Radiesse; $600 for Juvéderm or Perlane.

To improve moderate sagging, some doctors also recommend a noninvasive tightening procedure, like Thermage or Titan. After these treatments, effects peak around six months and last one to two years.
Cost: $1,000 to $2,000 per treatment (Thermage requires one session; Titan requires three).

Concern: Yellowing Teeth
A 15 to 35 percent hydrogen peroxide gel, followed by exposure to blue light, whitens teeth in the dentist's office. At-home whitening now works almost as quickly with good results.
Cost: $1,500 for professional whitening; $55 for Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitening Strips.

Concern: Discoloration and Rough Spots
A series of three to six monthly chemical peels or microdermabrasion treatments helps lighten dark spots and smooth rough patches.
Cost: $150 per treatment.

Three to five monthly intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments even out diffuse freckling and redness.
Cost: $500 per treatment.

Concentrated dark spots can be zapped with a Q-switched laser; after one treatment, scabs (formerly dark spots) fall off in about two weeks.
Cost: $200 to $600 (depending on size and number of dark spots).

Next: What surgery can achieve

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