Confused by dermatology terms like "Fraxel" and "acid filler"? Find out what doctors are talking about when they talk about…
Botox: A purified form of botulinum toxin that when injected smooths lines by blocking nerve impulses that trigger wrinkle-causing muscle contractions. Results last three to six months. Cost: $300 and up per area.
Chemical peels: Acid solutions painted on the face like a mask lift away upper layers of the skin (the higher the concentration—and longer it's left on—the deeper they go). Most superficial peels use glycolic or salicylic acid (better for oily skin); trichloroacetic acid (TCA) offers more intense exfoliation (and a few days of flaking and redness). Cost: $100 to $200 for a glycolic or salicylic acid peel (series of three to six is standard); $250 for a mild (less than 25 percent) TCA peel.
CO2 laser: "Ablative" resurfacing vaporizes the top layers of the skin (epidermis) before penetrating the dermis. One treatment obliterates dark spots, smooths deep wrinkles—and can leave your face red for months. Cost: $5,000 and up.
Collagen: There are two forms of human collagen (bioengineered from human foreskin tissue): CosmoDerm is thinner and primarily used in fine lines and along the lip border, and CosmoPlast has a thicker consistency preferable for deeper wrinkles. They have largely replaced bovine collagen, which requires an allergy test. Usually lasts only two to six months, but there's less risk of temporary bruising and swelling than with other fillers. Cost: $400 per injection.
Endoscopic brow lift: A modified brow lift that requires three to five small incisions at the hairline. Cost: $5,000 to $6,000.
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