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Curious about wrinkle fillers that promise smoother skin and a younger look without surgery?

Don’t confuse fillers with Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. These are injections that help smooth so-called dynamic lines — like forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet caused by frowning and smiling — by blocking muscle contractions under the skin. Instead, FDA-approved cosmetic (or dermal) fillers on the market help restore facial contours by filling in wrinkles and fine lines and replacing lost volume. They work on any skin tone.

Fillers don’t replace a facelift because they don’t lift skin with severe sagging, says plastic surgeon Hatem Abou-Sayed, MD, FACS, who practices in West Palm Beach, FL. “But unless the skin is very saggy, fillers can replace lost volume, and that contributes to a younger, more rested look.” Here’s a look at some of the most popular types.

Hyaluronic acid filler consist of an endogenous sugar. Popular brands include Belotero Balance, Elevess, Juvederm, Perland, Prevelle Silk, and Restylane. These gel formulations come in thin and slightly thicker consistency. They can fill in both shallow areas, such as fine lines above the lips, and deeper wrinkles, such as those around the nose and the so-called marionette lines, lines that run down from the corners of the mouth.

Hyaluronic fillers can also plump up thinning lips, restore volume to cheeks, fill in pits under the eyes and add definition to a sagging jawline. The effect lasts between four months and a year, depending on the area treated. Results vary from person to person. If you don’t like the result, hyaluronic acid fillers can be reversed with an injection of the enzyme hyaluronidase.

Calcium Hydroxyapatite Microbeads, a compound similar to the minerals found in the body, form the main component of Radiesse. Thicker than hyaluronic acid, it’s most effective where more volume is needed – for example, to build up a weak chin, strengthen a jawline, plump up sunken cheeks or fill in deep wrinkles. The results last a year or more.

poly-L-lactic acid, known by the brand name Sculptra, is a biodegradable synthetic material that is also used in stitching. It doesn’t offer the kind of instant bulking that other fillers do. Instead, it gradually stimulates the body to regenerate its own collagen. You need a series of 3 to 6 injection sessions about a month apart to get results that last up to two years.

collagen fillers often comes from cow (beef) or human cells. The body absorbs collagen slowly over time, so regular injections may be needed to maintain results. Nowadays, hyaluronic fillers are used more often than collagen.

The facts about fillers

Are you considering wrinkle fillers? Here’s what you need to know.

choice of a doctor. Your best bet: a board-certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or otolaryngologist who injects fillers daily.

Costs. In general, the longer a filler lasts, the more expensive it is. Prices vary widely depending on location and how much training the person doing the injection has gone through. Hyaluronic acid fillers average $684 per syringe, Radiesse about $717 per syringe, and Sculptra $853. Many people need more than one injection.

Ouch factor. Bulking agents are often mixed with lidocaine to minimize discomfort. A numbing cream applied before the injections also helps relieve pain.

side effects.You may have redness, swelling, or bruising that can last up to a few weeks. Schedule your filler appointment no less than two weeks before a big event. Allergic and other reactions, although rare, can occur.

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