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BORN WITH IT: Scarlett Johansson (below) was blessed with beautiful full lips, but her features can be duplicated by a skilled cosmetic surgeon. Do your research and you can find a competent and capable doctor, but choose carefully or your lips could look obviously altered—as is the case with Lindsay Lohan’s lip augmentation (right). 2) Synthetic Fillers: Made out of chemically produced materials, syn- thetic fillers have some of the longest lasting results. Some products even claim to provide permanent results. However, side effects can also be more common and severe. Synthetic fillers are often used to fill particularly deep wrinkles or inset scars. 3) Collagen: Collagen is a group of proteins naturally found in humans and animals. New forms of synthetic collagen are producing more natural looks in clients with fewer risks of al- lergic reactions. However, the results are generally shorter lived than other fillers, lasting only a few months. 4) Autologous Fillers: These are fillers made from substances taken from your own body, most often fat cells. These fillers are used less fre- quently, but can be a good choice for some people. Results can be long- lasting, even permanent, after a se- ries of injections. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT? During a dermal filler treatment, the filler is injected with a needle into the skin. The procedure often takes less than 30 minutes, depending on what is being done and how many areas are being treated. Local anes- thetic is usually not needed. Put sim- ply, this is a low-stress and low-pain procedure. Patients will likely have some redness and swelling at the in- jection site, which will clear up after 88 PAGEANTRY one or two days. Although risks are rare, sometimes patients have allergic reactions to the injection, including prolonged red- ness, swelling, itching and hardness and bumps in the skin. These symp- toms usually go away after a few months. Certain types of fillers are more likely to have side effects, so be sure to ask your plastic surgeons about the risks of the specific products they are using. FILLERS VERSUS BOTOX Although dermal fillers and Botox achieve similar results, they work in different ways. Botulinum toxin injec- tions reduce the movement of muscles in the face so wrinkles are less appar- ent or do not form, while dermal fillers do just that—fill in lines. Der- mal fillers are more versatile, and if you are looking to enhance a feature like your lips, fillers will be a better choice. However, if you are looking to prevent the onset of wrinkles, Botox may be what you are looking for. WHAT IS A REASONABLE PRICE? The cost for dermal filler treat- ments will vary based on the type of filler used, the expertise of the person performing the procedure and how many areas you have treated. Accord- ing to the American Society for Aes- thetic Plastic Surgery, the national average cost varies from $500 to $850 per syringe. The largest variable is the type of filler used. BE A SMART CONSUMER As the popularity of dermal fillers has risen, the producer’s availability has become ubiquitous. As a con- sumer, be smart. If a treatment is ad- vertised as costing much less than the standard rate, chances are something is not right—most likely the quality of the product advertised has been compromised or the skill of the tech- nician is not up to par. Always know what filler is being used, too. Ask if the producer is FDA-approved and purchased from the manufacturer. Remember, proce- dures of this type should always be done in a medical setting with sterile instruments. Your health, appearance and wellbeing are more important than getting the best deal. Ⅺ Dr. Ronald Bergman founded Bergman Cosmetic Surgery in 1982 and is a board- certified plastic surgeon practicing in Des Moines, Iowa, for nearly three decades. His patients include numerous state and nation- al pageant winners. You can see examples of Dr. Bergman’s work at