Cost: up to $6,000The first generation to make tanning a sport (recall the George Hamilton Cocoa Butter Open?) is paying the price in wrinkles, brown spots, broken capillaries and other signs of aging skin on the face, neck and hands.
For mild damage,nonsurgical prescription treatments suchas Retin-A and alpha hydroxy fade freckles, age spots and other discolorations. Side effects are few. Cost: $200 to $800 a year.
Moderate to severe damagerequires more costly and painful treatments that burn or sand off the top layers of skin. Cost: $500 to $6,000.
The downside: Topicals and sanding procedures work, but once you're past your early fifties, skin damage isn't your big problem. It's the loss of fat cells that causes skin to sag. No cream or scraping will fix that. Doctors have an expanding tool kit of "injectables and fillers," though.
Botox, the most popular injectable, paralyzesthe tiny muscles around the eye that cause frown lines and crow's-feet. Also popular are compounds and proteins such as collagen that fill or plump up wrinkles, scars, thin lips, frown lines and folds around the nose and mouth. Cost: $300 a treatment for Botox; more for other injectables, which require more skill with the needle
Downside: These treatments can wear off in months, so you could be getting stuck several times a year. Some doctors use fat taken from a patient's buttocks to fill in facial lines. The benefit should last longer than with most injectables. In reality, most of the fat is reabsorbed, so being a "butthead" is still a temporary solution. But it's an expensive one, at $2,000-$5,000 a procedure.
What's new: Longer-lasting treatments. Sculptra, for example, is a filler used on cheeks and eyes - and it lasts up to two years.