Restylane ® is one of the newest injectable, non-surgical facial treatments designed to slow and hide the effects of aging. Restylane® filler injections are composed of a clear hyaluronic acid-based gel that not only fills in lines and wrinkles in the face, but also adds moisture and lubrication to the skin, making it feel younger and more comfortable. To learn more about Restylane®, including the cost, benefits, and possible complications, please read the sections below.
What is Restylane®?
Restylane ® is a clear, non-animal-based, biodegradable gel that is composed of hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the body. Originally developed in Sweden, Restylane® filler injections are now marketed in the United States by Medicis, a leading pharmaceutical company that offers a wide range of other skin treatments. Restylane® is created from tissue cultivated in a laboratory, and is an excellent alternative to other fillers such as collagen and Hylaform®, which are both derived from animal products.
Candidates for Restylane® Treatment
Restylane® requires only a few injections and no incisions or removal of tissue, so the risk of complications is quite low. That in turn means that almost anyone who would like to reduce the prominence of their facial lines and wrinkles can be a candidate for Restylane® treatments. Those allergic to avian-based hyaluronic acid treatments can safely use Restylane®, since it is derived from bacterial origins. Those with a history of allergy to bacterial protein, though, should not use the product.
General Restylane® Treatment Requirements
Since Restylane® treatment requires no incisions and involves a very easy recovery process, it is very rare for a potential patient to be excluded for medical reasons. Furthermore, patients who cannot use other hyaluronic acid treatments because of the bird proteins they contain can receive Restylane® injections without risk of allergic reaction. A very small portion of the population may experience an adverse reaction to the bacterial proteins in Restylane®, so patients with a history of such problems should avoid using the product.
As with all cosmetic surgery procedures, it is generally a good idea to wait until after the age of 18 to undergo treatment, since the structure of the face will continue to change throughout adolescence. In addition, qualified patients will have a sound understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the therapy, along with a mature understanding of the risks associated with Restylane®. Those who meet these requirements and have facial wrinkles they'd like to see diminished are good candidates for the procedure.
What areas can be treated with Restylane®?
Virtually any area of facial skin can be treated with one of the various Restylane® dermal fillers. Creases, deep folds, and light wrinkles can all be lessened through the use of Restylane®. Laugh lines and fine mouth lines are among the most popular targets for the injections. Enhancement of facial contours, usually accomplished with the larger particle size versions of Restylane®, is also possible. Sagging under the eyes, under-projected cheekbones, and recessive chins are often treated with this advanced hyaluronic acid formula. Among other popular applications of Restylane® is its use as a lip filler, where it can enhance volume and shape for months after treatment. In short, any area of the face that lacks volume, shape, or smoothness can experience improvement through Restylane® injections.
Medical and Health Considerations
Restylane® injection is one of the safest cosmetic surgery procedures available, but there are still medical considerations to take into account. As mentioned above, some people may have an allergic reaction to the bacterial protein elements present in the gel; Restylane® is not a good option for those susceptible to this problem. There is also very small risk of contracting an animal-born infection from the treatment. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Restylane®.
Side effects from Restylane® treatment are usually minimal. Some redness and swelling may appear, but should be gone within a week. During this time, sunbathing and exposure to cold should be avoided, as these conditions put extra stress on the recovering skin.
Restylane® Cost and Financing Information
Compared to more invasive cosmetic surgery procedures, Restylane® injections are very affordable. The average cost of Restylane® treatments in the United States is a little over $500. The total cost may be somewhat higher depending on how many treatments are required to give the patient the desired result.
Types of Restylane® Fillers
There are several types of Restylane® fillers, each of which addresses a unique cosmetic concern. Your doctor will help you decide which type is best suited to your needs and goals.
Restylane® Touch is intended especially to correct fine lines and wrinkles. It has the smallest particle size among all of the Restylane® fillers and can fill even the tiniest of crevices. Restylane® Touch is often used around the mouth and eyes, correcting fine smile lines in both regions. Injected just below the skin, Restylane® Touch will make skin appear firmer and younger instantly.
Using a small needle, your doctor will inject Restylane® Touch just below the surface of your skin. The area is then massaged to make sure the product is smooth and evenly distributed. After this, your treatment is over, and you can apply makeup and return to normal activity.
You can expect to have slight bruising, redness, and tenderness at the injection site, but this isn't enough to prevent most people from returning to work immediately following treatment. To ease discomfort, you may want to apply an ice pack to the area.
Whereas Restylane® Touch has the smallest particles of all the Restylane® brand fillers, Restylane® Perlane has the largest particle size available. Still in a gel form, Restylane® Perlane can correct deep lines, folds, and wrinkles. Restylane® Perlane is also the Restylane® filler recommended for use in adding fullness to lips.
Using a pre-measured and sterilized syringe, your doctor will gently inject Restylane® Perlane into a deeper layer of your skin. Followed by a soothing massage to make sure the Restylane® is evenly distributed, your doctor will go over the standard Restylane® aftercare procedures and release you to resume your day as normal.
Restylane® SubQ is a NASHA (Non-Animal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid) based gel that instantly adds volume to the face. It is most often used to contour the cheeks and chin, both of which may have lost volume due to age. Restylane® SubQ offers a predictable degree of correction, so it is impossible to over-correct the facial regions that are undergoing treatment. It can quickly and easily create or restore facial symmetry and enhance already prominent facial features.
Injected deep into the skin, Restylane® SubQ is ideal for creating or maintaining sharp and stunning cheek bones and profile. Your doctor will massage the area after injecting Restylane® to distribute it properly, giving you a beautiful face, free of lines and wrinkles.
All Restylane® brand fillers contain the same amount of stabilized hyaluronic acid, approximately 20 mg per ml. Because NASHA particles attract water, Restylane® results are maintained even as the product begins to break down, making Restylane® one of the most cost-effective cosmetic fillers on the market today.
All of the Restylane® products come in pre-measured, pre-sterilized glass syringes so it is easy for your doctor to begin treatment. Talk to a doctor to find out which of the Restylane® fillers is right for you.
The Restylane® Treatment Process
There are a few precautions to take before your Restylane® treatment. It is a good idea to meet with a physician to find out if you are a good candidate for Restylane® injections. You should stop taking aspirin and Vitamin E supplements before receiving Restylane®, as these can increase bruising or bleeding at the injection site and will also lengthen your healing time. Your doctor will advise you if any other medications you are taking could interfere with your treatment, and these medications should be avoided as well. If you have any other health concerns, make sure to share these with your doctor, as well.
One of the most attractive aspects of the Restylane® treatment is that it does not require a preliminary skin test. Because Restylane® is a non-animal-based filler and also colorless, there is very little chance that an allergic reaction will occur. This is good news for those who are interested in firming their face, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and adding volume to lips, but are allergic to the animal components that are found in most other injectibles.
How Does Restylane® Work?
The Restylane® treatment is performed at your doctor's office and can take anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour and patients are able to return to work immediately following the procedure.
Prior to administering the injections, your doctor may choose to use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Then, a small amount of Restylane® filler is injected into the skin with a very thin needle. Because the needle is so thin, there is very little discomfort associated with the injections. The hyaluronic acid molecules that make up the most important part of the Restylane® filler naturally draw in water and cause the tissue beneath lines and wrinkles to swell. This immediately fills out wrinkles and gives the skin a smoother surface. The result is a younger looking face in minutes.
Because hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the human body, it will be absorbed back into the body over time, and the effects of Restylane® will fade. However, a Restylane® treatment lasts longer than other cosmetic fillers, and re-treatment may not be necessary for up to 12 months.
Is Restylane® Treatment Painful?
Most patients describe Restylane® treatment as being relatively pain-free. The most common complaint is tenderness and redness at the injection site. An extremely thin needle is used to inject the Restylane® gel (smaller needles cause less pain than larger needles). A local anesthetic is often used to gently numb the treatment area, especially in the case of lip enhancement. Patients can leave the office immediately after treatment and, although they must be careful to avoid extreme sunlight and heat, they are able to return to normal activity the same day.
Your doctor may advise you to use an ice pack to reduce Restylane® side effects such as swelling and tenderness at the injection site. The discomfort associated with Restylane® treatment should subside within hours or days of the procedure. If it continues past this point, you should notify your doctor.
Restylane® aftercare is simple and does not generally interfere with the daily routines of patients. Patients should avoid over exposure to heat and sunlight, as they might increase swelling and bruising at the injection site. Also, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, laser skin tightening, and other laser enhancements should be avoided as there is a chance that they may cause inflammation. Post-treatment pain should be minimal. A common complaint among those who have undergone Restylane® treatment is swelling, though this should subside in the first few days after the injection. Healing time varies from person to person, however, so some may experience redness and swelling slightly longer than others.
Doctors will advise their patients to avoid flexing their facial muscles in the area of treatment. Stretching your muscles can disturb the Restylane® gel. For the first 24 hours after treatment, it is best to avoid sudden movements in the enhanced area. For example, a patient who has undergone a Restylane® treatment for lip augmentation might be advised against excessive laughing, as this will stretch the surrounding muscles and may bother the Restylane® gel. As part of the Restylane® aftercare procedure, it is also advisable to use a cold pack as needed to reduce swelling and redness at the injection site.
Maintaining Restylane® Results
The results of Restylane® tend to last longer than other cosmetic fillers. Touchups may be needed after six months in areas that are more prone to movement, such as the lips. Also, some patients desire a touchup treatment during the first two weeks after their initial procedure. However, Restylane® injections last, on average, about eight to twelve months. After this time, you may choose to undergo another Restylane® treatment, and since each subsequent treatment tends to last longer than the previous one, your results can be easily maintained by seeing your doctor regularly. If you don't choose to have additional Restylane® injections, the hyaluronic acid will absorb naturally into your skin, and leave no trace of a cosmetic filler.
The most important thing to remember about Restylane® treatment and other injectables in its class is that they are temporary and the effects will eventually fade. Although Restylane® lasts at least two times longer than other injectables, the most permanent solution to enhancing your face is plastic surgery.
Risks and Benefits of Restylane® Injections
The benefits of Restylane® are easy to see: the treatment is fast, minimally painful, and easy to recover from. Furthermore, the results last for months, and the biocompatible nature of the hyaluronic acid in the formula eliminates the need for allergy tests. There is a very small risk of side effects from Restylane® such as contracting an animal-based disease or having an allergic reaction to the bacterial proteins in the gel.
The following represent some of the questions most commonly asked by patients who are interested in rejuvenating their facial skin with Restylane® injections.
What is Restylane® made of?
Restylane® is made of hyaluronic acid, a compound that occurs naturally in the body, where it fills in spaces between other proteins, delivers nutrients, and retains water. Unlike other dermal fillers, Restylane® is composed of hyaluronic acid of non-animal origins. Specifically, the biological components of Restylane® are created using bacteria in a lab setting, meaning that people with allergies to the bird proteins in other fillers can safely choose Restylane® as a facial rejuvenation method.
How does Restylane® treatment work?
Restylane ® treatment works by adding volume to the skin and other facial structures into which it is injected. The hyaluronic acid in the formula is present in the body in nearly identical form already, so Restylane® is completely biocompatible with the tissue that it is meant to supplement. The extra volume added by the injections can plump and smooth creased skin or change outward facial contours, depending on how the gel is applied.
Which Restylane® product is right for me?
Restylane® fillers come in several different forms, all of which contain the same chemical compounds. They differ in terms of the size of their particles, with smaller ones designed to eliminate fine wrinkles and larger ones aimed at softening deeper creases. Your doctor can discuss your goals with you and help you decide which Restylane® alternative is best suited to your needs.
Is testing required prior to Restylane® treatment?
Because Restylane® is the only alternative not made from animal sources, the allergy testing required for other hyaluronic acid dermal fillers is not necessary prior to Restylane® usage. Many patients find this to be one of the great benefits of Restylane®, since the testing phase can take weeks to complete.
How long until I see results?
Changes should be apparent almost immediately after Restylane® therapy. Because of swelling and the natural processes involved in the assimilation of the new hyaluronic acid, it will take a few days for your appearance to stabilize. Once this stage has been reached, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of the Restylane® injections for about six months.
What will I look like after Restylane® injections?
Immediately following the procedure, patients may notice some swelling and redness, but this will fade within days. The new, rejuvenated look will then appear: the lips or sagging areas of skin will be fuller, large folds will be smoother, and fine lines will be much more difficult to detect. In general, Restylane® will give your face a younger, fresher, less tired look than you had before.
What if I am unhappy with my results?
Even good Restylane® candidates may sometimes find their results unsatisfactory. If undercorrection is the problem, further injections might offer the patient the best hope of improvement. In the case of overcorrection, though, time is probably the best healer. Since Restylane® is gradually absorbed by the body over the months following injection, the extra volume will gradually fade away and the patient will be able to explore options for a more pleasing solution.
What happens if I discontinue Restylane® treatment?
Medically, there is no reason why Restylane® use cannot be terminated at any time. The procedure is very safe and noninvasive, and each injection application is complete within itself. Please note, though, that while your safety will not be at risk, you may not experience optimal results if you do not follow your doctor's suggested treatment program once it has begun.
Contact a Dermatologist in Your Area
If you’re considering Restylane® or Restylane® Fine Lines hyaluronic acid treatments to give your face a younger, fresher look and feeling, or if you would like to find out more about the cost of Restylane® injections and the benefits and possible complications of treatment with dermal fillers, find an experienced cosmetic doctor in your area today and schedule a consultation to discuss your options.