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What Restylane® Injectable Gel?
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Restylane® injectable gel is a cosmetic “filler” that contains hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural substance that is found in the body. HA gives volume and elasticity to the skin, but as the body ages, HA levels decrease, resulting in loose skin and wrinkling. When injected, Restylane gel is designed to plump the skin beneath lines and wrinkles, smoothing them out and making them less noticeable.
Restylane Treatment Areas
The most common area for Restylane treatments is the nasolabial folds (which run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth). Restylane injectable gel is also FDA-approved, for those 21 and older, for enhancing the lips. According to manufacturer Medicis, results can last for up to 6 months, at which point the hyaluronic acid is reabsorbed by the body.
Who Would Benefit From Restylane Injections?
The question of whether you’re a candidate for a dermal filler, such as Restylane® or a neuromodulator, such as Botox®, is the kind of wrinkles you want to target. If your wrinkles and lines occur on the upper third of your face, they are likely due to muscle contractions under the skin when you make expressions such as frowning, showing surprise, or squinting. These are known as dynamic wrinkles. Over time, repeated muscle contractions begin to form wrinkles on the skin above them. These are crow’s feet, the 11s between your eyebrows, and forehead lines. Dermal fillers have no effect on dynamic wrinkles.
However, if your wrinkles and creases are on display at all times — things like laugh lines, barcode lines around your lips, parentheses lines, and areas of volume loss such as the cheeks — then the Restylane® line of dermal fillers is the perfect answer. This type of wrinkle is known as a static wrinkle. Static wrinkles are the result of sun damage, declining collagen production, environmental factors, and personal habits such as smoking. Botox has no effect on static wrinkles; they are the domain of dermal fillers.
So, whether Restylane® is right for you depends on where you want to erase your wrinkles and lines. Dr. Austin can help you know which Restylane® product will fit your needs.
Benefits of Restylane
One significant advantage that Restylane injectable gel has over other facial fillers made with hyaluronic acid is that it contains nothing of animal origin. As a result, it does not require a potential user to undergo allergy testing, which can sometimes take weeks. Another advantage is that Restylane injections are performed in-office, and require little-to-no downtime for the patient.
Types Of Restylane Fillers
Originally, Restylane® was a single filler. Over the years, an entire family of Restylane® fillers has been developed, each targeted to a specific area of the face. At Oregon Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Austin offers the entire Restylane® line. Each filler is intended for a different area of the face. Here are the descriptions of each Restylane® product, what types of wrinkles they target, and how long you can expect them to last.
This was the flagship product, the first dermal filler. It remains very popular around the world. It targets marionette lines, nasolabial folds, and other wrinkles by adding volume beneath the wrinkle or crease and pushing the surface skin upward. Its results last from 6-9 months.
Restylane® Silk is FDA approved specifically for the lips. It is used for subtle lip enhancement and for the correction of vertical lip lines. It adds volume to the lips for around six months.
Restylane® Refyne was approved by the FDA in December 2016. This addition to the Restylane® line (along with Defyne, see below) is used to correct smile (marionette) lines and nasolabial folds. Refyne is specifically formulated to treat mild to moderate lines and wrinkles. Galderma has cross-linked the gel in Restylane® Refyne and Defyne to help support the patient’s natural expressions — for real-life results that help maintain natural movement when smiling, frowning, or otherwise moving your mouth.
Restylane® Lyft adds volume to the cheeks and corrects smile lines. Lyft also can be used to replace volume loss on the hands (see the section below). Results last from one year to 18 months.
Approved along with Refyne, Defyne also specifically targets nasolabial folds and marionette lines. The difference is that Defyne is designed for use on moderate to severe creases and lines. Both Refyne and Defyne provide results that last up to one year.
The Restylane Treatment Session
Dr. Austin injects Restylane® with a very fine needle and these products are not injected into great depth. Still, for most patients, we apply topical numbing anesthetic prior to their session. The actual injections take just 15-30 minutes, depending on the area you’re seeking to add volume.
Can Restylane be used for hand rejuvenation?
In May 2018, Restylane® Lyft received FDA approval for use on the hands. It was approved to treat age-related volume loss on the back of the hands.
The hands are often overlooked as a marker of aging, but fat volume loss, declining collagen production, thinning skin, and overall sun damage can make your tendons, veins, and the metacarpal bones stick out. This can make your hands look older than anywhere else on your body, leaving them skeletal and bony.
Dermal fillers have been used “off label” on the hands for years, but the FDA approval of Lyft for the hands is a big step forward. Dr. Austin injects Lyft underneath the skin, but above the connective tissue that covers the tendons, bones, vessels, and nerves. Patients notice instant volume improvement in their hands, and these improvements last for about six months.
How Many Restylane Treatments Are Needed?
Restylane® (as well as all other dermal fillers and neuromodulators, except for Sculptra) is delivered in a single treatment. Dr. Austin injects the various filler options into the areas you seek to treat. This only takes a few minutes. From there, your results last for various durations, as described in the filler descriptions above. When the fillers eventually break down and are absorbed, you will need another session to maintain your results, but that won’t be for at least 6 months, all the way up to 18 months.
Side Effects Of Restylane Injections
Because Restylane® is made primarily with hyaluronic acid (which occurs naturally in the human body), allergic reactions are almost unheard of. The common side effects with all dermal fillers are swelling, redness, pain, bruising, tenderness, and itching at the injection sites after your session. Some patients have been known to develop headaches for the first day or two, but this is rare. These side effects are typically mild but may last for up to a week when treating smile and marionette lines. On the lips, they may last 10-14 days.
Occasionally, lumps will form at the injection sites. This is rare, but if it happens they can be quickly resolved by injection of hyaluronidase. This is an enzyme that instantly degrades the hyaluronic acid, eliminating the lump.
What’s most important with the use of dermal fillers is the experience of the injector. A board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Austin has extensive training and experience with the entire Restylane® line, so you can be sure you’ll get the results you’re seeking.
There isn’t any downtime with any Restylane® filler.
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