What is Restylane?
Created in 1996 by Q Med of Sweden, Restylane is a genetically engineered Hyaluronic Acid. It was the first example of the class of dermal fillers known as NASHA: Non-Animal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid. Since it is non-animal no skin testing is needed which was a significant benefit over the original Collagen, which was derived from Cows and therefore needed a skin test before injection. The stabilization that was produced by cross-linking allows this material to have increased longevity after injection.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar also known as a poly-saccarhide. It is found naturally in ALL species, with no interspecies variability, and whose function is to bind water. Specifically Restylane is a highly cross-linked and saturated Hyaluronic acid which allows binding of water up to 1000 times its volume. Even as the Hyaluronic acid is being degraded, it continues to attract more water. Restylane is very similar to Juvederm but differs in the manufacturing process and degree of cross-linking and concentration. Perlane is the larger particle size of Restylane.
What are the benefits of Restylane?
The main benefit and use of Restylane is to improve the skin hydration that is lost with aging. This loss of skin hydration is evidenced as a line or wrinkle. Thus Restylane is ideal for superficial lines and wrinkles. Since it is of non-animal origin, no skin test is required before treatment which is also a benefit. Initial clinical trials with Restylane suggested around a 6 month duration. However, a more recent study showed that if patients were retreated with Restylane between 4 and 9 months after the initial treatment that an additional correction of 9-12 months occurred.
What areas can be treated with Restylane?
Restylane can be used on any mid to deep dermal wrinkle or facial line such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines. It can also be used to augment lips, including lip lines. It is also useful to treat/re-volumize under eye hollows.
What is a Restylane treatment like?
Recently, Restylane was reformulated to include the local anesthetic lidocaine which has significantly improved the patient experience. Most patients now report only mild discomfort during treatment with Restylane. Due to the highly cross-linked Hyaluronic acid, increased swelling may be seen for up to a week after treatment with Restylane. The result then “settles” in to a very natural correction. Finally, as with any injection, bruising may occur. This can be minimized by the avoidance of anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil/Aleve/Aspirin for several days before your procedure. In addition, vitamin E, some herbal medications such as Ginko and Ginseng and Red wine may also increase the risk of bruising after the procedure. Please check with Dr Mest before stopping any medication prior to your planned procedure. Avoiding strenuous exercise and excessive heat for 4 hours after the procedure will also help to decrease potential bruising.