Is Restylane Right For You?

Is Restylane Right for You? 
An argument could be made that the two biggest game changers in cosmetic medicine have been Botox and Restylane.  Before their introduction to the market, there were few medical interventions for facial wrinkles and sagging apart from a surgical facelift.  Let’s take a look at how hyaluronic acid, and specifically Restylane, can help you to replace lost volume without the need for surgery.

What is the Difference Between Botox and Restylane?
While both Botox and Restylane have skyrocketed in popularity since their introductions in the mid 1990s, they are very different products that are often confused with each other.  Botox is injected into the facial muscles to temporarily weaken them.  This stops the muscles from creating wrinkles and slightly relaxes them to smooth the skin

Restylane, on the other hand, is an actual gel substance made of synthetic hyaluronic acid that is injected below the skin to restore lost facial volume.  Since their entry to the cosmetic industry, dozens of similar products have followed, but these two brands remain the work horses of the pack.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance produced and found not just in the human body, but in every single living organism.  Think of it as a sponge that absorbs hydration and provides firmness and structure to surrounding tissues.  It is found in the spaces between cells and has the exact same chemical makeup whether it’s in an earthworm or a human being.  Hyaluronic acid is credited with not only keeping skin supple and full but also with providing a lubricating cushion to joints and with creating a strong connection in the umbilical cord between mother and baby.

As we age, our bodies produce less and less HA, which contributes to all sorts of aging woes; from aching joints to dry, wrinkled skin.  In addition to decreased production, the molecular weight of HA is also reduced as we age and does not hold as much water as before. When you squeeze the skin of a young person, it quickly restores itself to its original volume due to the plentiful and plump HA molecules.  But as we age, our skin’s ability to bounce back is reduced.  Restylane makes use of synthetic HA to bring the “bounce back.”

How Does Restylane Work?

Restylane is sold to doctors and cosmetic clinics in individually sealed boxes that each contain one vial (1mL) of clear HA gel.  Depending on the amount of correction needed, several vials may be used.  A newer product called Restylane-L is simply regular Restylane with the numbing medication lidocaine mixed into the gel to assist with patient comfort.

The doctor or a nurse injector uses a very fine needle to inject and layer the Restylane, creating a sort of matrix that supports the previously sunken skin. Providers will then usually use their fingers or a cotton-tipped swab to smooth and sculpt the Restylane until the desired effect is achieved.  The hyaluronic acid inside Restylane provides moisture-absorbing molecules that fill in areas of lost volume and plump up skin.  It is then naturally broken down over time.  Results can last up to 18 months if follow-up injections are received 4 or 9 months after the initial treatment.

Is Restylane Right for You?

Where Can Restylane Be Used?

Restylane is approved by the FDA for use in the nasolabial folds (smile lines), marionette lines, corners of the mouth, and vertical lip lines.  However, many doctors use Restylane for other areas such as the lips, cheeks, hands, temples, nose and acne scars.  This is known as “off-label” use and is a commonly accepted practice.

What is the Recovery Time for Restylane?

You may experience some redness, swelling or bruising at the injection site but most people report no significant problems and all are resolved in less than 7 days.  Avoid fish oil supplements and over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol and Asprin for several days before and after treatment as these thin the blood and can contribute to bruising.  Because hyaluronic acid is already in your body, allergic reactions are extremely rare.

When the advent of synthetic hyaluronic acid, Restylane has allowed women to keep looking their best without the pain, recovery and high cost of plastic surgery.


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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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