When we are young our skin is smooth and elastic with a healthy glow. As we age, our ability to maintain that smoothness and elasticity diminishes, resulting in skin that becomes drier, thinner and less able to replenish itself. Our body’s natural collagen and hyaluronic acid levels decrease and our skin becomes looser. This leads to our skin wrinkling and appearing older than it should.
Approved by the FDA, Restylane is designed to match your skin, smoothing wrinkles, sculpting lips or shaping facial contours. With its unique ability to bind with water, Restylane is able to perform for many months in your skin. The most common areas for a Restylane treatment are the glabellar lines (between the eyebrows) and the nasolabial folds (from the root of the nose to the angle of your mouth). When used for lips or facial contouring, Restylane will add shape and volume to the area. Restylane is able to create volume under your wrinkles, which are then lifted up and smoothed out.
Since no pre-testing is required, a Restylane treatment can be performed almost immediately. It usually takes about 30 minutes depending on the type of correction you want. Most people find the injections relatively painless, but a topical anesthetic can be applied to the area prior to your treatment. You will be able to see the results as soon as your treatment is completed.
Restylane, manufactured by a unique method in Sweden, is clear transparent gel composed of hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that is found throughout your body. Hyaluronic acid gives volume to your skin and has been used as a lubricant in arthritic joints. It has even been used during eye surgery to protect the retina. The hyaluronic acid found in Restylane is not of animal or human origin which means that there is no risk of disease transmittal or allergic reaction, which you might find in other cosmetic fillers. There is no need for skin tests and the risk of side effects is very low.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a skin test?
Is Restylane® effective?
Yes. Clinical studies show that patients injected with Restylane for the treatment of facial folds achieved an optimal cosmetic result. These results were sustained for a longer period of time (as much as twice as long) than with collagen.
Is Restylane® safe?
Yes. Restylane has been used safely by dermatologists and plastic surgeons since 1996 worldwide. Because Restylane is non-animal-based and fully biocompatible, allergy testing is not required. The most commonly reported side effects were temporary redness and swelling at the injection site. These effects typically resolve within two to three days.
Is Restylane FDA-approved?
Yes. Restylane is approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds.
How does Restylane work?
Restylane works in two ways: Upon injection, into the mid to deep dermis (middle skin layer), the NASHATM gel adds volume and fullness to smooth facial wrinkles and folds. It integrates into dermal tissue, then attracts and binds to water molecules to help maintain volume.
What should patients do prior to treatment?
Restylane requires no pre-testing, but patients should take a few precautions: avoid using aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, St. John’s Wort, or high doses of vitamin E, as these may increase bruising or bleeding; if patients have previously suffered from facial cold sores, there is a risk that needle punctures could contribute to recurrence.
How is Restylane administered?
Restylane is administered by injection to the site where enhancement is desired.
Where is Restylane injected?
Dermatologists and plastic surgeons can maximize the intended effect of Restylane by injecting it into the mid to deep dermis. Contouring after the injection may be optimized by gently massaging the skin.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure is simple and convenient, and results are practically instantaneous. Also, since Restylane does not require patients to have allergy testing, it is not necessary to wait to qualify for the procedure.
How soon will I see results?
The results will be seen immediately.
How long do the effects of a Restylane treatment last?
The length of time the effects of a Restylane treatment lasts is very individual and depends on many factors, such as the structure of your skin, life, age, the degree of perfection demanded and the injection technique of the practitioner. Experience indicates that touch-up and follow-up treatments will add to the duration. Most people choose to have a new treatment within a year after the treatment of wrinkles and folds and within 6 months after a lip enhancement.
What happens if the material is not injected properly?
Results are technique-dependent; improper technique can impact the overall cosmetic effect or shorten the duration of the effect. For example, if Restylane is injected too deeply the gel can shift in the tissue because its particles are too small in relation to the tissue structure at that level. Injecting Restylane too superficially can result in tissue disturbance or uneven contouring. A touch-up treatment can be scheduled two weeks after the initial treatment to correct any minor irregularities.
Is any of the material left in the skin?
No. Unlike permanent fillers, Restylane is completely degraded. Over time, NASHATM gel is eliminated by the body, leaving absolutely no trace of the injected material.
What should I do after my Restylane treatment?
During the first 48 hours after your treatment, do not massage or rub the treated area. If you have had a lip enhancement, avoid puckering your lips for the first two days after the treatment.
You should not expose the treated area to intense heat (e.g. in a solarium or by sunbathing) or extreme cold for the first few days after the treatment in order to avoid the risk of inflammation as the area has been disturbed. However, once Restylane has integrated into the body, it will adjust to your normal body temperature.
How is Restylane different from BOTOX® and collagen?
Restylane is a natural cosmetic filler. BOTOX® is a drug that blocks nerve transmission and relaxes the underlying muscles. Many patients have been very pleased after receiving treatment with both products.
Bovine collagen is derived from animals and requires an allergy test before it can be used. Because Restylane is a non-animal-based hyaluronic acid, it can be administered without pre-testing. In addition, it delivers a longer-lasting effect than bovine collagen.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in all living organisms. In humans, it is used to provide volume and fullness to the skin. The type of hyaluronic acid used in Restylane is called NASHATM.
What is NASHA?
NASHA is a patented, non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid in clear gel form which is biosynthetically produced. NASHA is the first stable, biodegradable, non-animal form of hyaluronic acid.
If NASHA is not derived from animals, is it derived from humans?
No. NASHA is identical to the natural hyaluronic acid found in humans and all living organisms, but it is produced in a laboratory by a natural fermentation process.
How is Restylane different from other hyaluronic acid-based products?
Unlike other hyaluronic acid-based products, such as those made from rooster combs, only Restylane is non-animal-based. This quality virtually eliminates any risk of animal-based disease transmission or allergic reaction.