Restylane, Restylane-L, Perlane, and Perlane-L are all a family of products manufactured by Q-Med AB, a Swedish biotechnology company. Restylane was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003, for use on nasolabial folds, and is the first and only FDA approved injected dermal filler for enhancing lips. Restylane is the most studied dermal filler, with over ten years of use worldwide.
What is Restylane?
Restylane is made of stabilized, non-animal hyaluronic acid, formulated in gel form for injection into the dermal layer of skin. When injected properly, it can add fullness and volume to smooth moderate to severe facial wrinkles and/or folds. It is approved for nasolabial folds and lip enhancement, however the most common off label uses are: glabellar lines between the eyebrows, cheek and chin contouring, décolletage, filling in the backs of hands, and also filling in the neck area.
Restylane, the non-animal, stabilized, hyaluronic acid (NASHA), can be used on patients who want dermal filling, if they are over 18 years of age, and lip enhancement of patients 21 years or older. It does not require allergy pre-testing because non-animal hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body, and should not produce allergic reactions. The safety and effectiveness of off-label Restylane use has not been established through clinical studies however.
Before, During and After the Injection Procedure
Before Restylane injections, it is wise to do research on the doctor you choose to administer the injections. You will need to consult with him or her in order to choose the best option for your skin type, age, and lifestyle, because these factors influence how long the injections will last. Do not take any blood thinning medications such as aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) unless your doctor approves. Ibuprofen, St John’s Wort, and vitamin E in high doses, may cause increased bruising and bleeding.
During the procedure, the doctor will cleanse your face, and prepare the treatment area with injection scores, or marks. You may request a local anesthetic, or if you choose Restylane-L, lidocaine is already in the gel to be injected. The clear gel is injected into the marked treatment area, using an ultra-fine needle. Your doctor will then cleanse the area again, and apply cold compresses if necessary.
There is little to no downtime, and Restylane results can be seen immediately. The most common side effects may be swelling, redness, pain, bruising, and tenderness, and usually only last one week for facial filling, and up to 14 days for lip enhancement. Swelling is more likely in patients under 36 years of age, and bruising is more likely in patients over 35 years of age. Rarely, red or swollen bumps may occur, and if the gel is injected directly into a blood vessel, this may cause skin damage.
If you experience these side-effects, cold compresses may be used to reduce the swelling. You should avoid touching the treated area for at least 6 hours after injection, and avoid sun, and heat exposure. The “Restylane Regimen” is a treatment plan of follow-up injections in order to get the most out of the Restylane injections. For most facial enhancements, it is recommended to have subsequent injections every 4 to 9 months.
Restylane Exclusive Lip Injections
Restylane injections are most commonly used for disproportionate lips which may need more fullness in the upper lip, lip border definition, and fuller lips. One treatment may last up to six months before follow-up injections are needed. The procedure of injection is the same, and Restylane, or Restylane-L with lidocaine may be used. It is important to choose a doctor who has had experience with lip enhancement, so that the result will not be lumpy or form granulomas. If any Restylane injection is not the look you anticipated, the injections can be dissolved with hyaluronidase enzyme injections.
Restylane Injections Are Not For Individuals Who Have:
- a history of severe allergic reactions, or are allergic to gram-positive bacteria
- bleeding disorders, or must take blood-thinning medications
- allergic reactions to lidocaine (if using Restylane-L)
- open rashes, cuts, acne, lesions, or cold sores (injections may be given as soon as facial problem is healed) and if you are prone to facial cold sores, an injection may cause an outbreak
- a reason to believe that you might be pregnant, are pregnant, or are currently nursing
Restylane, Restylane-L Reviews
Overall, Restylane has had good reviews from individuals receiving injections for the first time, and also those who have tried other products such as Botox. The variance of how much patients liked Restylane depended mostly on the expertise of the doctor. Most individuals were very pleased with their results, and how long they lasted if they had not set unrealistic expectations. All faces viewed, were at the least, rehydrated, with subtle line and wrinkle filling. The more supple look was noticeable, and patients liked that factor.
Restylane may vary in results, depending on age, lifestyle, and individual skin type. Most patients who did not care for Restylane, had adverse effects, and that is why a good doctor can help with skin-type options of dermal fillers. Restylane has also been used to restore dermal elasticity in a injection pattern developed by a Swedish cosmetic doctor, Tom van Eijk, using smaller, multiple injections in a fern-like pattern. The bottom line is that you need to decide what expectations you have, consult with an experienced doctor, and decide if Restylane, or Restylane-L could work for you.