1. What is Restylane®?
Restylane is a highly popular and successful filler used in facial areas to add volume for cosmetic enhancements. It is basically a clear “gel” that is manufactured to match similar kinds of molecules found throughout the body (‘hyaluronic acids”). This similarity to the molecules found in the body makes it easily tolerated and non-reactive. The chemistry of hyaluronic acids is essentially that of linked-together sugar molecules, though these molecules do not function like sugar. By way of injection with very tiny needles, Restylane can be used to add volume and smooth wrinkles, thereby giving skin a more youthful appearance.
2. Is Restylane® safe and are there any side effects?
Restylane is very safe when administered by properly trained practitioners, and has an excellent safety record overall. Most of the side effects of treatment can be thought of as “nuisances,” such as minor discomfort associated with the injection or a small bruise that generally disappears quickly. While the technique of the injection can definitely impact the kinds of side effects seen, receiving Restylane is generally considered easy. Nowadays, this filler comes with a local anesthetic pre-mixed in it, which as an excellent improvement over the way it was first released. Patients should be aware that rare instances of more serious complications have been reported; thus, it is extremely important to be treated by an expert professional.
3. How much Restylane® do you need?
Restylane, like other fillers, is mostly shipped in pre-filled syringes of 1mL or 1cc volume. To get an idea of what that represents, imagine that 5 syringes of 1mL each would equal 1 teaspoon. The amount of Restylane that one needs depends on a number of factors, including how much volume loss is present, how loose the skin is, and a patient’s goals for treatment results. Most treatment sessions involve 1 or 2 syringes, and Restylane can be given at the same time that other facial treatments or injections are given.
4. What should patients do prior to treatment?
Before treatment with Restylane, it is important to avoid using medications that increase bruising. For example, the anti-inflammatory agents, like aspirin or ibuprofen, can cause or worsen bruising that one could otherwise experience with any injection. Also, some herbal products can contribute to greater bruising tendencies as well. As a general rule, we recommend avoiding aspirin and similar OTC medications for 10 days before facial injections, and we prefer to know if you are using other herbal preparations as well. On the day of your treatment, it is ideal to arrive at the office with clean skin that does not have makeup or other topicals applied, to the extent possible. Be sure to reschedule your visit if the treatment area has any inflammatory issues, such as an acne breakout or cold sore.
5. How often should I have Restylane® treatments?
Restylane filler treatments last for months, but vary significantly from person to person and with the area of the injection. We often see, for example, that areas that move a lot with facial animation may experience quicker loss of the Restylane after the treatment. It is difficult to recommend a rigid treatment schedule that applies to all individuals simply because each person’s situation and needs are different. The range that we typically use in the office is treatments 1 to 3 sessions in a year.