What Is Restylane?

Restylane is a non-surgical, cosmetic procedure designed to reduce wrinkles and add volume to the skin. Although Restylane is most commonly used for lip augmentation, it can also be used to improve facial wrinkles and folds, such as those found around the corners of the mouth. This injectable dermal filler is composed of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in skin which retains moisture and provides elasticity and fullness.

How Does Restylane Work?

Hyaluronic acid is a substance found within the dermis (middle layer of the skin) which links water molecules together, aiding in tissue repair and the overall health of skin. It also provides hydration, volume and plumpness to the skin. As we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our skin diminishes. This leads to less hydrated, less healthy skin. As a result, the skin tends to develop wrinkles more easily and there is a noticeable loss in skin elasticity.

Restylane is a hyaluronic acid gel that is injected into the dermis. Once injected into the skin, Restylane binds with water thus adding volume, smoothing wrinkles and creating a more youthful appearance in the skin. In  this sense, Restylane is a natural substitute to other cosmetic procedures.

Is Restylane Right for Me?

Because Restylane is not composed of any animal proteins, the risk for allergic reaction is low. However, individuals with serious allergies (particularly to gram-positive bacterial proteins) should consult with a physician before treatment. In addition, inform your physician if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any bleeding disorders prior to treatment.

The typical candidate for Restylane is at least 18 years of age. Potential candidates should be in good health and should have realistic expectations of the results that can be achieved with this treatment. Your cosmetic dermatologist will determine if you are a suitable candidate for Restylane during your initial consultation.

What is the Treatment Process?

Prior to the procedure, topical anesthetics may be applied to numb the treatment area. Using a extremely fine needle, Restylane is injected into the dermis. Typically only a very small amount of Restylane is injected into the skin, however, the exact amount depends on the specific procedure. Because Restylane is a gel, your dermatologist may need to manipulate the gel by gentling massaging the injection area. This will help smooth out the gel and create a more natural appearance.

What Results Can I Expect?

Restylane results are immediately noticeable. As the gel is injected into the dermis, wrinkles and fine lines are instantly plumped and smoothed. Drooping areas of the skin become more elastic and folds appears smoother as well. Overall, your skin will appear refreshed and renewed. However, since it takes time for hyaluronic acid to bind water molecules,  full results will not be revealed until a few days following treatment.

There is little to no downtime associated with Restylane. Patients can typically resume normal activities following treatment. However, it is advised that patients avoid exposure to sunlight and heat after treatment. Such exposure can increase the risk for swelling and bruising at the treatment site.

How Long Do Results Last?

Restylane is not a permanent fix. For treatment areas around the mouth (nasolabial folds, marionette lines, etc.) results typically last between six to nine months. It is recommended that patients receive follow-up treatments at least twice per year. On the other hand, lip treatment with Restylane is shorter in duration and typically lasts between three to six months. It is recommended that patients establish a treatment schedule to maintain lip enhancement.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Side effects are typically mild and only temporary. Side effects include bruising or swelling at the injection site which can last anywhere between a few hours to several days.