What is collagen?
Collagen is a natural protein that provides structural support to most tissues in the body. In the skin, collagen provides texture, resiliency, and shape, but over time may break down, creating lines and facial furrows. Human collagen is very similar to the collagen found in certain animals. For example, highly purified bovine collagen may be injected into the skin to fill those lines and furrows and to help smooth the overall appearance of the skin. Collagen has been FDA approved and used successfully on millions of patients for over 15 years! The biggest disadvantages of collagen injections were that some patients were allergic to the bovine protein, and also that the collagen was very quickly absorbed by the body.
What is Restylane?
Restylane is a liquid made from highly purified hyaluronic acid, the major component in natural collagen. Injecting Restylane into the skin can fill lines and furrows and restore a natural look and feel to the areas which were creased or furrowed. Two of the best advantages of Restylane are that it does not require allergy testing, and it is much longer lasting than collagen.
How does Restylane work?
Restylane is the newest FDA-approved line filler injection. It is used to fill deep lines and wrinkles, most often deep nasolabial folds (the creases that run from the lower edge of the nostril to the outer area of the upper lip). It is often used to fill in the vertical lines which occur above the upper lip (so-called "smoker's lines"). Restylane is also used to add definition and fullness to lip borders from the inside out, with immediate results.
Do the injections hurt?
Since areas around the nose and lips are usually quite sensitive, often a small amount of a topical local anesthetic is applied that helps numb the area temporarily.
How does the skin look and feel following treatment?
Most patients feel comfortable in resuming normal activities following treatment. Patients may experience temporary puffiness, blushing, slight bruising, and tenderness around the treatment sites. All of these effects should subside within a few days and makeup may be worn to conceal treatment areas.
How long do the effects of Restylane last?
The body will slowly absorb the Restylane, so in order to maintain the effect, the injections are repeated periodically. The time between treatments varies depending on the patient and the part of the face being treated. Generally, the effects of treatment last about nine months, and even longer in some patients.