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Restylane is in the “hyaluronic acid” (HA) category of fillers. There are a lot of similarities between the members of this group (Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane and Belotero). Most of what is said about each of the four HA fillers can be said about all of them, and since Restylane and Perlane are both made by the same company, the differences between these two fillers are extremely minor. These hyaluronic acid fillers are clear gels, which are present through nearly all areas of the body. They have numerous functions, but their main roles are to keep tissues most and joints lubricated. Because of this, the HA fillers are biocompatible and almost never cause allergic reactions.
Best areas to treat with Restylane:
San Francisco is a popular city for Restylane (and other HA fillers), they really shine as superior fillers to treat the lips and lower eyelid areas. Hyaluronic acid fillers are my first choice for treating these areas. Restylane works just fine to treat other facial regions, though it is not as long lasting as either Radiesse or Artefill.
Erasing Restylane with hyaluronidase:
One thing in particular is different about the hyaluronic acid fillers; they can be erased by injecting an enzyme which is called hyaluronidase. This melts Restylane and the other HA fillers, so that their effect vanishes within days. Fortunately, it’s not at all common to need to remove fillers after injections, but for some patient it’s nice to know that there could be a back-up plan of filler removal if absolutely necessary.
Areas where it may be best to not use Restylane:
Restylane is a versatile and very useful filler, but because it only has a 4-6 month duration it’s one of the shorter acting fillers. It may last as long as a year in the lower eyelid areas but not anywhere else. For patients who wish for more longevity, a filler such as Radiesse or Artefill may be a better bet. Also, if more than a small amount of filling is needed then Restylane. San Francisco residents are smart shoppers, and may find it too expensive.
Larger regions like flat or sunken cheeks will be better treated with Sculptra.
Very fine lines are also not the best place for Restylane. Fine lines require a very shallow injection, which is better treated with Belotero. This is because Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane can each cause a bluish color (which iscalled the “Tyndall” effect) when injected very close to the skin, so they are best used in areas apart from treating fine lines.
Comfort during your procedure:
Every injection has a small amount of discomfort, Restalyne treatments are extremely well tolerated and most patients say that their pain is no more than a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 with Restalyne. San Francisco patients use topical anasthetic for the lips, but injecting an anasthetic to perform a ‘block’ is almost never necessary. The procedure only takes 5-10 minutes and discomfort is minimal.
Bruising and downtime with Restylane:
All of the HA fillers typically only have small amounts of bruising with their Restalyne treatments. In the 30-40% of patients who have some minimal bruising, the bruising typically resolves in 3-5 days. In the undereye area, bruising is a bit more likely with as many as 70-80% of patients having some post-procedural bruising.
Difference between Restylane and Perlane:
Medicis makes both Restylane and Perlane. They are extremely similar, though Restylane has smaller microscopic particles in it, so it flows a bit better. Though Perlane may last a bit longer in some areas, both are useful in the lips, smile lines, and other regions.
There has been some report of HA fillers stimulating collagen growth, so that less filler is needed down the line. This may be true, but is thought to be minimal with HA fillers. There is a very significant amount more growth of collagen with longer-lasting fillers such as Sculptra and Artefill.