Injectables, Restalyne, Not Botox

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Injectable fillers are substances designed to enhance volume, erase wrinkles, augment lips, and overall restore the youthful 3-dimensional contour of the face.  There are many filler choices, Restalyne is one of them.Restalyne is a trade name for a hyaluronic acid injectable filler and is FDA approved.   Hyaluronic acid is produced by human genes inserted into a bacterium for reproduction.  It is a highly conserved protein, meaning that its genetic composition is almost exactly the same in 97% of animal species.  This gives is an extremely low incidence of allergic reactions, so there is no need for pre-treatment skin testing.  Hyaluronic acid also draws water very strongly to it, yielding a larger volume effect than the material would have by itself.  Restylane is manufactured by Q-Med (Swedish Company) and distributed in the US by Medicis.  Other hyaluronic injectables include Perlane and Juvederm.

Restalyne is primarily used to enhance the lips and diminish wrinkles in the nasolabial folds, marionette lines (the area that extends downward from the corners of the mouth to the jaw line), lipstick lines (the area below the nose and above the upper lip) and corners of the mouth.  It may also be used to pump up the cheeks. Restalyne is primarily used for the bottom half of the face whereas a muscle relaxing injectable such as Botox would be for the upper portion of the face.  The most interesting portion of their advertising is that you can achieve the “ideal lip” from Restalyne injections.  They even show an interactive slideshow on their website of an ideal lip and how it can be achieved.

The duration of the injection depends on the person but the Restalyne rep mentioned many times over that it will last 18 months and most injectables only last 6.  He also mentioned that according to a recent study, 94% of patients looked the same after 18 months as they did right after receiving treatment.  The rep neglected to mention that the lips have a lower longevity and only last 6 months as opposed to other areas of the face.  However, at 6 months after the treatment of the lips 70% of the subjects still showed results.

As stated on their website, treatment volume should be limited to 6.0 mL in wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds, and limited to 1.5 mL per lip, as greater amounts significantly increase moderate and severe injection site reactions.

After treatment, you might have some swelling, redness, pain, bruising, or tenderness. These are typically mild and normally last less than 7 days in nasolabial folds and less than 14 days in lips. Swelling may be more likely in patients under 36 years, and bruising may be more likely in patients over 35 years.  Clinical tests demonstrated that after treatment, lips still feel and function normally.

Since it is an injection, Restalyne can only be performed by nurses and doctors, not estheticians.  In the Chicagoland area, you can expect to pay $499-$800 for one treatment, depending on the area of the problem site.