Restylane is a type of injectable filler used to fill areas of soft tissue, most-commonly in the face. Restylane consists of a natural component of the connective tissues (including skin) called hyaluronic acid. This injectable filler can provide beneficial results, lasting 6 months or longer, to patients that experience problems with concave scars, surface wrinkles and thin lips. Along with Restylane, there are many different types of injectable fillers and alternative options available for similar results.
Injectable Collagen Fillers
Injectable collagen fillers either consist of naturally occurring proteins supplied by donors or purified cow skin. These types of fillers support general skin health, but are capable of causing an allergic reaction in some cases. Results of collagen fillers can be expected to last between 2-4 months.
Radiance consists of a compound naturally found in the bones, called hydroxylapatite. Radiance is typically administered to patients that suffer from deeper wrinkles/creases or seek to increase fullness in the cheeks and other facial features. This type of injectable filler typically lasts for 2 years or more. One factor that some people consider a downfall of Radiance fillers is that they are considered “off-label.” Off-label products are approved medical treatments, but are not reviewed and tested for specific applications.
Human fat can be removed from an individual’s buttocks, thighs or abdomen and used as an injectable filler. Fat injections are much more involved than most other filler options. This procedure requires liposuction to extract the necessary amount of fat needed for the injectable fillers. Fat injections are commonly used on patients that have deep creases or seek fuller facial features. One major advantage of this filler is that removed fat can be preserved for future use. The only negative factor is that stored fat may not provide the same lasting results as freshly retained fat. In most cases, results last up to a year or longer.
Microdermabrasion involves buffing away the surface layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. By removing old cells, new cells begin to form on the skin’s surface. Since the damaged cells are removed, some visual imperfections are also removed and replaced with smooth skin. This procedure is used not only to remove wrinkles and fine lines, but also to eliminate blemishes and sun damage.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing, similar to microdermabrasion, involves the removal of skin layers. The main difference between the two is that laser skin resurfacing uses a laser instead of small rough particles. After the layers of skin are removed, the healing process begins and new skin cells develop and fill in crevices and wrinkles. This procedure is ideal for individuals that want to get rid of wrinkles or acne scars. Unlike some of the other options available for treating skin flaws, laser skin resurfacing takes 10-21 days to heal and may leave skin irritated and red for 2-3 months.
All of these procedures are beneficial ways to restore the skin and improve its appearance. Any procedure has potential risks and complications, so it is extremely important to seek the professional guidance of a cosmetic surgeon before choosing a procedure. A cosmetic surgeon can provide useful advice and information for targeted problem areas and help the patient make the suitable decision for her unique situation.