Restylane has become the number one trusted dermal filler in the world. With over 20 million treatments worldwide, and numerous publish studies, Restylane’s safety and efficacy is well established. It is composed of hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring substance that is found in skin and joints. It’s duration of action is about 6-12 months, depending on the location it is placed. (My other blog explains duration in more detail) Crosslinking, a process that joins adjacent strands of the HA, is essential, because the breakdown of the HA would occur in weeks without it.
Restylane is composed of similarly sized HA particles, with a concentration of 100,000 per ml. Perlane, a “cousin” of Restylane, is exactly the same as Restylane, except that it’s concentration is 10,000 particles per ml. Both of these products have been on the US market for years, Restylane since 2005, and Perlane since 2007. Restylane Silk, the newest US FDA approved filler, is composed of 500,000 HA particles per ml.
This means that the Restylane Silk HA particle is 1/5th the size of the regular Restylane HA particle, and that’s the reason behind it’s magic.
Although Restylane Silk was approved in the US in 2014, it has been used under the name Restylane Fine Lines for over 15 years in Canada. There has been a huge experience in Canada using this product to improve superficial fine lines and in LIP ENHANCEMENT. In the US, there are now only 2 FDA approved fillers for the lips, Restylane, and Restylane Silk. Silk is also approved for the perioral area (area around the mouth). It’s the author’s opinion that part of the problem lip enhancement has been disappointing to many patients is that US physicians didn’t have access to the proper filler. Fish lips, sausage lips, uneven lips, overfilled lips have dissuaded many potential patients from ever trying lip enhancement.
The small particle size of Restylane Silk allows the skilled and experienced physician to add product in the very superficial aspect of the lip, in the submucosa. This was impossible with other fillers without lumps being visible. The product spreads in this plane, so only a couple points of injection are needed in each quadrant of the lip. By being so superficial, and with only a couple injection points, the discomfort associated with the injection is markedly decreased. In addition, by staying superficial, and not deep, the risk of a bruise is significantly less. Very precise alloquots of Restylane Silk can be placed along the border of the lip (vermillion), cupids bow and peaks, in the tubercles, and corners of the mouth much easier than the larger particle HA fillers.
The addition of Restylane Silk to the aesthetic physician’s armamentarium fills a necessary niche that was missing in lip enhancement. Patients can now anticipate less bruising, less discomfort, less lumps, with better and more natural results, thanks to the smaller particle size of Restylane Silk.