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Filler UP
Part II
By Patty Kovacs

Wrinkles are part of living a full life. They are our character lines, really, just as our mothers taught us. But the world is different now and we're eager to have a more energetic, youthful appearance and a boost in our confidence as we gaze at our face in the  mirror. On close examination, there are two kinds of wrinkles we see: fine surface lines and deeply set furrows, both of which differ in structure and origin and respond to different types of therapy. Fine surface wrinkles result from collagen breakdown due to aging and sun damage. Deeply set furrows are the build up of muscles beneath the skin's surface over time - a result of repeated facial expressions similar to the way body structure muscle is built through exercise. But gravity gets to play its part so sagging occurs in facial muscles, too. And don't forget, our facial bones actually shrink as we age, thus helping with sagging muscles as their 'skeletal facial platform' is not as strong and firm. Heredity can also be a factor of skin aging, while lifestyle and environment can be even bigger. For example, smokers usually develop lines around their lips caused by repeated puckering while inhaling. Athletes and outdoorsy types face repeated sun exposure. All of these aforementioned factors play a part to break down collagen and elastin and accelerate the rate at which the skin sags and wrinkles develop.

In comes a menu of fillers. Restylane is made of a biodegradable, genetically engineered version of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance present in all living organisms and abundant in young skin. It's a substance that markedly diminishes in fullness with the aging process, causing skin to cave in and produce wrinkles. Restylane is injected directly beneath the surface of the skin into the treatment area and the hyaluronic-based gel adds natural volume and lift resulting in smoother wrinkles and less prominent folds. A factor which distinguishes Restylane from other dermal fillers is the way in which it permeates the dermal tissue and naturally binds to water molecules. The modified water molecules assist in achieving and maintaining volume posing a natural appearance. Over a period of about six months, Restylane is gradually degraded by the body and dissolves without any residue or trace.  

Most patients require only one Restylane injection to obtain optimal results. Occasionally, additional treatments may be required to achieve the patient's desired outcome. During your consultation visit with the cosmetic surgeon, the number of required treatments should be addressed. And ask for before and after photos, references, etc. Remember there is an art to aesthetic medical procedures. Medical Board Certification is, in my opinion, vital also.

Restylane is safe and effective however, as with any cosmetic procedure or treatment, side effects such as redness, bruising, swelling, tenderness and moderate pain are possible.  In instances where side effects are present, they do typically dissipate within a few days. But it’s not recommended to schedule an appointment for injections the day before a very important event. Give yourself a few days for the leveling out of the injectable filler. Patients should avoid using aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, St. John's Wort, or high doses of Vitamin E supplements prior to treatment. These may increase bruising or bleeding at the injection site.  And if you're prone to cold sores, your doctor needs to know to discuss a possible medication to minimize recurrence. If you're pregnant or under 18 (can you believe it's been requested by under 18-ers?), hold off.

The cost of each Restylane treatment is around $275.00 to $445.00 depending on the amount of volume and the amount of area to be covered.

I've actually never had Restylane, and had a Botox injection only once, many years ago. I learned then the importance of a very qualified medical expert. Though he was a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, he was not experienced. I may change my mind now that the plethora of fillers is significantly improving. And they're not going away so I'll be addressing our filler choice du jour as women and men continue to support this growing trend. Look at some of our ‘political faces in the news’ and you’ll see their support for facial fillers, too.  

Remember, true beauty begins on the inside and a beautiful face never goes out of style.

Patty W. Kovacs



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