Question: I recently saw the product Restylane has been approved by the FDA for lines and wrinkles. Is this product superior to collagen and Botox because it lasts longer?
Answer: Your question has been frequently asked by many patients. You are confused as to the indications for these products. Restylane, which is hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, is a new compound for filling in deeper lines, such as those around the mouth (nasolabial) creases and enlarging (augmenting) the lips. This is a new generation of filler that has been used in Europe for many years and has excellent reviews. It should last longer than collagen in the face, but not necessarily longer in the lips. Collagens (Zyplast, Zyderm) have been the standard by which all other products are judged. They have been around for many years and have clinical success, but they are of limited duration. These fillers act as a human putty to fill in creases and lines of the face and augment the lips.
Botox, which is a purified protein, is not a filler. This substance relaxes the muscles so that the skin wrinkles soften, and in many cases, disappear. It does not treat the skin, it treats the underlying muscle. Examples are the creases between the eyebrows (glabella), the forehead lines and crows feet around the eyes. It is not uncommon to use Botox to treat the underlying muscle and soften the skin creases, and then treat the remaining creases with a filler such as Restylane or collagen.
I am hopeful that Restylane will live up to its PR, but only time will tell as we compare it to collagen products.
I recommend that you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or board-certified dermatologist regarding these products and whether they would benefit you.
Submit your questions to “Ask the Plastic Surgeon” at allnewu@AOL.com. Questions may be condensed and reformatted for the column.
Questions are answered by Dr. Mark A. Foglietti, a nationally recognized board-certified plastic surgeon and author.
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