Restylane Injections for Malar Bags, Worried About Effects of Hyaluronidase - London, UK

I had a small amount of restylane injected a week...

I had a small amount of restylane injected a week ago in my cheek area to try to correct genetic malar bags and 'flat face' but it has altered my face shape which I hate and I am desperate for hyaluronidase to correct it.

However I am terrified that it causes damage to the natural hylauronic acid in the skin as well as dissolving the restylane. I seem to be unable to find any reassurance that no permanent damage is caused, but I fail to see how the hyaluronidase can distinguish between restylane and 'natural' hyaluronic acid in the skin. It also seems like hyaluronidase has only been used for this purpose since 2005 so surely any long term damaging effects of its use are not yet known?

I know I could always wait for 6 months but I can't bear to look like I do now for that long. I am so upset about it.

Updated on Sep 5, 2009
I had Restylane injected into my cheeks 3 months ago. I am only 26 and did it because of malar 'bags' on my cheek which I always had since a child and wanted to do something about. I read a small amount of restylane in the cheek can help so thought it was worth a go to 'smooth' them out. However, whether it is because of my age or because I am sensitive to the hyaluronidaise, I have had swelling since it was first injected and wish every day it will reabsorb. I wake up each morning not knowing what I will see - sometimes it is ok, sometimes my face is like a hampster. I feel like the swelling is the hyaluronidaise binding excessive water, or that is what I presume it is, because if I massage my cheeks or press them it will go down for a while before returning. If I drink or eat salty food it is worst. I thought that it might get better, but 3 months on it is still happening although slightly less than the start where it was hideous.

I would so appreciate some expert opinion on what it is that is happening and when it will go away. Even if I can do anything to make it go away faster? I wanted to use hyaluronidaise so badly but I am scared that I would just be causing myself more problems so I resisted. I feel like such a fool for being so vain and doing this to myself. Any reassurance that it will get better and that I won't have caused any long term damage with the restylane would be very gratefully received. Many thanks -- UPDATED September 5, 2009 -- How long until my restylane is reabsorbed? I had it injected in my cheek 3 months ago and it still swells if I drink or eat salty food. My PS gave me steroids which sometimes help but I am reluctant to take them because of their side effects. Should I consider hyaluronidaise?

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Hello, something similar happened to me. I had some almost unknown isralo-french product called stylage injected in my tear trough (it's a less known brand of hyaluronic acid). That shit seemingly attracted water into my tear trough. At first it was ok, i was quite happy with the result, my tear troughs weren't hollow anymore and didn't like as gaunt as before. Trouble is, a few months later, i started having a sort of lumps (or should i say, dents), the texture of the skin was/is different. They are some sort of malar dents I had never had before :-( Instead of injecting hyaluronidase (no-one ever suggested me to do so, and maybe better this way) i was instead suggested to inject more stuff to round up the cheekbone and make the dent be stretched and less visible. But the water retained is there and comes up again and again.
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Hi both, Firstly Sallify - yes alcohol made the swelling SO much worse!! The morning after drinking alcohol I looked like a hamster, it was terrible. I had to become almost T-total for a year. I also got puffy after salty meals (e.g. chinese) and just before my period when I was retaining lots of water. To toomuchfiller - I would say 18 months for the filler to be absorbed, but the swelling is mostly gone by 12 months, and it decreases gradually over that time, so the really bad period is 1-9months. I know how awful it seems waiting for that long, but honestly in my opinion it is better not to mess further with your face by using the dissolver. The damage that that could cause will not be gone in time, but the filler will. Stay strong and I promise you in a year's time you will be feeling well on the way to being back to the 'old' you.
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I can't tell you how much I appreciate your responses and reassurances. Here's another question. Do you have any autoimmune conditions like asthma, exzema, psoriasis, etc.? I have asthma and psoriasis. My doctor thinks it's an autoimmune response to the Restylane.
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Hi Sallify, I do not have any of those conditions and I am having an almost identical response. I found the date I had injections, Nov 7, so today is exactly 3 months and my second episode of several days of swelling. Today is the worst day. It is sore and red and actually has a heat sensation. You know that the manufacturer knows of this side effect. They just do not want to acknowledge it. Woman are embarrassed and tough it out, a man would sue them! The only clue to my swelling is as FB said, last month it appeared prior and during my period. My period is due and it is happening again. I sure hope this peaks soon and then begins to get less exaggerated every month. There is no way i could be seen in public today. Sure glad I paid money for this! Wow
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FB - you don't know how much reading your past posts has helped me! I had resty put in my tear troughs 2 months ago (1st time ever mincing around with needles and such).... its not swelling like some here have said ... my right eye is perfect but the Dr friggin' over filled my left eye which has left me beside myself....really depressed!! I spent a lot of money to feel good about myslef and ended up feeling worse!! I should have just gone to specsavers and paid 25 sovs on a pair of glasses to cover the under eye hollows ...as thats what i'm using now anyways to cover the boogle eye!! I cud have saved myself so much money! I know we are told that it will go in time ...but wen u are actually living the "dissaster" theres that little voice in your head that keeps saying "IT'S GONNA BE THERE FOREVER...SERVES YOU RIGHT FOR BEING SO VAIN!" and you feel terrible coz you cannot talk to anyone about it as you fear they will be thinking the same thing! i just want to say a big thank you for writing what you wrote (to other members) and i am so pleased i read it ..and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! i was thinking of having it dissolved ...but, like Sallify, i too am old enough to know how quickly years fly by so I will wait this out..stiff upper lip and bloated over filled boogle eye and all!! :D ... I don't know if you will even read this as its an old post ...but i just wanted to so a big thank you anyways ... for taking the time out of your day to make others feel better! THANK YOU! you've helped me so much! god bless and happy new year to u all! xx
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FB, did you find that drinking alcohol made the swelling worse while you were going through this?
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Hi fb, thank you for sharing this. I am in the same situation as you were, though I had juvederm injected into my cheeks two months ago. I am so depressed. I guess I don't look likens freak but my face shape has changed and I look ugly. I have started looking into having it dissolved but am scared that might make things even worse, there again I can't cope with looking like this for another project year plus. You said your filler fully went in 18 months. Did it begin to look less any sooner? I think I could hope if it reduces by say half its size in six months but takes longer to completely go. Thanks for helping
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I am having recurrent swelling under my eyes that started 3 months after Restylane injections. Reading lots of similar stories here, but most are a year or two old with no follow up. Can anyone tell me if the problem went away after a year (or ever) once the Restylane was reabsorbed by the body? Am I going to be dealing with swelling under eyes for the rest of my life? Will it ever go away?
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It does go away eventually I promise - 18months to be gone totally. I know it might seem like an eternity but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can say this through my own experience and I know it would definitely have helped me to get through if I'd known there was an end point, however far away. It's difficult to think there will be when you're in the middle of it seeing your face like that every day, but I promise it will get better. It does all get absorbed (restylane and juviderm I mean - and I've tried both!)
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Thank you so much, FB! This is a relief to hear. Even though 15 more months sounds on one hand like an eternity, I'm old enough to know how quickly years fly by. Did you forgo the hyaluronidase? I just asked my doc about steroids. I hate Predisone, but some days I am just miserable walking around looking like I was punched under both eyes. I originally wanted lower eyelid surgery, but my doctor talked me into Restylane, saying it would be much less invasive. I wish now that I'd opted for surgery. Will never let anyone inject anything near my eyes again!
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I didn't have the hylauronidase in the end and I am glad - from what I read it can cause more damage than it solves in some cases. It does dissolve the natural hyaluronic acid in your skin as well as the resty and around the v delicate eye area with thin skin this seems a huge risk. If I were you I would wait for it to go and then when you are back to "you" in 18 months perhaps consider that surgery. Although what I've been through with restylane and other things over the past few years has made me really think long and hard about making any changes to the face unless absolutely necessary - they never turn out how u picture them in your mind! Anyway all the best to you and I hope u have a speedy recovery in a shorter time than 18 months! It is true time goes by quickly (even tho it doesnt seem so when u are waiting to recover!) and in the end it will be gone
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Thanks again. Guess I'll just be wearing my glasses for the next 18 months! Did any ever doctor ever give you any explanation of the cause of the swelling? So grateful for your responses.
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It is because so much water binds to the restylane. If you google it it is a ridiculous amount of water compared to its weight size! And when restylane is broken down water takes its place and the more it breaks down the more water it is able to bind - this may be why your swelling didn't start immediately. Eventually it is broken down enough that the swelling starts to decrease though.
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OMG! Finally an explanation as to why 2 months later this is starting. After initial swelling and bruising when injected, I looked fine. Great actually. Now almost 2-3 months out I have this on off hamster look. So FB, u are saying this will continue during the many months ahead as it breaks down. Woman need to be made aware of this. Will massaging help or make worse. I'm taking Claritin. But just because I feel helpless. It's so hard cuz in away u are ashamed and feel u are being punished for vanity and u can't talk to anyone about it!. It's embarrassing.
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I know exactly what you mean, Bronte. I think that anyone who has experienced this has felt like they were being punished for their vanity. I'm going through the same thing now, so you can always talk to me!
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Sorry I saw 9 m for you.....
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Hallo!

I did Sub Q two years ago... I had to take cortison for about 4 m, then the swelling was less, but I dont want to scare you. There is still some left even if I had hyaluronidase one time. Sub Q is really long lasting. I was told one year but in some people it hang around for a long time...How long ago did you have the Sub Q and how many cc?
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Hi Simba.
No I have stopped the prednisone shortly after the swelling subsided. A week later it started again - so I took some more and it went away. But I am just waiting for it to swell up again at any time. I feel like I am living with a ticking time bomb in my face. If I can keep taking prednisone when necessary until this awful stuff goes away (only a few more months I hope - it does go away doesn't it?)I think I will cope.
Has anyone else dealt with this problem the same way? I am concerned the doctor may not want to give me too much more prednisone.
I feel the swelling is sometimes triggered by putting pressure on my cheeks - such as sleeping on side of my face. I have been trying to sleep on my back only which is really hard for me.
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Hi oz girl.. Just reading your post, i too had this garbage injected into my lips 18 months ago and has it been a long nightmare. I really felt i was alone until i recently found this site.
I also was put on predisone and antibiotic which i think helped a little. I was on 75mg a day for 5 days then that was all my dr would allow me. I think it helped the swelling a little. Could i ask how much you were taking?? Also did it work any??My dr says predisone is very dangerous.
Anyone one else in Australia had this garbage put in our faces.And had problems .Please let me know how things are going.
I feel i am slowing losing my battle, 18 months of hell, looked up in this house. I dont know how much more i can put myself or my family through..
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How are you? Myself and another member are about 3 months out from injection and having this swelling. It's quite exaggerated and worse than the initial shots (swelling). will this swelling get worse before it gets better. Mine is actually painful to my face.
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Hallo Oz girl. How did it go with your swelling? Are you still on cortison?
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I had restylane (sub Q - I think, sorry it's terrible that I'm not sure) injections 9 months ago in my cheeks. From 2 months after treatment I have had swelling and puffiness under my eyes every week or two. Last week went back to the clinic that treated me. They gave me antibiotics for supposed infection and prednisone for the swelling. Will let you know how it turns out. I do feel that it is not infection. The swelling did go away a day after the prednisone tablets though. I am so disappointed and annoyed with the result of something that is supposed to improve appearance. The injector is suggesting dissolving the product but I am scared to let them put needles in my face again.
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Hi! I have the same experince (spelling-I am from Sweden) like you. I had restylane Sub Q in my cheeks and it did the same thing for me. I am in my seven mounth now and swelling seems to reduce more and more. I have heard more people whit this wierd swelling after restylane so I dont think its very rare. I hope yours and mine situation will be fine in the end because body breaks this down, I will NEVER do restylane again. Bye
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FB - I too have bags under my eyes and a 'flat face' caused by a depressed upper jaw. I tried to correct this look with filler. I had some initial success, then some failure and now disaster. Before you try hyaluronidase, please read my review, my question for the doctors and their replies. I share your concerns about the hyaluronidase dissolving my natural tissue (and I believe it has!) I had restylane in tear troughs dissolved with hyaluronidase and it has been a complete nightmare. The swelling simply will not go away. I have been talking with two other RealSelf members (in the US) about my experience as they had similar issues. I too was unhappy with my (second)filler result but I wish more than anything that I had just let the filler absorb back into my skin naturally.
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