I had Restylane put in my tear troughs. I had always had deep tear troughs and thought this would be a simple way to have a beauty pick-me up. As soon as the doctor put it in, i was amazed at the immediate improvement and decrease in the baggy look around my eyes. So I asked him to add a little more, near the side of my nose. He put it at the top of the bone under my eye socket instead, directly under my pupil. I thought "well, that's not exactly what I had in mind, but it's just temporary'. I went home with the little ice pack they had provided and was told swelling should go down soon.
Instead, the swelling got a lot worse and lasted more than three days. It looked like I had an allergic reaction or bee stings under my eyes, which then looked a lot baggier. When the swelling went down, the skin had been stretched so much, it left permanent wrinkles. When I much later was in some pictures, I noticed that the Restylaned area was like a raised track which caught the light, so that it looked like I had something under my skin- but only in pictures and only with a flash. Also, the treated area appeard yellowish. I thought these effects would disappear over time, but they didn't. The yellow is still there 4 years later, as are the raised tracks, which are probably now from some kind of scarring caused by the product. It is not noticeable when I wear my glasses and mostly is just visible on film with side lighting. It's not the end of the world, but I don't like it. On the positive side, the product damaged a small vein so that it no longer is visible. This is just as well, in my opinion, because that vein added to the baggy look. Amazingly, there is still something in there, probably scarring as I said, which can be pushed around. If I press on the area, it leaves a visible dent.
I thought this may have all been the unfortunate result of putting the product in a tricky area and decided to go back and add some to my cheeks and lips. I thought surely, this would be harmless. The nurse gave the injections, not the doctor.
The product in my cheeks looked very nice while it lasted (about 6 months) but left slight permanent discoloration (slight darkening where it was injected). The product in my upper lip caused a lot of swelling. It seems to have been involved in damaging a nerve. Following the treatment, my top lip completely and permanently changed shape and the inner part of the lip dropped down so as to become visible when I smile. I later learned that this is a rare 'facial deformity' called 'double lip' caused by a blow to the lip or an infection. Either way, it is the result of nerve damage so I speculate that the swelling damaged a nerve. It is a rare condition, but can be corrected surgically, although I don't think that I would be up for more interventions after this experience. My upper lip looks a little dropped and like it has lost its tone. I find it has completely changed the look of my lips and the overall effect of my face in general. My top lip was thin but nicely shaped before. It now looks a little bigger in the middle due to this, but slack and older. There's not much I can do about it, it's permanent. I asked my doctor about it and he had never heard of 'double lip' and denied that Restylane could have caused it, since it is not listed as a possible side effect. I think it is too much of a coincidence that this happened the day I got the injection, to attribute it to anything else.
Despite this, my lips looked pretty good and plump for about 6 months while the product was in. Cheeks looked very nice, but the staining scared me off doing it again. Eyes actually would probably have looked pretty good in if he had only put it in the tear troughs, right near the nose. Where he put it lower, the skin was too thin and showed discoloration and raised tracks form scarring.
Bottom line is, there are apparently more risks from this than one would think. I know many women who have had it had no problem, but think long and hard before you do it because you might just be someone who ends up having rotten luck.