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Five minutes with: Dr Joanna Romanowska

By Milly Nolan

Dr Joanna Romanowska explains what it's like to work as a GP and an appearance medicine expert, on MiNDFOOD.

Dr Joanna Romanowska is a highly qualified and respected General Practitioner, and she’s also an outstanding advocate, practitioner and pioneer of appearance medicine.

She is immensely proud of the creative and life-changing work she can pursue at Clinic 42 and believes strongly in her practice’s brand proposition: “You’ll love what you see.”

How long have you been working with appearance medicine for?

Over 10 years.

There’s a lot of talk about Botox but less seems to be known of dermal fillers. What is it that dermal fillers do?

Our bodies’ natural collagen production decreases with age, contributing to the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the skin. Dermal fillers are used to lift up lines and wrinkles and fill hollows, to give a smoother appearance to skin and contours. One of the advantages of the hyaluronic fillers, such as Restylane, is that they also stimulate the body’s own collagen production and allow long-lasting results.

Why would you recommend to someone to have Restylane?

There is clinical evidence which shows that improving one’s appearance, is directly linked to how one feels and lifts the mood. Restylane provides a very safe and effective option for enhancing one’s appearance.

What is Restylane made of?

Restylane is a natural substance, made up of very complex carbohydrate-chains, which are broken down very slowly (over a period of months) by the body into simple sugars and used for energy by the body. The chemical name for this specific complex carbohydrate is hyaluronic-acid. We have hyaluronic-acid occurring naturally in our bodies. It is one of the building blocks, like collagen, giving structure between the cells of the body.

Is it safe to have Restylane injected under your skin?

Yes it is, it is one of the safest rejuvenation procedures one can have!

What are the most commonly treated areas for Restylane?

We are able to treat most of the face with this amazing product and new areas and indications are being discovered all the time. The better known treatment-areas are smoker’s lines on the lips and lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth and further down to the chin.

We can also treat crow’s feet and “bags” under the eyes, tear-trough areas, eyebrows, re-define the jaw-line and improve the nose-shape and profile. Recently, with the new Restylane-Vital, we are able to treat the crepe-like changes of the skin on the backs of the hands, the neck, chest and cheek areas.

Is it obvious when someone has had a dermal filler?

When a treatment is overdone, it may be visible to an observer, particularly in the first 24 hours when there may be some swelling. This is more often due to an inexperienced injector, rather than a problem with the product. At Clinic42 we pride ourselves on our patients looking “well” and “rested” without any of their family or friends being able to tell they have had anything done.

Are there any side effects after having Restylane?

The side-effects are usually injection-related rather than product-related and include possible bruising and/or swelling at the injection sites. These are all temporary and usually resolve within a few days.

How long does it last?

Restylane lasts a minimum of six months and, depending on the area treated and amount of product used, may last significantly longer. I have a few patients who, after a couple of treatments in the tear-trough, have not needed re-treatment for over two years. Also, because of its collagen-stimulating effect, there is an ongoing improvement in the skin following Restylane treatments.

Where does Restylane go when it breaks down?

It is broken down by the body’s enzymes into simple sugars and used by the body for energy, finally ending up as carbon-dioxide and water.

Is it toxic?

No it is not.

Once the Restylane is broken down, is the treated area left looking saggy?

Absolutely not! The collagen-stimulating effect of the procedure leaves the skin looking better for years, even after only one treatment.

Can you have Restylane and Botox at the same time?

Certainly, especially if we are treating different areas of the face with the different products. They work in different ways and compliment each-other’s effects.

And lastly, does it hurt?

Yes it does, which is why we use local-anaesthetic to make the procedure comfortable.

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