As we age, we all notice that fine lines and wrinkles start to appear on our faces, the skin starts to sag a little and we may also notice that our hands, neck and chest areas start to show signs of age; but how many women think about the fact that discomfort ‘down below’ may also be a consequence of ageing? Thankfully more and more products and devices are coming to market that can address issues and concerns in the female genital area to target a number of indications, including vaginal dryness and tissue atrophy or volume loss. These include lasers for vaginal tightening and hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers for re-volumisation.
I spoke to Dr Kathryn Taylor Barnes, a cosmetic doctor from the Real You Clinic in Surrey who has been pioneering a ‘labial puff’ treatment during this last year.
I started by asking her, what is Desirial and what it is being used for?
“Desirial comes in two formulations, there's Desirial and Desirial Plus, which is the product with the more G Prime, (a measure of resistance to deformation or the hardness of the hyaluronic acid gel).
They’re from the company Vivacy which is a well-known French pharmaceutical company. I think they felt that there was a need for addressing the re-volumisation of the (genital) labia as a women gets older and particularly with the menopausal hormonal influences, the skin in the labia does deflate, lose volume, elasticity and can add to the ageing effect.
With women now taking HRT and also embarking on relationships, maybe when they're a bit older or with younger men, and also having body hair removal, certain areas are more exposed, and it's also a confidence thing.
Surprisingly Vivacy have found with the Desirial range that their product actually helps with hydration of the tissues around the area because of the hyaluronic acid component which is encouraging the hydration of the upper layers of the skin, and dryness is often a problem with a lot of women, particularly post-menopausal.
If you have tissues that are collapsed in and they're rubbing against each other, particularly with exercise, cycling, certain knickers then that can cause itchiness and distress. So it can help with re-volumising and reducing discomfort.”
Sounds great I thought so I asked, is it just being used in the labia or is it being used in the vaginal walls as well?
“There’s two products Desirial Plus the one with the higher G Prime tends to be used for re-shaping the labia, and the one that’s a little bit thinner, Desirial is used for injecting into the walls inside the vagina. This is usually done by a gynaecologist, whereas the external injections can be done by an aesthetic practitioner. Ideally by a doctor, because of the increased risks with this procedure compared to injecting the face.”
What's the longevity of results being seen so far with this sort of treatment?
“On the whole, Stylage which is the sister product of Desirial and came out before Desirial, has the same content that Desirial has, including an anti-oxidant. It's a component called manitol which is derived from fruit and vegetables, found is celery and raspberry and also mushrooms. It's been found to stabilise the cross linking of the hyaluronic acid gel to help it to last longer.
I personally found that (with Stylage) and that probably is a really valid point because it does last longer. My experience with Desirial hasn’t been for a huge length of time, so I can just go by what the company is promoting, and they say it's a year to eighteen months or longer.”
Concluding our chat I asked Dr. Barnes if there were any other new products that are coming to market to address vaginal indications which she is also interested in using.
“I am, I’ve enquired with other companies and I understand that Sinclair IS Pharma is hoping to bring out a product which is called Perfectha G so I’m looking forward to hearing about that at some point next year.”
Learn more about Desirial and whether this could be a treatment option for you if you are suffering from vaginal dryness or discomfort.