What is Hyaluronic Acid?

By Dr. TRACY MOUNTFORD, MBBS MBCAM

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Simply put, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance composed of a long chain of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace. It is naturally found throughout our bodies, where it acts as a binding, lubricating, and protective agent. 8-12.

8. Fraser JR, Laurent TC, Laurent UB. Hyaluronan: its nature, distribution, functions and turnover. J Intern Med. 1997 Jul;242(1):27-33. 9. Robert L, Robert AM, Renard G. Biological effects of hyaluronan in connective tissues, eye, skin, venous wall. Role in aging. Pathol Biol (Paris). 2010 Jun;58(3):187-98. 10. Robert L. Hyaluronan, a truly “youthful” polysaccharide. Its medical applications. Pathol Biol (Paris). 2015 Feb;63(1):32-4. 11. Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1;4(3):253-8. 12. Valachová K, Volpi N, Stern R, Soltes L. Hyaluronan in Medical Practice. Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(31):3607-3617.

What is the role of Hyaluronic Acid in our body?

Ever heard of “elastin” or “collagen”? Hyaluronic acid not only stimulates the production of elastic and collagen, but it is also responsible for increasing moisture levels in the skin whilst accelerating skin regeneration & healing.

Hyaluronic Acid – found in abundance throughout our bodies. It is necessary for our body to function properly. 22. Indeed, HA is found in our skin, inside our joints, within our eyes and in other tissues.

22. Anderegg U, Simon JC, Averbeck M. More than just a filler – the role of hyaluronan for skin homeostasis. Exp Dermatol. 2014 May;23(5):295-303.

Why do we lose HA in our bodies?

It takes less than 24 hours for hyaluronic acid in our skin to be destroyed, therefore it needs to be replenished daily.11,22 As we age, we can lose nearly 70% of our body’s hyaluronic acid pool. It’s no wonder that HA is the first choice in skin firming treatments. 73

11. Papakonstantinou E, Roth M, Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1;4(3):253-8. 22. Anderegg U, Simon JC, Averbeck M. More than just a filler – the role of hyaluronan for skin homeostasis. Exp Dermatol. 2014 May;23(5):295-303.

What is a Hyaluronic Acid injection?

Hyaluronic acid injections (dermal fillers) have become an essential part of anti-ageing treatments. Hyaluronic acid is already widely used in skincare products and offers natural looking results when used topically. 27,69,96 These soft, crystal-clear gels can be injected beneath or within our skin to boost its supply of HA, thereby: 27,97

  • Revitalising and restoring volume lost in our skin
  • Reducing the appearance of unwanted wrinkles and lines
  • Giving a natural softer look

27. Brandt FS, Cazzaniga A. Hyaluronic acid gel fillers in the management of facial aging. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1):153-9. 69. Funt D, Pavicic T. Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013;6:295-316. 96. Kablik J, Monheit GD, Yu L, Chang G, Gershkovich J. Comparative physical properties of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. Dermatol Surg. 2009 Feb;35 Suppl 1:302-12. 97. Figus A, Wormald JC, Wade RG, Bistoni G. Hyaluronic acid for facial rejuvenation. In: Curinga G, Rusciani A, eds. Minimally Invasive Procedures for Facial Rejuvenation. Foster City, USA: OMICS Group eBooks; 2014.

Does one HA filler fit all?

With over 160 dermal fillers currently available world-wide from more than 50 companies, it is important to carefully choose a filler that provides the result you are searching for. 69 Products will target a specific aesthetic result.

For truly natural looking results, newer generation RHA dermal fillers have been specifically developed to adapt to the movements and dynamism of our face. They offer an immediate volume-boosting effect and are designed to hydrate our skin, treat superficial and deep wrinkles in dynamic zones, create or restore facial volumes and resculpt facial contours.5,29

5. Olejnik, A., Goscianska, J. and Nowak, I. Significance of hyaluronic acid in cosmetic industry and aesthetic medicine. Chemik 66, 129–135 (2012). 29. Data on File. 3 69. Funt D, Pavicic T. Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013 Dec 12;6:295-316.

What are the benefits of injecting HA dermal fillers?

When Hyaluronic Acid is injected into our skin, it promotes skin rejuvenation and hydration. It can also plump up wrinkles. 27, 31 Thanks to its ability to stimulate collagen production and its excellent capacity to retain water, hyaluronic acid also keeps our skin smooth, plumped up and well hydrated. 22 As HA attracts and binds water molecules, HA is important for maintaining structure and volume in the skin. Together, collagen, elastin, and HA form the scaffold of the skin, providing structure, and texture. 17,22

By boosting our supply of hyaluronic acid, HA dermal fillers refresh and plump our skin by filling facial volumes lost with ageing, diminishing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and giving a natural softer look.

17. Farage MA, Miller KW, Elsner P, Maibach HI. Structural characteristics of the aging skin: a review. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2007;26(4):343-57. 22. Anderegg U, Simon JC, Averbeck M. More than just a filler – the role of hyaluronan for skin homeostasis. Exp Dermatol. 2014 May;23(5):295-303. 27. Brandt FS, Cazzaniga A. Hyaluronic acid gel fillers in the management of facial aging. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(1):153-9. 28. Sundaram H, Mackiewicz N, Burton E, et al. Pilot Comparative Study of the Topical Action of a Novel, Crosslinked Resilient Hyaluronic Acid on Skin Hydration and Barrier Function in a Dynamic, Three-Dimensional Human Explant Model. J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Apr;15(4):434-41. 29. Data on File. 3 31. Topical report. Injectible products to fill wrinkles. France: ANSM: Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé; 2012.

*DISCLAIMER Patient experience and results may vary. These are dependent on a number of factors such as lifestyle, age and medical history.

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