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.

Who can inject Hyaluronic Acid fillers?

Hyaluronic acid fillers should only be injected by medically trained doctors, nurses, and surgeons. This is because they have pharmaceutical and anatomical knowledge as well as being experienced in administering needles and injections.

Unfortunately, industry regulation means currently anyone can legally inject hyaluronic acid fillers despite having no training and no medical background.

We urge patients to do their research about the clinic and practitioner that they are planning to receive Hyaluronic Acid fillers from and ensure that you are receiving the best care from medically trained professionals.

Can Hyaluronic Acid injections treat face wrinkles?

Hyaluronic Acid injections can be a great treatment option to treat face wrinkles depending on where they are. Common treatment areas include forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, lip lines and neck wrinkles.

In most cases, botulinum toxin injections are used to treat wrinkles, but new generation Hyaluronic Acid injections can achieve great results and we specialise in Hyaluronic Acid injections anti-aging treatments.

Find out more about treating facial wrinkles with hyaluronic acid here.

How much do hyaluronic acid fillers cost?

The cost of Hyaluronic Acid fillers starts from £350.

We recommend booking a consultation with our experienced aesthetic nurses or doctors who will be able to give you a more personalised quote after discussing what you wish to achieve from Hyaluronic Acid treatment.

How to find our clinics?

The Cosmetic Skin Clinic in London is situated within walking distance of Baker Street, Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations. You can also travel to us via trains from Paddington or Kings Cross St Pancras Train Stations.

The Cosmetic Skin Clinic in Buckinghamshire is located in Stoke Poges, near Gerrards Cross (Chiltern Railway) and Slough’s (First Great Western) station. If you travel by car, the M25, M4, M40 and A40 roads, makes it very convenient to reach from Richmond, Kingston upon Thames, Wembley, and from the Surrey area.

For more details on how to find us and our clinic’s locations, please check our dedicated pages.

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