What is Hyaluronic Acid and what is it used for
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that we naturally produce and its main purpose is to hydrate and protect the tissues .
It is also present in animals and in some types of bacteria and represents one of the main components of the amorphous substance of the connective tissue , also called fundamental substance, which is nothing more than a gel that covers the collagen and elastin fibers.
Like heparin and chitin, hyaluronic acid is a mucopolysaccharide, that is an organic compound whose molecule is formed by a protein and a glycide.
Until the 1970s it was extracted from animals, mainly from the cock’s comb, while today it is also extracted from particular bacteria with different characteristics and fields of application.
A little chemistry
Hyaluronic acid is also classified as a glycosaminoglycan , linear chains formed by disaccharide units that continue to repeat themselves in a determined order, alternating with an aminosaccharide.
In fact, the molecule is composed of sequences of glucuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine , which are simple sugars .
Being both negatively charged, their union gives rise to a linear and flexible molecule.
What is it good for?
Hyaluronic acid composes the connective tissue and serves to maintain the degree of hydration , turgidity , viscosity and plasticity .
It practically supports the tissue keeping it toned and, thanks to its property of binding and retaining water, ensures skin hydration .
In addition, it also protects the body from viruses and bacteria by acting as a kind of filter , in addition to the known cicatricial and anti-inflammatory properties .
Easily obtained in the laboratory and without contraindications or side effects, it is used in the medical and aesthetic fields thanks to its chemical structure and properties.
Hyaluronic acid and skin
Hyaluronic acid is a fundamental component of the dermis and, thanks to its properties, it gives the skin elasticity and softness .
However, as we age , its concentration in the connective tissue tends to decrease , causing skin aging and wrinkles .
The fillers , used to give a younger look to the skin based on collagen and hyaluronic acid, are injected with a very small needle to fill and smooth the wrinkle.
Applications of hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid has many uses and is especially useful for:
- the formulation of anti-aging , anti- wrinkle and moisturizing creams.
- correct small skin imperfections such as wrinkles, thin lips , emptied breasts, scar lesions etc.
- the treatment of osteoarthritis , injected intra-articularly (infiltration).
- the preparation of anti-aging supplements to be taken orally.
- the preparation of eye drops and ophthalmic ointments to promote scarring of the conjunctiva following a trauma.
Hyaluronic acid is safe, whether it is taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or injected by a doctor. Being a substance produced naturally by the body , it very rarely causes allergic reactions.
During pregnancy , considering that the effects it could have are not known, it can be administered by injection (fillers or infiltrations), but it is advisable to avoid taking it by mouth or skin application.
During breastfeeding, however, it is best to avoid it altogether, because the effects on milk and the newborn are not yet known.
The use of hyaluronic acid in the medical field
Thanks to its properties, hyaluronic acid is also used in the medical field, not only in aesthetics, for various treatments, such as the presence of joint problems , eye surgery or skin lesions. Good efficacy is proven in case of :
- cataract , injected into the eye during surgery.
- canker sores in the mouth, applied in the form of a gel.
- osteoarthritis through infiltrations to improve stiffness and help reduce pain.
The use of hyaluronic acid in the aesthetic field
By now the treatment with hyaluronic acid in the aesthetic field boasts a history of successes of over 25 years.
Treatment is indicated for the correction of:
- volume and lip contour.
- remodeling of the face contour .
- wrinkles .
- post-acne scarring .
- post-traumatic scarring.
- soft tissue blemishes.
- outcomes of rhinoplasty .
Hyaluronic acid is a product that is reabsorbed, therefore it has a limited duration that varies according to the type of preparation and the area to be treated.
The filling and volume increase effect, also to reduce wrinkles, is immediate and lasts from 2 to 12 months.
The injections are carried out without local anesthesia , although an anesthetic ointment can sometimes be used, especially for the treatment of more annoying areas, such as the lips, and the treatment lasts from 15 to 30 minutes.