Hyaluronic acid (also known as Hyaluronan) is a component of connective tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate. It occurs throughout the body in abundant amounts in many of the places people with hereditary connective tissue disorders have problems such as joints, heart valves and eyes. Its main function is to aid in the body’s water maintenance (by binding water molecules to tissue), providing essential moisture for body processes and molecular transport. As people age, the HA levels in their bodies decrease, leading to certain joint problems and provoking the physical features of aging, such as wrinkles.
When injected into the skin in the form of a gel, hyaluronic acid binds to water and provides volume to easily fill in larger folds of skin around the mouth and cheeks. Patients notice an immediate plumping of the skin in the treated regions. One of the main advantages of hyaluronic acid is that it does not pose an allergy risk for patients and there is no risk of transmitting animal diseases by injection. Since a skin check for allergies is usually not required with hyaluronic acid gel, patients can be treated on their first visit to the dermatologist.
Almost all people are suitable for hyaluronic acid therapy. Because hyaluronic acid is chemically identical within and between species, allergy to it is very rare.
The treatment is a very easy and quick process. Since no pre-test is required, the treatment can be carried out immediately and takes between 15 and 30 minutes. The results are instant. Tiny quantities of hyaluronic acid are injected through very fine needles, boosting the skin’s own acid supply. The level of discomfort experienced during the injection varies from person to person, but generally, it is a painless. However, if a patient has very sensitive skin, local anaesthesia can be applied.
How long the effect of the treatment lasts is varies from patient to patient. It depends on many factors, such as the structure of the skin, lifestyle and age as well as on the degree of perfection demanded by the individual. Most patients choose to have touch-up treatments done within 6 to 12 months of the initial treatment. For lip augmentation, new treatment is normally needed after about 4 to 8 months.
If you choose not to do touch-up treatments, the correction will gradually disappear until your skin looks just as it did before the treatment.
Hyaluronic acid therapy is generally very well tolerated. At the time of treatments most patients report minor discomfort. Rarely, allergic reactions to hyaluronic acid have been reported. These are generally red and/or thickened nodules arising in the injected sites and may persist for several weeks or months.
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