What Is Hyaluronic Acid?

A variety of different materials can be used as dermal fillers. Here at Cosmetic Perfection we use hyaluronic acid (HA)… so what is it?

The average person has 15 grams of HA in their body at any one time and approximately 1/3rd of this is replaced on a daily basis, so as you are reading this, your body is simultaneously synthesising and breaking down HA. It is produced naturally throughout the body, although about 50% of all your HA can be found in the skin. This molecule has a number of biological functions; it supports the shape of cells, lubricates muscles to aid movement and is a critical component of both cartilage and synovial (joint) fluid. But perhaps HA’s most important role is in the skin where it encourages the formation of collagen and elastin as well as facilitating healing and hydration. There is evidence to suggests that HA can also neutralise free-radicals and reverse some of the effects of sun damage – although you should always use a good sunscreen.

Hyaluronic acid is made of repeating disaccharides (sugars) units such as this

to form long complex chains. Congratulations if this means anything to you!

Different dermal fillers and facial treatment formulations contain HA chains of defined lengths, that may or may not be crossed-linked. Complex formulations, such as Profhilo®, may incorporate a mixture of different chain lengths. This means that unlike a drug such as paracetamol or an antihistamine where one molecule is identical to another, regardless of who manufactured it, there is no such thing as ‘standard HA’ and all formulations are most definitely not the same. At Cosmetic Perfection we use only the highest quality HA products that have been carefully developed for specific aesthetic treatments. Since HA is naturally turned over by the body, our dermal fillers are biocompatible, biodegradable and temporary – typically lasting between six to twelve months, depending on it’s application and how quickly it is metabolised by an individual.

Research has shown that the molecules of HA present in the skin (and cartilage) progressively shorten with aging. Therefore, given the fact that HA is the principle molecule responsible for binding and absorbing water in the skin, the epidermis gradually loses its moisture retaining properties with age. Injecting HA into the lower layers of the skin (dermis) can help boost the hydration of the outer layers of skin (epidermis). Profhilo® has been specifically developed for this purpose and we’ll talk more about this in an upcoming blog.

In the healthy dermis, HA creates spaces between cells which allows a route for cells to migrate, which is an essential part of the healing process. When used as dermal fillers, HA is quite simply used as a safe, biocompatible and biodegradable space-filling material to replace lost volume.

If you are interested in the injectable HA treatments that we offer, why not book in for a free consultation to discuss your needs with Dr Emma.


Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583886/

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