Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid gel is one of the newest dermal (skin) fillers approved for facial rejuvenation and enhancement. The gel is injected just below the surface of the skin to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of facial lines, folds and wrinkles as well as enhance the shape of the lips.

Treatment is quick and most patients can return to normal activities as soon as treatment is done.The desired result of hyaluronic acid treatment is a more youthful and smooth appearance.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is a substance that naturally occurs in the body to lubricate joints and muscles, moisturize skin, and give shape to the eyeballs. In skin tissue, it fills the space between collagen and elastin fibers, delivers nutrients, acts as a cushioning agent, and moisturizes the skin.

The hyaluronic acid attracts moisture from the air and holds in water to keep the skin hydrated and reduce the appearance of fine lines caused by dehydration. With age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in the skin decreases.

Hyaluronic acid is the body’s natural skin moisturizer – it can hold 500 times it’s own weight in water and helps keep the skin hydrated. Hyaluronic acid gel injections are given to temporarily replace the natural substance which is lost over time. The hyaluronic gel that is injected into the facial tissue is gradually absorbed by the body and lost over time as well, but treatments may be repeated to maintain results.

Quick FactsTrade Names: Restylane, HylaformTreatment Use: Fill out facial lines, folds, and wrinkles; lip enhancementTreatment Areas: Nasolabial folds, forehead wrinkles, smile lines, and lipsTreatment Method: InjectionTreatment Time: Less than 1 hourRecovery Time: NoneResults: TemporaryNumber of Treatments: Treatment may be repeated every 3 to 6 months, depending on the product and patientFDA-Approved Products for Hyaluronic Acid InjectionsThe two main hyaluronic acid injectable products which have received FDA approval are marketed under the trade names of Restylane and Hylaform.

Restylane was approved in December 2003, and Hylaform was approved in April 2004. While both are considered a hyaluronic acid product, Restylane is formulated from non-animal sources, and Hylaform is made of chemically modified hyaluronic acid derived from a bird (avian) source. Both products should be administered by a trained cosmetic surgery doctor in order to maximize safety and benefits. Individuals with certain allergies should talk to their doctor before receiving treatment in order to avoid any possible adverse reactions.

Hyaluronic acid is also a common ingredient in many topical skin care products. Restylane is a transparent gel formulated with hyaluronic acid, used to add volume under facial skin. Treatment is administered by injection and should only be performed by a trained cosmetic surgery doctor.

Most patients are able to achieve optimal correction with just one injection, but some patients may need more to get satisfactory results. Restylane is made from non-animal sources and safe for most individuals, but is not recommended for those with a history of allergies to gram-positive bacterial proteins.

Restylane is used to treat wrinkles and aging lines of the face, including nasolabial folds (around nose and mouth), melomental folds (“marionette lines” from corner of mouth to chin), wrinkles at the outer corners of the eye (“crows feet”), and forehead wrinkles. It may also be used to fill age-related facial hollows, such as under and around the eyes, as well as for lip augmentation.

Benefits of Restylane: It smooths facial folds and wrinkles, fills facial hollows, and plumps up the lips.

Possible side effects: bruising, redness, swelling, tenderness, pain, and itchingExpected Results: Typically lasts for six monthsHylaformHylaform is a sterile and colorless gel made of chemically modified hyaluronic acid derived from a bird (avian) source.

Hyaluronic acid is similar in the tissues of all species, however those with bird allergies would not be good candidates for Hylaform treatments. Hylaform is injected by a doctor into areas of facial tissue with wrinkles and folds. The gel temporarily adds volume to the skin and gives a smoother appearance to the face.

Hylaform is also used for lip augmentation. After the initial treatment, some patients may require a touch-up treatment for optimal results.

Benefits of Hylaform: It helps smooth moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds and can help create fuller, natural looking lips.

Possible side effects: bruising, redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, and raised bumps on the skin Expected Results: Effect lasts for about 12 weeks Alternative Wrinkle Treatments