Hyaluronic Acid: Everything You Need to Know

Northeast Dermatology Associates hyaluronic acid treatment Hyaluronic Acid: Everything You Need to Know

Hyaluronic acid, in its many forms, is crucial to your skin’s health. Whether it’s occurring naturally in your skin, or being used as a supplement to healthy growth, you need to know about hyaluronic acid.

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

If you take your skincare seriously, you’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid. While you may have heard of hyaluronic acid in skincare products, it’s actually a substance that occurs naturally in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is also contained in the joints and eyes to provide lubrication and flexibility. In the skin, hyaluronic acid is the main component for moisture retention. Naturally produced hyaluronic acid can be used to treat conditions like osteoarthritis, cataracts and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid and Wrinkles

As our bodies age, they produce less hyaluronic acid. In addition to this, your skin also becomes less efficient at making collagen and elastin. All of these contribute to fine lines and wrinkles, as skin loses its moisture and support. Topically, hyaluronic acid can act as a humectant for the surface of your skin. A humectant is any substance that absorbs and retains moisture. Once retained on the surface, that moisture can be absorbed into the skin. There are many products that incorporate hyaluronic acid, but selecting one that actually works is a bit tricky. Since the molecules of hyaluronic acid in some products can be too large, not every product containing HA is actually doing anything for your skin. Look for products with micronized hyaluronic acid, as these products are made with absorption in mind.

Hyaluronic acid injectables are incredibly effective at reversing the signs of aging. These injectables are often classified as dermal fillers, and are injected directly into problem areas. Injecting hyaluronic acid into the skin provides moisture retention that can plump skin up and smooth away wrinkles. There are a great deal of injectables on the market, and each one works in different areas of the face and body. Not all dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid. A more specific term to describe these products would be hyaluronic acid fillers. In injectable form, hyaluronic acid is suspended in a gel that keeps the substance concentrated, so that it can last. A hyaluronic acid filler lasts anywhere between 6 and 12 months, and can be maintained with a follow up visit once it starts to wear off.

Juvederm® and Restylane®

These two products are the most common hyaluronic acid fillers that dermatologists use. Juvederm is an HA injectable that works especially well on the cheeks and lips. It can be injected in these areas of the face to provide better moisture retention, giving skin a fuller, wrinkle-free look. Restylane is one of the first hyaluronic acid fillers, formerly known as Perlane. Restylane works like other HA fillers, but only a few expand into the new territory that Restylane does. This product is approved by the FDA for use reducing wrinkles on the backs of the hands. The specific product for the hands is called Restylane Lift. The side effects of dermal fillers are not common, but include localized swelling or bruising that can last a few days. While some beauty spas offer HA injectables, it’s important to go to a certified dermatologist for your skincare. Injectables pose higher risks for infection and damage to blood vessels when administered in non-sterile environments by untrained hands. It’s important to know that your dermatologist is very concerned for your health and safety. Dermal fillers with hyaluronic acid are by far the best application of HA against aging.

If you’re curious about hyaluronic acid and how it can help your skin, you’re in luck! The professionals at Northeast Dermatology are ready to answer your questions and provide you with excellent skincare.

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