Whether or not you’ve heard of hyaluronic acid, you need it, and you’ve already been benefiting from it for years. There’s more that you can do to help your skin with this simple but essential molecule that you may not know.
Hyaluronic acid, or HA is a naturally occurring substance that occurs and assists in many bodily functions. The function we’re most concerned with as dermatologists is its ability to hold moisture. HA can retain several times its weight in moisture, making it crucial for your skin’s hydration. Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally within the body and actually does a lot more than just keep your skin from drying up. HA is also a part of your joints and eyes, acting as both cushion and lubrication.
Your skin produces hyaluronic acid as a major component in protecting itself from the outside world. Well-hydrated skin is better protected from damage and other environmental factors. Incidentally, environmental factors like sun damage can greatly reduce the amount of hyaluronic acid that your skin produces. That’s one reason why people who tan or don’t use sunscreen often find that their skin ages prematurely. When your skin cannot retain moisture, it will become sunken and develop wrinkles. Protecting your skin from ultraviolet radiation is an easy way to ensure that it's producing the amount of HA that it should be. A lot of moisture is lost through the skin in the winter or in dry environments, but hyaluronic acid can actually trap this moisture in.
Topically, hyaluronic acid is in many moisturizers and other cosmetic products. While hyaluronic acid isn’t produced for the surface of the skin, its molecules can be absorbed through the skin. If you’re low on hyaluronic acid, adding products with HA to your beauty routine can supplement your skin’s slowing production. Hyaluronic acid isn’t just useful for anti-aging. Hyaluronic acid is also used to help treat facial scarring, especially typical scarring from acne.
Dermal fillers are where hyaluronic acid really shines. Applying over-the-counter or prescription drugs that contain hyaluronic acid is a good start, but you can do a lot more. To really fill in and supplement your skin’s supply of HA, a filler is your best bet. Dermal fillers, often referred to as hyaluronic acid fillers, are a line of injectable cosmetic products that can treat a variety of problem areas. Most dermal fillers used by dermatologists are primarily composed of hyaluronic acid. The solution, usually consisting of hyaluronic acid and micro-beads, is injected into the face or hands. Dermal fillers not only physically fill space, but they also give your skin a super-charge of HA. These molecules immediately start fulfilling their purpose of holding moisture.
Dermal fillers don’t offer permanent results, but they can be maintained with follow-up visits with your dermatologist. Typically, dermal fillers begin to fade anywhere between six months and a year treatment. There is little discomfort associated with dermal fillers, but it’s not painless. You can expect to feel a pinching sensation that’s similar to any other injection. Results don’t happen immediately—but they should be fully apparent within a few months.
Hyaluronic acid is a miraculous thing when it’s delivered to skin that’s suffering. If you’re curious about how hyaluronic acid can help you, call the pros at Northeast Dermatology Associates today.
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