Hyaluronic Acid Treatment
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide that is produced by the body to build and maintain connective tissue. It is also called hyaluron and is present outside the cells (extracellular matrix) in most animals. Hyaluronic acid is an essential component for cells to continue growing normally because it helps bring water into the cells. It supports protein synthesis, which provides structure for the skin (as collagen) and cartilage. Treatments containing hyaluronic acid have been effective in skin rejuvenation, wound healing and joint repair.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally produced biologic compound that maintains hydration in body tissues. Hyaluronic acid is abundant in the eyes as vitreous fluid, joints and skin. Hyaluronic acid was initially extracted from rooster combs, and a more biologically compatible compound is produced using bacteria for larger quantities and higher purity. Consequently, the role of hyaluronic acid in biologic processes is widely studied.
Hyaluronic acid provides lubrication for tissues and normal cellular processes to regenerate and repair. Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the body, but this production can decrease with age. External sources of hyaluronic acid can be administered topically, such as through moisturizers, or it can be injected into specific areas to promote wound healing and enhance lubrication (such as in joints).
Hyaluronic acid is included in skin treatments and cosmetics as a supplement to increase the skin’s hydration and promote repair. The compound is absorbed by the skin to the dermal layers to support collagen repair and regeneration, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increasing cell production for a healthy skin tone. Hyaluronic acid supports normal cell growth by increasing water absorption and essential vitamins into the cells. Products containing hyaluronic acid usually contain other ingredients such as glycolic acid, retinol, melanin and other agents for skin repair. Hyaluronic acid is also administered by cosmetic and plastic surgeons and dermatologists as a dermal filler, injected under the skin to provide bulk and contour. Hyaluronic acid is absorbed by the body, and the effects of these dermal fillers usually subside over time.
A PubMed scientific literature search shows that clinical research is being conducted on the effects of hyaluronic acid on wound healing and inflammation. According to Podiatry Today, applications of hyaluronic acid were beneficial in promoting the healing process in burns and ulcers, with a reduction of scar formation. Since hyaluronic acid is present in sinovial fluid (fluid lubricating joints), Rejuvenation Science reports that the benefits of hyaluronic injections for knee and joint repair are being studied to quantify dosage, frequency and extent of cartilage repair effected.
Hyaluronic acid extracted from rooster combs is an animal-sourced product that can cause allergic reactions. Hyaluronic acid produced from bacteria are not considered animal-sourced products and are more compatible to humans. A physician will usually check for sensitivities before injecting or administering hyaluronic acid. Commercially available products such as moisturizers also will specify the concentration of hyaluronic acid, along with other ingredients. People with sensitive skin should test the product on a small patch of skin before general application.