If you’re reading Dr. Barrera’s blog, you’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is the basis of “naturally derived” dermal fillers such as Restylane. These fillers get that designation because hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body. In fact, it occurs in just about every living thing. In humans, it acts as a network that transfers essential nutrients from the bloodstream to the skin cells. Hyaluronic acid keeps the skin younger looking. That’s probably why you hear various skin care products touting having hyaluronic acid in them, although applying it topically has little if any effect.
Hyaluronic acid 101
Hyaluronic acid can be found throughout the human body. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissues and in the fluid surrounding your eyes. It’s also in cartilage and joint fluids. Outside the world of aesthetics, you may have heard of hyaluronic acid being used as an injection for people with arthritis to ease the pain in their joints and to provide extra cushioning.
When hyaluronic acid gel is injected for aesthetic reasons, it acts like an inflated cushion supporting facial structures and tissues that may have lost volume or elasticity due to normal aging. For the skin, hyaluronic acid binds with water molecules to plump and hydrate the skin. In fact, hyaluronic is the king of water molecule binding, binding with over 1,000 times its weight in water!
Where are hyaluronic acid fillers effective?
Dr. Barrera offers the full Restylane line for our patients. Different Restylane products are meant to target different areas of the face to either reduce wrinkles or to return volume to areas such as the cheeks. These are some specific issues Dr. Barrera addresses with these fillers:
- Nasolabial lines
- Marionette lines
- Acne scars
- Cheek depressions
- Frown lines between the eyebrows
- Redefining lip borders
- Acne scars
- Wound scars
- Smoker’s lines
- Worry lines
After your session
Most of our dermal filler sessions take 30 minutes or less. After your session, it’s important to not touch or push on the injection areas for 24 hours or so. This can cause the filler to migrate to an area where you don’t want it. Because hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, allergic reactions are very rare. Otherwise, the injection sites may become slightly red, swollen, and have some very minor bruising.
Now that you’re a hyaluronic acid expert, do you need to put it to work filling in some areas on your face that have lost volume? Call Dr. Barrera at (713) 468-5200 to schedule your appointment.