What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a glucosamine protein, which despite the fact that it is prepared in the laboratory for Medicine needs, it is naturally present and constitutes natural and major structural component of human body.
The type of the hyaluronic acid which is used by Dr Karmiris (Restylane, Juvederm) is FDA-approved. It is completely safe, it is relatively slowly absorbed by the skin and by retaining water helps the skin to remain hydrated and youthful.
What is hyaluronic acid indicated for?
Hyaluronic acid belongs to the category of fillers with its main characteristic to hydrate and “fill” deep facial wrinkles, such as:
- nasolabial folds
- wrinkles around the lips (Smoker’s lines)
- wrinkles at the corners of mouth (Marionette lines)
- wrinkles on the forehead, eyes or glabellar lines (usually following Botulinum toxin type A)
- under eye bags
- acne scars
- increasing lip volume or lips contouring
- improvement in cheek volume
Is it possible for hyaluronic acid to be used also in other body parts, apart from face?
Just because hyaluronic acid is a completely inert substance, it can be also used to other body parts without creating any problem, providing solutions to issues of asymmetry or atrophy of various body tissues.
Consequently, it can be used in order to correct the following:
- unsightly wrinkles on décolleté
- firm up sagging arms
- improve contouring of the buttocks
- add volume to the calves
- smoothing out the skin of acne scars or post-traumatic scars
Finally, hyaluronic acid can be also considered as an important part of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery since it can restore the volume of various soft tissues or even to correct tissue defects, which are created as a result of oncological surgical procedures or following trauma operations.
How does the treatment with HA is performed? How long does HA last?
Hyaluronic acid is injected under the skin filling thus facial wrinkles or adding volume to areas such as cheeks and lips.
The treatment is relatively quick (the application usually lasts for 15-30 minutes), painless (under local anaesthetic) and safe while it is performed at an outpatient setting.
The results are immediately visible and their duration ranges from 6 months to 1,5 years, depending on the injection site, the type of hyaluronic acid which is used, as well as its decomposition rate in human body.
How many types of hyaluronic acid exist and which should I choose?
Depending on the result we would like to achieve, we are using hyaluronic acid of different densities. In general, if the wrinkles we would like to treat are fine, we use a viscoelastic hyaluronic acid.
In fine wrinkles, such as smoker’s lines or wrinkles around the eyes, we also use a viscoelastic hyaluronic acid. In areas with deep wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds, we use hyaluronic acid of higher viscosity, while when we would like to improve the volume, such as cheeks and chin, we use even denser concentrations of hyaluronic acid.
The selection of the appropriate formulation will be made by your Plastic Surgeon.
Is the treatment with HA painful?
The answer to this question is no. Treatment with hyaluronic acid is performed mainly at Plastic Surgeon’s office and is almost painless, since always prior to the treatment is used anaesthetic cream or local anaesthesia at the injection site.
Are there any adverse reactions following treatment with HA?
As we have previously mentioned, the duration of the overall procedure is about 15 – 30 minutes and the results are immediately visible. Following the therapy, the doctor usually recommends cold compresses at the injection site/s, for about 2 hours.
Then, it might appear a minor irritation in the specific area, even oedema, which will be healed within 24 – 48 hours and can be easily covered with make-up. In case of lips, which are more sensitive, the duration of oedema might be longer.
Who is a good candidate for treatment with hyaluronic acid?
There is no specific age restriction in the treatment of injectable HA. In general, and depending on the problem, it can be performed at any age, but it is usually recommended to begin after adolescence.
Are there any adverse reactions caused by the treatment?
Taking into consideration that as a molecule, injectable hyaluronic acid is nearly identical to this which is naturally present in human tissues, we would say that it is about an extremely safe treatment.
Hyaluronic acid is an inert substance which means that theoretically:
- it does not cause allergies
- it does not cause adverse reactions
- it does not create inflammation
- it does not cause malignancies
It is also important to mention that it does not exhibit shifting tendencies, something that means that it remains at the accurate injection site, maintaining the desired result for a long period of time.
Hyaluronic acid, when used properly in human tissues, it can usually cause mild swelling at the injection site, which may appear delayed and is healed easily by using common anti-inflammatory drugs.
One side effect that may appear is the presence of small ecchymosis (bruises) at the injection site, which is healed on its own within a few days.
An extremely rare side effect of hyaluronic acid that may occur in about 2/1000 cases is a mild hypersensitivity reaction of human body, which manifests with swelling of the area and is treated with an antidote.
If you want to learn more about hyaluronic acid, its variety of applications in medicine and its cost, book today your appointment with the Plastic Surgeon, Dr Nikos Karmiris.