Hyaluronic acid is a bioactive ingredient that can be found in the epithelial and conjunctive tissues of the human body. Being a very effective biological hydrating agent, this acid is used as a main ingredient in many anti-aging face creams and serums. Thanks to its regenerative properties, the hyaluronic acid scores popularity points both on the medical and cosmetic market. Thus, it’s being used in a large number of procedures from eye surgeries to lips augmentations.
Short History of Hyaluronic Acid
The hyaluronic acid was first discovered in 1934 but it wasn’t used until later on in 1980. Its first practical use was as an injectable gel in several ophthalmological surgeries, like cataract removals. Shortly afterwards, other benefits have been noticed and several treatments have been developed from this acid to solve joint issues or slow down the aging process. Nowadays, the acid is popular on the cosmetic market and it can be found in a variety of forms and products.
Role and Benefits
As a natural compound produced by the human body, the hyaluronic acid has three main functions: to protect the cartilage between the joints from mechanical deterioration, keep it hydrated and to control cell migration. It also plays an important role in stimulating immune responses and reducing the need for antibiotics by helping the white cells combat several types of infections. However, as the human body continues to age, the amount of hyaluronic acid naturally produced in the body decreases and this is where its synthetic preparations come into play.
Thanks to its multiple benefits in various branches of medicine, cosmetic and plastic surgery some have went as far as calling it “the key to the fountain of youth”. Hyaluronic acid is primary used to increase mobility of the joints, clear eye vision, combat signs of aging such as wrinkles, relief fibromyalgia and to help wounds heal faster. It is also used as a secondary adjuvant in cases of tissue reconstruction, male sexual dysfunctions and sleeping disorders.
Other less known properties of hyaluronic acid are to keep the skin hydrated and to improve bone density and muscle strength. Some even claim that it helps stabilize emotions.
Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects
However, even though this is a natural compound found in the human body, there are also cases when its preparations are not tolerated well and adverse reactions occur. Pain and redness in the area of the hyaluronic acid injection site are the most common side effects noticed so far, followed closely by pressure, itching and swelling in the eye after an ophthalmological surgery.
It is recommended to stop taking Vitamin E supplements and aspirin while under hyaluronic acid treatment because interactions between these substances can cause bleeding and bruising. Patients suffering from cancer or rheumatoid arthritis are strongly advised to avoid hyaluronic acid supplements because these supplements can worsen their symptoms.
Generally, taken under the advise and supervision of a specialist, hyaluronic acid has been found to be very safe with almost no severe adverse reactions reported.
Hyaluronic Acid In Products
Since hyaluronic acid is important to help sustain bodily functions, several manufacturers have developed hyaluronic acid products under various forms. The most popular ones are the anti-aging products found as injections, creams and oral capsules. For quick results, injections are the best but for oral capsules and topical creams are often preferred because of their long term effects.
While the medical and cosmetic applications of hyaluronic acid do not usually offer permanent results, it is still an effective ingredient when used at a regular basis.