Why hyaluronic acid is important for our skin
When we were children or young people, we did not worry about the rosy freshness and plump firmness of our skin. Such thoughts never concerned us, because we took our youthful appearance for granted. But the older we get, the more our skin loses its elasticity. What was once firm and smooth, suddenly gets wrinkles and Wrinkles, up to deep furrows. Some patients are now also interested for the first time in the topic of fighting wrinkles with hyaluronic acid.
Why it is worthwhile to deal with hyaluronic acid
Flawless skin, especially on the face and neck, has been seen by people as one of the ideal images of beauty for hundreds of years. After all, smooth, plump and softly shimmering facial skin stands for youthfulness, health and also fertility.
As beautiful as a face is, with its smile lines around the eye area and deeper wrinkles on the forehead and cheeks, it tells of a life full of adventures and experiences – not all people can cope with these rather obvious signs of aging. Who wouldn’t want that? Beautiful skin without wrinkles and signs of aging? In this day and age, there are more and more offers to rejuvenate the appearance.
Medicine is working persistently to develop new methods and procedures to achieve good and long-term results. Hyaluronic Acid is one of the most popular wrinkle treatments. But obviously there are still many unanswered questions. Because the search queries on Google about hyaluronic acid in Switzerland exceed those of Botolinum toxin. We clarify.
What exactly is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is an important component in our body. Even though it is mainly known through aesthetic medicine, and thus in the course of wrinkle treatment, its functions are essential for many other processes in the body. As a component of the connective tissue, it has an important function. It is also jointly responsible for cell proliferation, cell migration and tumor development.
The way it functions and the processes it stimulates always work in the same way. It does not distinguish between good and bad consequences. Certain receptors on the cell surfaces communicate with each other with hyaluronic acid, whereby various reactions are triggered in the cell. These include, for example, their division.
While this kind of stimulation is correct and necessary in the development of an embryo, things look quite different in connection with tumor cells. Here, negative effects on the human organism are to be expected. Problems in connection with hyaluronic acid can also occur, for example, if an administered product was obtained from cockscomb and the patient has an allergic reaction to bird protein.
In general, irritation could occur at the injection site after an injection with hyaluronic acid. However, a experienced dermatologist exclude such adverse reactions during treatment for the most part. Hyaluronic acid is used in medicine and cosmetics to benefit from its positive effects. In which cases it can help, we will clarify here. But first of all, we will talk about how the molecules are built and what processes it takes over and stimulates in the body.
Chemical structure of hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan and is naturally produced by our bodies. As we age, the amount of the molecule in our tissues decreases, which is why many turn to substitutes to get the benefits of hyaluronic acid.
The molecules consist of two simple sugars, glucuronic acid and N-acetyl glucosamine. Due to the fact that the two simple sugars are negatively charged, exceptionally long and large molecules can be formed. In addition, they exhibit high viscosity and pressure resistance. This enables the joints and skin to bear a lot of weight and hold tension.
Functions of hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that has a half-life of less than three days. Almost all body cells contain the polysaccharide, although their concentration differs. This is related to the mechanical and biochemical functions that the molecules perform in different parts of the body..
Mechanical function as water binder and shock absorber
Among the mechanical functions of hyaluronic acid are water retention, pressure resistance, lubricant, and keeping pathways clear. Specifically, this means that it can store a comparatively large amount of water. The vitreous body of the eye, for example, consists of 98% water, which is bound by 2% hyaluronic acid.
The pressure resistance of hyaluronic acid is closely related to its water storage capacity. Since water is almost impossible to compress, tissues containing hyaluronic acid serve as good cushions. An example of this is the gelatinous core in the intervertebral disc. This enables the cushioning of shocks during movements.
If the gelatinous nucleus escapes due to an injury, it is also referred to as a herniated disc. Here the function of the lubricant is already indicated. This function is particularly important in the joints, where hyaluronic acid ensures smooth movement. It is interesting to note that the viscosity changes: The heavier the mechanical forces acting on the joint, the more the viscosity decreases.
On the one hand, it is fluid enough to absorb the movements, and on the other, it is viscous enough not to be squeezed out of the joint. This is supported by chemical interactions that make the polysaccharide adhere particularly well to cartilage. Another mechanical function of hyaluronic acid is to keep pathways clear. This supports the cell migration described in the introduction.
Biochemical functions in the intracellular space
Due to the specific biochemical properties of hyaluronic acid, it is involved in the formation of giant molecules (proteoglycans). These are the main component of the extracellular matrix and provide stabilization between cells.
Use of hyaluronic acid in medicine
In modern medicine, various methods can be used to take advantage of hyaluronic acid. On the one hand, it is used in human medicine, on the other hand, it is also used in the broad field of aesthetic medicine.
In human medicine, hyaluronic acid is used wherever its content diminishes due to age or injury. The same is true in aesthetic medicine: its use can visibly rejuvenate the skin, and thus the external appearance.
The use of hyaluronic acid in human medicine
In human medicine, physicians use the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. It is obtained from animal protein or produced biotechnologically from cultures of streptococci. However, sensitive patients might react with allergic phenomena when using animal source material. Therefore, a method has also been developed in which a non-animal stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA) is produced by a specific modification.
Preparations containing hyaluronic acid are injected, for example, as a “lubricant” into joints damaged by osteoarthritis. However, whether there is an improvement in symptoms in every case is disputed. Particularly in the case of knee arthrosis, some doctors assume a rather negative balance of effectiveness. It is true that in treated patients, the injection of hyaluronic acid has both relieved pain somewhat and improved the function of the knee joint somewhat. But in many cases there were also undesirable reactions at the needle insertion site.
Hyaluronic acid is also used in the treatment of wounds, in the form of hydrogels. The same applies to the treatment of chronic diseases of the lungs. The use of the acid in combination with other agents has also proven useful for heartburn. This is because the combination forms a barrier on the mucous membrane of the esophagus, which protects it from the harmful stomach acid in the event of reflux. If the mucous membrane of the esophagus is already damaged, the agents support its healing and regeneration.
As an active ingredient in some nasal sprays, hyaluronic acid helps keep the mucous membrane of the nose from drying out. In eye drops – as well as in the cleaning and care products for hard and soft contact lenses – it can help to counteract dry eyes. Various throat tablets contain the acid to protect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. The active ingredient is even used in eye surgeries, such as for cataracts.
The use of stabilized hyaluronic acid can also have a positive effect on patients who suffer from urinary incontinence during straining – for example, when lifting heavy objects. For this purpose, there are products that contain the agent and are injected into the urethra in the form of deposits. Around 50 percent of people treated in this way experience an improvement in symptoms in the first year of use. However, complications can also occur with the complex procedure and the success of treatment in the longer term is rather low.
The use of hyaluronic acid in aesthetic medicine
In the cosmetic industry, hyaluronic acid is among the top anti-wrinkle agents. Wrinkles, folds and deeper furrows can be reduced without undesirable side effects. Water is increasingly stored in the skin cells and leads in the result to a significantly increased elasticity and tone of the skin. Nevertheless, caution is advised. Because the openly available products sometimes promise more than they can actually deliver.
The trained team at Dr. Fuchs therefore recommends having the desired treatment performed by experienced experts from the outset. Used in aesthetic medicine, the acid acts as a plumping medium and at the same time as an anti-inflammatory. If the skin is supplied from the outside over a longer period of time, it soon shows itself to be noticeably firmer and smoother.
Its elasticity is increased and it also feels much more supple. Creams and gels must be used regularly in this process, because otherwise the effect will diminish. The same is true for capsules, which are usually highly dosed to have an effect. Unlike creams and gels, they act throughout the body, including in the joints, for example. With injections, it is usually sufficient to repeat the treatment every six months.
In principle, therefore, patients must be prepared for long-term treatment with hyaluronic acid if they want to achieve a lasting positive result. Dr. Fuchs and his team of trained dermatologists recommend a detailed consultation and close examination of your personal skin situation. In this way, the best possible results can be achieved with the intended therapy.
Since the hyaluronic acid artificially obtained for treatment consists of the same chemical and molecular structure as the body’s own, its tolerance is very good. With the use of the hyaluronic acid gel, wrinkles can be well relined. Due to its water-storing function, it is also ideally suited for skin resurfacing and facial contour building.
Treatment with hyaluronic acid only by dermatologist
As a general rule, hyaluronic acid is used whenever a patient desires volume creation or to increase water storage capacity. If you have any further questions about the procedure and would like more detailed information about the treatment, please contact your Skin Doctor in Zurich.