Similar to collagen, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body (ca. 7-8 g in an adult) and is present mainly in the intercellular matrix of the dermis. Young skin contains plenty of hyaluronic acid, which makes it elastic and wrinkle-free. The hyaluronic acid content in the skin decreases with age, which makes the skin lose moisture and causes wrinkles to appear.
Wrinkle reduction treatment consists in injecting facial skin with formulations containing sterile gels with stabilized hyaluronic acid of synthetic origin. As opposed to animal-origin collagen, hyaluronic acid used in cosmetic procedures is obtained by biofermentation, which makes it non-allergenic. For this reason, no allergy tests are required prior to the treatment.
Injecting the dermis and subcutaneous tissue with formulations containing hyaluronic acid fills out wrinkles, creases and folds, and may also be used for lip enhancement and face contour modelling.
The injected material stays in the skin for 6 to 12 months, depending on the treatment site, skin type and injection technique. In some cases the effects may be visible for a longer or shorter period of time. Periodic follow-up treatments help to maintain the desired effect.
The injection might cause certain typical side effects associated with the treatment, such as swelling, redness, pain, itching, paleness and tenderness at the site of injection. Bruising might also appear due to damage to surface blood vessels on injection. Such side effects will usually disappear on their own within a week of the treatment. In some very rare cases, topical side effects caused by hypersensitivity to the formulation may occur, such as swelling at the site of injection or in tissues surrounding the filler, skin redness or tenderness, or even acne-like breakouts. Such side effects may occur within a few days after the treatment or as late as after 2-4 weeks. These side effects are usually mild or moderate, self-limited and last for 2 weeks on average. In some cases, where the treated wrinkle has been caused by very intensive action of facial mimic muscles, the effects of the treatment may be limited. In such cases, prior mimic muscle relaxation using bo.t.ulinum to.xin is recommended.