The average American is made of about 55 to 60% water. Of course, it’s not sloshing around loose inside us. It’s in our blood and lymphatic system. It’s also in our skin, eyes, joints, and more. One of the ways your body stores water in all these places is through a natural sugar called hyaluronic acid (HA).
At Bayview General Medicine, we use synthetic hyaluronic acid daily in our lineup of dermal fillers, but that’s hardly where the medical uses of HA end. If you’re looking for an effective and convenient way to add back some youth to your skin, we’ve prepared this primer on HA. You’ll see why it’s so important in your body and as a supplement for a wide range of reasons.
One of the principal abilities of HA is water retention. It attracts and stores moisture, a key element in proper body function. Some of your joints, for example, use HA as a component of the synovial fluid that cushions and lubricates, keeping bones from grinding on each other.
It’s part of the aqueous humor, the jelly-like filling that helps your eyes to hold their shape. HA plays important roles in your skin too. It also helps with wound healing, and the hydration it provides in the dermis layer keeps skin supple and stretchy, reducing lines and wrinkles.
It’s easy to make or harvest HA. A fermentation process can turn certain types of bacteria into the substance, which can also derive from rooster combs. No matter how it’s made, HA is very safe; reactions or side effects are rare.
Forming the base of injectable filler products, HA is ideally suited to the role. When you want added volume or line and wrinkle filling, the moisture that an HA product attracts adds to the filler gel’s effects. In some cases, HA may stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin tissue in the skin.
This isn’t the only injectable use for HA. Patients with joint pain can sometimes benefit from injections to supplement the volume of synovial fluid. When combined with other joint treatments, HA may also improve the effectiveness of corticosteroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Eye drops using HA help people fight dry eye symptoms, and it’s also used to ease vaginal dryness, a common symptom of menopause. As well as injections, HA comes in oral and topical forms for use with specific treatments.
Dr. Blanchar and the team at Bayview General Medicine offer HA dermal fillers made by Restylane®, Juvéderm®, and Belotero® for our medical aesthetic patients. You can find out more about these and other uses for this natural and biocompatible workhorse.
Call the office or click the appointment request tool to schedule a consultation. We’re looking forward to helping you gain the benefits HA offers. Book your session now.