What’s Hyaluronic Acid anyway?

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By cosmetic surgeon Jared Mallalieu D.O.

Patients who present for dermal fillers often ask the question “What exactly is this product you’re injecting?” Historically, the most common dermal fillers are composed of hyaluronic acid (HA’s).  For years these products have been the workhorse of the dermal filler industry.

Hyaluronic acids are naturally occurring in all species. In humans, HA’s are found in high concentrations in skin. Their 3-dimensional structure (see photo) help to hold water. This is useful in the cosmetic industry to build lost volume and to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Additionally, HA’s have an important role in wound repair and in the transportation of nutrients to cells. HA concentrations in the skin decrease with age, contributing to volume loss, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity
Different brands of HA’s (such as Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero) have slightly differently concentrations of HA in them and are cross-linked, or bonded slightly differently. This doesn’t mean one is better than the other, but rather that some HA’s are better suited for particular areas. For example, in the area under the eye where the skin is thin, we prefer to use a thinner filler such as Restylane Silk or Belotero. In the cheeks, a thicker filler such as Voluma will provide more volume and lift.

Hyaluronic acids offer a noticeable and effective way to improve your overall appearance non-surgically. Call the Laser Center of Maryland to find out if these products are a good fit for you. Free consultations. 410-544-4600.


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