HYALURONIC ACID: Benefits, Efficacy, Dangers

You will find in this video and in this health / wellness blog article :

- The definition of hyaluronic acid

- The benefits of hyaluronic acid

- The different uses of hyaluronic acid

- Sources and production of hyaluronic acid

- Hyaluronic acid, cream, serums and injection

- The risks and dangers of hyaluronic acid

- Recommendations to know about hyaluronic acid and its use

Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide, i.e. a molecule formed by the repetition of a chain of a thousand disaccharides (2 different sugars). It belongs to the family of glycosaminoglycans called GAG because of its particular chemical formula.

The texture of hyaluronic acid is gelatinous (like a gel), it has the ability to attract water and ions (atoms with an electrical charge), which allows it to hydrate the places where it is found.

Hyaluronic acid is found in different places in our body.
In the skin, hyaluronic acid is mainly present in the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin), but also in the dermis (middle layer of the skin) in larger quantities.

Hyaluronic acid is also found in the synovial fluid (fluid between the joints) and in the vitreous humor (fluid in our eyes).

It is interesting to know that hyaluronic acid is also present in the extracellular matrix, i.e. outside the cells located in the different tissues of our organs. It is involved in the multiplication and movement of cells.

The production of hyaluronic acid is done by different types of cells such as skin cells like fibroblasts and keratinocytes, but also immune cells and hematopoietic cells (cells destined to become blood cells), in particular.

The quantity of hyaluronic acid tends to decrease with age.

It is also important to know that regular exposure to UV rays reduces the level of hyaluronic acid in the skin over the long term.

Hyaluronic acid does not remain intact in the skin for years, it is constantly being produced and broken down within the various tissues.

It is a rather large molecule, applied to the skin, it will only have a surface action, to fill in wrinkles, it must be administered in depth with injections.

This active ingredient is mainly used in cosmetics for the preparation of different creams, serums, masks and milks.

Hyaluronic acid is used to moisturize the skin, prevent wrinkles and fill them with injections.

In rheumatology, hyaluronic acid is used to fight against joint pain such as arthritis.

Hyaluronic acid injections are increasingly replacing collagen injections, as the risk of allergy is less important with hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid injections must be renewed every 6 to 18 months.

It is important to know that our joints (the space between our bones) are contained in a capsule called the joint capsule, which is filled with a liquid called synovial fluid (consisting of hyaluronic acid).

Hyaluronic acid increases the viscosity of the synovial fluid and makes the cartilage (tissue located in the joints) more elastic, which protects the joint. It also brings a lubricating action and favors damping.

In osteoarthritis, there is a reduction in the amount of hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid, which decreases its function as a lubricant and shock absorber, leading to inflammation and deterioration of the cartilage in the affected joint.

To relieve osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid injections can be used, they show an effectiveness after 2 to 4 weeks, these injections are carried out over a period of 6 months to 1 year.

Hyaluronic acid is produced in the industry from extracts of cockscomb or by fermentation of genetically modified bacteria that produce this substance.

Compared to collagen, it reduces the risk of allergy and its effect lasts longer.

In addition, it is more easily resorbed and naturally destroyed by the skin, which reduces the risk of accidents.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that hyaluronic acid can be used as a marker in certain cancers such as prostate cancer or breast cancer, because its level is related to the development of cancer cells. It is not what causes cancer, but its increase can be a sign of cancer progression.

It can also be used to protect the eye and promote healing after certain surgeries such as cataract for example.

Similarly, to stimulate the healing of the gums after oral surgery in the form of a gel for local application.

Hyaluronic acid injections are contraindicated for people who have had injections of permanent substances, but also for people who are affected by autoimmune diseases, skin inflammation and/or active or recently healed infectious processes (acne, herpes, ...), as well as for pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and people who are being treated with anticoagulants (coumadin, warfarin)

It is imperative to specify all your treatments and previous aesthetic actions performed on your face (collagen injection, botox, ..) before performing hyaluronic acid injections.

Do not hesitate to contact your doctor as soon as any problems appear.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that these injections must be performed by a doctor specialized in this field.

Side effects following the injections are not very frequent (0.1 to 1%), they are oedemas, haematomas (bruises), allergic reaction (red plaque).

In very rare cases, hyaluronic acid may be injected into an artery and lead to the formation of emboli (a small clot that can block an artery and block the passage of blood), it is necessary to intervene very quickly with an antidote that only doctors can prescribe, hyaluronidase, which will degrade the hyaluronic acid.

Small balls called nodules can also appear in certain cases after the injections, they are due to the presence of white blood cells which arrive on the site to degrade the hyaluronic acid and are destroyed on the spot. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs of the corticoid class helps to relieve this reaction.

Finally, there may also be a risk of infection if the injections are performed outside the regulated framework.

It is really recommended that these injections be performed by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon to avoid complications and to be able to remedy them quickly and effectively.

Dr. Noura Marashi (doctor of pharmacy, health youtuber, creator of the health and well-being application Pharmaquiz)

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