Facial Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic Face Lift


Hyaluronic Acid Injections Smooth Facial Lines and Wrinkles

Hyaluronic acidis an ingredient used in many facial fillers.  Facial fillers are injected under the skin of the face to return youthful volume and soften the lines caused by age.  Also called dermal fillers, these injections are an alternative to surgical procedures.  Cosmetic surgeons  use dermal fillers to increase fullness in the lips, add volume to facial contours and minimizes  the appearance of depressed scars.

Medical Applications For Hyaluronic Acid

Restylane and Juvederm are brand names for two dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid as a primary ingredient.  Present in the body naturally as a component in connective tissue, hyaluronic acid locks in moisture, helps joints remain lubricated and aids skin in water retention, giving it a smoother, more youthful appearance.  During the aging process, the body looses hyaluronic acid causing skin and joints to loose moisture.  Injections of products containing hyaluronic acid will reabsorb into the body over time.  Improvements in the appearance of skin will last about six months.

Originally, hyaluronic acid was used as a treatment for arthritis.  Injections into the joints relieve the symptoms of arthritis by providing lubrication and a cushion between the bones of the joints.  It has also been used for treatment of wounds  and eye surgery.  In use for over twenty years, any long term of effects of hyaluronic acid have been observed and reported.

Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, is a component of hyaluronic acid.  This makes it especially efficacious in the treatment of arthritis.  Since lidocaine is already present, no other anesthetic is necessary for injections of hyaluronic acid.  Allergic reactions are extremely rare since hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body.

Pharmaceutical Products Containing Hyaluronic Acid

Two patented products containing hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient are
 Restylane and Perlane.  These products are marketed as dermal fillers and are intended for use on facial skin.  Injections of Perlane or Restylane by a trained cosmetic surgeon will enhance the skin's appearance by smoothing wrinkles and giving facial contours a fuller appearance.

FDA approved for treatment of wrinkles and creases around the lips, Restylane and Perlane are also widely used around the eyes to soften creases and improve contours, for plumping thin lips and for improving the appearance of depressed scars.  Since no animal proteins are contained in these pharmaceuticals, there is minimal risk of allergic reaction.  For continued benefits, the injections must be repeated every six months.  The effects of the injections are temporary.  Reported side effects are mild and include injection site irritation, swelling and soreness.  These usually subside within a week.

Juvederm is another trade name pharmaceutical containing hyaluronic acid as its primary active ingredient.  By replacing hyaluronic acid in aging skin, the product increases moisture retention leading to a younger appearance.

Although Juvedern has been FDA approved for treatment of creases and wrinkles around the mouth and it is also used to minimize the appearance of facial scars.  Possibly because it is a gel, the effects of Juvederm last between six months to one year.  As with other pharmaceutical facial fillers, Juvederm does not contain any animal proteins, minimizing the chance of allergic reaction.

There are documented side effects, which are usually mild and last less than one week.  Temporary side effects include injection site inflammation, soreness, lumps and bruising.



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