The injection of hyaluronic acid is the treatment of choice in aesthetic medicine. It is used to fill in a very natural way the nasolabial folds, folds of bitterness and wrinkles. It also allows you to redefine the lips which tend to become thinner and wrinkle around the edges.

What is hyaluronic acid (HA)?

Hyaluronic acid and collagen are essential for maintaining the structure of the layers of the skin. Collagen gives the skin its firmness while hyaluronic acid nourishes and hydrates the collagen.

Hyaluronic acid is a substance present in a completely natural way in our organism. It combines with water and fills the intercellular spaces, which contributes to its exceptional moisturizing power and leads to long-lasting beauty of the skin, which becomes soft, smooth and elastic, especially on the face and lips.

It is thus used to maintain the hydration of the skin and contributes to its tone. The quantity and quality in the dermis gradually decrease with age. As a result, the skin dries out, becomes fragile, and the first wrinkles appear. Then gradually, the tissues relax and the face becomes hollow.

The hyaluronic acid used in fillers comes in the form of a transparent gel, more or less viscous, corresponding to its cross-linked character. The high degree of cross-linking ensures the volumizing character of the product. A weakly cross-linked product will be low in volume but very hydrating.  

Hyaluronic acid used in fillers is a medical device controlled by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (Ansm).

Due to its moisturizing and volumizing properties, HA has several indications:

  • It is used by the anti-aging doctor as a filler to treat wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, furrows, loss of volume, sagging… In this case, it’s injected into the thickness of the skin to restore volume and tone.

  • HA is also used to deeply hydrate the skin. It’s the technique of mesolift which consists in practicing multiple small injections at the level of the dermis, where the wrinkles are formed. Because deeply hydrated skin is skin that ages well and wrinkles less.

  • There are more and more anti-aging cosmetics rich in hyaluronic acid.

Filling with hyaluronic acid

The size of hyaluronic acid molecules varies depending on the indications. The choice of injected hyaluronic acid (cross-linking, concentration, density and depth of injection) will be made according to the type of corrections to be made :

  • Weakly concentrated and cross-linked hyaluronic acid: for fine lines, fine wrinkles around the lips, crow’s feet wrinkles (around the eyes)…

  • Concentrated hyaluronic acid: for nasolabial folds, bitterness folds, lip line, cheek wrinkles, valley of tears, scars…

  • Highly cross-linked and concentrated hyaluronic acid: for deep folds, remodeling certain volumes of the face (cheekbones, hollow temples, cheeks, etc.).

The injection is performed using fine needles or micro-cannulas for maximum precision and to minimize side effects as much as possible.

Are there any contraindications to hyaluronic acid injections?

As a precautionary measure, HA injections should not be performed in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

There are contraindications to HA injections that the doctor will strive to find before any treatment. It is in particular an important evolutionary allergic ground, certain acute and important auto-immune or inflammatory diseases, hepatitis C, previous injections of non-degradable products.

And in some cases, precautions are to be taken and the doctor will have to carry out tolerance tests before any injection.

Advice before and after the injection

Before your injection session

  • Avoid taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory in the 4 to 6 days preceding the injections to avoid the risk of bleeding.

  • Also avoid medications containing vitamin C, E or ginkgo biloba.

  • Report taking anticoagulant

  • Avoid taking alcohol or sun exposure in the hours preceding the injections.

After your injection session

  • It is advisable not to put anything on your skin that is not recommended by your practitioner during the 12 hours following the treatment,

  • Avoid dental treatments, any other type of cosmetic procedure

  • Avoid all sporting activities for 2 hours after the injections

  • Do not expose yourself to the sun if there are post-injection hematomas

  • No too strong massage of the face in the 24 hours following the injections

  • Avoid extreme temperatures (intense cold, sauna or hammam, etc.) for two weeks following the treatment

  • Avoid anti-inflammatories within 4 hours of injections

Is the treatment painful?

Most hyaluronic acid gels contain lidocaine hydrochloride to improve session comfort and reduce pain.

It is a local anesthetic (can induce a positive reaction to anti-doping tests).

Inform your doctor of any known hypersensitivity to lidocaine, and/or local anesthetics of the amino-amide type.

Side effects

Immediately after the treatment, slight redness, swelling, skin tenderness or itching may appear at the implantation site. This is a normal consequence of the injection. This discomfort is temporary and usually disappears after a day or two.

Small hematomas may appear which disappear within a few days. They can be masked with a compact foundation. They must be protected from the sun.

How long will the results last?

Hyaluronic acid fillers are biodegradable. The duration of the effect may vary from one patient to another, depending on the area treated, the product and the quantity injected and their lifestyle (from 9 to 18 months depending on the product and the area).

Filling gel treatment may thus require several touch-ups over time to achieve the desired correction depending on the area treated.

At home, to prolong the effects of an injection

You will use cosmetics based on hyaluronic acid which will prolong and potentiate the effects of the injections. These cosmetics are also recommended apart from hyaluronic acid injections for their very effective anti-wrinkle and moisturizing effect.

Is hyaluronic acid in the form of capsules interesting in addition to creams and/or injections?

To complement hyaluronic acid injections and potentiate the action of anti-wrinkle creams, there are now hyaluronic acid-based capsules, intended to deeply moisturize the skin and redensify the dermis. It is still necessary that the molecules of hyaluronic acid manage to penetrate to the dermis, in other words that they have good bioavailability. Not all dietary supplements offer this property. In the choice of a food supplement, it is therefore not the concentration of hyaluronic acid that is important but its ability to reach its target.

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