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What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance fundamental of human derma. It is a glycosaminoglycan, a molecule composed of unbranched long chains of disaccharides units (alternation of glycuronic acid and N-acetylglucosamine). By binding to lots of water molecules, hyaluronic acid supplies human skin with more moisture, elasticity and softness, while protecting it from excessive stress. The concentration of hyaluronic acid in the skin connective tissue reduces gradually as the age advances: for this reason, a mature skin appears less supple and less hydrated than young skins. Despite being an absolutely physiological phenomenon, many women and men want to counteract relentless aging of their skin, thus preventing wrinkles and other skin blemishes. The goal is to look (at least superficially) much younger ... and nothing can better satisfy this desire than hyaluronic acid fillers.

Therapeutic indications

  1. Shape expression lines such as nose-cheek furrows
  2. Fill small scar injuries
  3. Make thin lips look more tugid while reshaping mouth contour or increasing the volume
  4. Reshaping cheekbones
  5. Reshaping face contour
  6. Correction of post-traumatic scarring

Hyaluronic acid fillers besides being injected into the face, can also be used to fill in other parts of the body: the injections are thus administered to improve the appearance and reshape calves and buttocks.
Hyaluronic acid injections are not completely painless: most patients treated with hyaluronic acid fillers feel an unpleasant burning sensation and discomfort during and after the treatment. Per ovviare a questo inconveniente, molti medici preferiscono iniettare l'acido ialuronico solo dopo aver anestetizzato la parte da trattare oppure utilizzare filler che contengono dell'anestetico locale, (solitamente lidocaina). To overcome this drawback, many surgeons choose to inject hyaluronic acid only after the part to be treated has been anesthetized or use fillers that contain local anesthetic (usually lidocaine). Unlike collagen injections, normally hyaluronic acid fillers do not generate allergic reactions; for this reason, it is not necessary to undergo any preliminary intradermal test to evaluate allergy. The duration varies depending on the type of material and habits of the patient (exposition to sun rays, smoking, drug use, physical activity, facial expressions). Approximately the treatment lasts from 4 to 8.6 months.

Side effects

Although serious side effects resulting from hyaluronic acid injections are infrequent, it is strongly recommended not to administer hyaluronic acid fillers during pregnancy and lactation. Hyaluronic acid fillers cannot be administered when skin infections, herpes infection, autoimmune diseases of the skin and collagen-related diseases are present.

Calcium hydroxyapatite fillers

This biocompatible substance is absorbable and stimulates the production of collagen. It is used to enhance more fullness to the part of the face treated . The results obtained are different from the ones obtained with hyaluronic acid. These products consist of calcium hydroxyapatite suspended in a water-based gel solution. It is 100% biocompatible and therefore does not need any allergy testing prior to treatment. CaHA microspheres have a size between 25 and 45 microns and are composed of calcium and phosphate ions that are also found in the epidermal tissue. The macrophages degrade the gel medium and the fibroblasts form new natural collagen: the result is a greater volume and a smoother skin. This type of filler offers longer lasting effects if compared with hyaluronic acid (approx. 12 months) and is used to obtain a volumetric increase of the face and hands. It is not used to treat lips.