Hyaluronic acid (HA), is a naturally developing polymer, which is found in every tissue of the body. It is generally concentrated in the skin. Nearly half of the HA in the body is found in the skin. It consists of alternating units of d-glucuronate and n-acetyl-d-glucosamine. The functions of this polymer include attracting and retaining water in layers of skin, in extracellular matrix of tissues as well as in synovial fluid. Water level provides skin glowing however, hydration is the key reason for lowering this level.
Skin hydration is the base of the anti-aging concept for the simple reason that sufficient water content is necessary for the proper workings of all of the human body’s structures. Ensuring hydration is the basic condition for the normalization of all the internal mechanisms affecting skin aging, with a certain degree of exaggeration.
Hyaluronic acid affects internal processes taking place in the skin in 2 ways. The first mechanism is the formation of film on the surface of the skin, a product of physic-chemical properties of hyaluronan. The film hydrates surface of the skin and avoids water loss.
Hyaluronic acids have wide range of applications in cosmetic industry. Skin moisturizing is the main aim of commercially available cosmetic products. To keep the skin in good condition, cosmetic products need to use some compounds, which are able to bind water and therefore they can retain water level in the skin.
Applications of cosmetics containing HA has reported in moisturized and restoration of elasticity of the skin thereby gaining an antiwrinkle effect, though no scientific proof exists to authenticate this claim. Such type of cosmetics might be able to protect skin from ultraviolet irradiation owing to free radical scavenging properties of HA.
In a cosmetic surgery, HA is used as a component of dermal fillers, either in the stabilized form or in combination with other polymers. It is noticed that use of such cosmetics in the dermal is likely to reduce facial wrinkles and lines in long term with lesser side effects and more profitability. The key side-effect would be an allergic reaction, probably owing to the impurities present in the HA.
It was also tested the feasibility of applying HA as a substitute implant filler substance to silicone gel in the plastic surgery. Thereby, it was noticed that by the use of HA, the implant organ structure was looking better than that was gained by use of silicone gel and saline implants.
The presence of HA allows the drug to penetrate the outer skin barrier and then develop a reservoir in the epidermis, limiting its systemic absorption. These kinds of effects would be particularly advantageous for the delivery of cytotoxic agents to treat other skin cancers or psoriasis, where the unfavorable side-effects of medicines when delivered systemically is likely to result into considerable problems.
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