Commonly used in aesthetic medicine in the form of injections to reduce wrinkles, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a hydrophilic biomolecule capable of capturing and retaining up to a thousand times its weight in water. Naturally present in the body, mainly in the dermis, it ensures the skin's deep hydration. In cosmetics, it is also found in many products for its remarkable anti-wrinkle and plumping properties. But is it safe to use or are there any possible hyaluronic acid allergic reactions or irritations we should know about?
Are Hyaluronic Acid Side Effects an Existing Risk?
- What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
- Hyaluronic Acid Skincare Products – Are There Any Dangers?
- Hyaluronic Acid Injection – What Are the Risks?
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Naturally present in the eye and joints, hyaluronic acid is mainly present in the dermis. It constitutes the extracellular matrix and ensures elasticity and tone of the skin. It maintains a balanced hydration of the epidermis. However, its quantity in the body progressively decreases over the years, leading to the appearance of fine lines on the skin's surface.
Hyaluronic Acid Skincare Products – Are There Any Dangers?
When applied topically, hyaluronic acid side effects a very rare, as it is safe and particularly well tolerated by all skin types. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to apply a care containing this ingredient to places where the skin presents inflammations and infections.
Hyaluronic Acid Injection – What Are the Risks?
In aesthetic medicine, in the range of anti-wrinkle injections, hyaluronic acid is known to give excellent results. Moreover, according to the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products), the hyaluronic acid side effects linked to the injections only affect 0.1 to 1% of people. The most common are edema, skin redness, itching, erythema and slight bruising. There is no need to worry, they are frequent and disappear in a few days.
Post-operative side effects are exceptional, but it is important to identify them and explain them to the patients before any hyaluronic acid injection:
Hyaluronic acid allergic reactions, although rare, do exist and can cause a localized inflammatory reaction similar to urticaria;
Granulomas can appear on the treated areas. These are small nodules that are sometimes unsightly and painful. They often remain regressive and fade spontaneously in a few weeks. A specific treatment with cortisone or anti-inflammatory drugs is a solution to relieve the patient;
Another complication: People predisposed to herpes labialis may develop them after the hyaluronic acid injection; generally, these disappear within ten days;
Abscesses have also been reported, but this complication remains an extremely rare phenomenon.
Contra-indications: Pregnant or breastfeeding
women should not undergo surgical hyaluronic acid
injections. The same applies to all
people allergic to this molecule.
GOLDMAN A & al. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers: safety and efficacy for the treatment of wrinkles, aging skin, body sculpturing and medical conditions. Clinical Medicine Reviews in Therapeutics (2011).
SOMMARIVA R. & al. Vascular complications after facial filler injection: a literature review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2019).