Hyaluronic acid injections are used more and more frequently in aesthetic medicine as non-invasive treatments to rejuvenate and enhance facial lines and contours. Indeed, this soft, non-surgical technique can minimize various wrinkles and signs of ageing (fine lines, grooves, folds, shadows and other facial hollows), or sculpt certain facial areas (nose, temples, cheekbones, jaws by “jawline contouring”) or even increase lip volume.
The use of hyaluronic acids has evolved and greatly developed over the last years in reply to a demand for injectable products to easily and quickly remedy the ageing process and complexes without the need for surgery and without scarring. This injection technique which is safe, resorbable and biodegradable, adds volume to areas where needed and also somewhat plumps up features, breaks and hollows that need to be reshaped.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a molecule made by our bodies, naturally present in humans and which can contain up to 1 000 times its weight in water. It hydrates, tones and renews our skin tissues allowing us to retain a youthful look; it plumps our skin and fills in the hollows which appear between our hypodermic fibres.
As we get older, our bodies produce less and less hyaluronic acid molecules, collagen and elastin fibres. Our skin becomes rougher, drier or fragile and we discover wrinkles and fine lines in certain areas of our face. With the loss of the molecule, the quality of our skin diminishes.
Our genetic code may speed up or retard the phenomenon as may use of alcohol and tobacco, pollution, daily skin hydration or sun-bathing for example.
Who can envisage Hyaluronic acid injections in aesthetic medicine?
Hyaluronic acid used in aesthetic, morphological and ant-ageing medicine is injected as a thick or more or less cross-linked gel (according to the patient’s wishes and indications) in order to hydrate the skin, fill in wrinkles or redraw facial contours and hollows.
Hence, plastic surgeons consider hyaluronic acid injections “THE star” treatment to balance and redesign facial volumes, tackle the first signs of ageing and rejuvenate or beautify certain features in a natural-looking manner. The technique is also a first step towards thread lifts or surgical face lifts.
These fillers are for both men and women and may be used preventively from the age of 25 or as a long-term touch-up treatment for older patients. The aim is always to arrive at a harmonious, discreet and elegant result to sublimate each patient’s beauty and personality.
Which areas can be treated? Where is it injected?
Filling products using hyaluronic acid may be injected into different areas:
These fillers can also have a morphological effect on:
My message is: Beware! Some common beliefs on injections require thought:
For many years now we have been told (even convinced) that facial ageing is due to loss of fat volumes.
Hence, the immediate corollary is that “I shall inject hyaluronic acid which will rebuild the volumes and thus rejuvenate you”. A wonderful, totally logical and convincing message!
However, the statement is false, and I shall explain why so many faces look odd, disharmonious and why so many look the same.
- Fatty facial compartments increase with age up to about the age of 80.
- These same volumes slide downwards and separate which leads to visible ageing, ptosis, jowls and visible, deep grooves such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines or tear troughs.
- Real rejuvenation appears when existing volumes are put back to their original position.
On the contrary, filling in and pumping up do not rejuvenate. The effect is quite the opposite; the injections exacerbate, slide (migrate) and add heaviness to the face, deforming it over time until it leads to the “monstrous” faces we have all seen.
Filler injections remain useful for many indications, but only very few relating to global rejuvenation of the face:
- They are very superficial injections using inductors which will nourish the skin or treat a wrinkle or fine line – they are not to be plumped up but treated.
- Tiny touch-ups on faint hollows and in particular morphological treatments: temporal depression, widening of the jaw, increasing the chin, remodelling thin lips, filling hollowed eyelids etc. The aim is not to fill but simply to improve the contours. So, this treatment is logical and has no equivalence apart from surgery.
Moreover, what about the resorbability of hyaluronic acids? It is not certain that they are resorbed as well as that (in itself, that is not a serious problem).
I myself have discovered some during facial surgery years after they were injected.
Curiously enough, we all notice a face which has been inconsiderately “injected”, particularly the facial expressions, hampered by injections, which take on an “odd” look.
Therefore, my message is CAUTION, beware of inconsiderate amounts and remember that PLUMPING DOES NOT MEAN LIFTING AND THAT A FACE CAN SOON LOSE ITS NATURAL LOOK!