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Jan.2024 23
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What is hyaluronic acid?
Introduction
Hyaluronic (pronounced hi-ah-lew-ron-ic) acid — also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate — is a gooey, slippery substance that your body produces naturally. Scientists have found hyaluronic acid throughout the body, especially in eyes, joints and skin.
Details
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the human body. Its main function is to retain water within tissue cells.

Hyaluronic acid also has many medical and commercial uses. It is available in a variety of forms, including:

  • dietary supplements
  • face creams
  • serums
  • eye drops
  • injections

How is it made?

Hyaluronic acid is often produced by fermenting certain types of bacteria. Rooster combs (the red, Mohawk-like growth on top of a rooster’s head and face) are also a common source.

Is hyaluronic acid safe?

Yes. Research shows that hyaluronic acid is safe to use. Reactions or adverse effects from hyaluronic acid are rare, and it’s safe to use if you’re pregnant or nursing.

How does hyaluronic acid interact with other products?

Products that combine hyaluronic acid with other medications or compounds may have some risks of side effects.

It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications that you’re taking, including supplements, vitamins, etc. They can help you better understand any potential concerns.

How can I take hyaluronic acid?

There are many ways you can take hyaluronic acid (either on its own or in combination products). Many are available over-the-counter. Some need a doctor’s prescription. For some, you need to see a trained medical professional.

A few of the different ways (available over-the-counter) that you can take hyaluronic acid include:

  • By mouth: Hyaluronic acid comes in dietary supplements and pills. There’s even a liquid form that you can mix with water and drink.
    • Taking hyaluronic acid by mouth can have many benefits. These include reducing arthritis pain, improving skin health and more.
  • On your skin: Hyaluronic acid products come in various forms that you put on your skin. These include shampoos, lotions, creams, gels, ointments, patches and serums. You can also buy hyaluronic acid powder and mix it with water to create a hyaluronic acid serum you can apply to your skin.
    • Hyaluronic acid has beneficial properties when used on your skin. It’s especially useful for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age lines.
  • Eye drops: A wide variety of eye drops contains hyaluronic acid.
  • For intimate contact: Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in gels, creams or personal lubricants for vaginal dryness or pain, especially for women experiencing menopause.

Hyaluronic acid is also available by prescription in the following forms:

  • By injection: Hyaluronic acid injections into your joints can relieve pain caused by arthritis. It’s also commonly used with medications given in an IV. Healthcare providers may prescribe it off-label to treat bladder pain (such as pain caused by interstitial cystitis).
  • Under your skin: Fillers containing hyaluronic acid and collagen (a natural protein also found in your body) are approved for injection under your skin. These fillers help restore natural shape and appearance, such as for treating acne scars or adding volume to lips.
  • In your nose: Some medications use hyaluronic acid because it helps your body absorb them, especially when taken through your nose.
  • By inhaler/nebulizer: Hyaluronic acid can treat respiratory (breathing) problems such as asthma or infections.

Remember, only trained and qualified medical professionals should give injections. While experts say hyaluronic acid is safe, improper use — especially when injecting it — can lead to severe complications or even death.

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