Hyaluronic Acid is a significant component of skin, where it helps repair tissue, improve tissue moisture content and facilitate the movement and reproduction of skin cells. When skin receives excessive UVB ray exposure and becomes sunburned, skin cells produce less Hyaluronic Acid and increase the rate of its degradation. These degradation products accumulate in the skin after sun exposure.
The chemical structure of Hyaluronic Acid was determined by Karl Meyer fifty years ago. The name Hyaluronic Acid is taken from the Greek word for vitreous (hyalos) and uronic acid because it contains a high concentration of uronic acid.
Hyaluronic Acid is a major component in the area surrounding rapidly multiplying cells and has been shown to be an important factor in the scar-free and rapid wound healing seen in fetal and neonatal organisms. Because fetal tissues contain significant amounts of Hyaluronic Acid, it follows that decreasing Hyaluronic Acid content correlates with aging and wrinkling.
Hyaluronic Acid occurs naturally in many tissues of the body, such as cartilage, skin, and the vitreous material of the eye. Therefore, it has excellent application to biomedical procedures involving those tissues. The first biomedical product made from Hyaluronic Acid is Healon, which was developed and approved for use in eye surgery (e.g., for cataracts, corneal transplants, glaucoma and retinal detachment).
Hyaluronic Acid is produced in large quantities during the cell growth phase of wound healing. In addition to providing structural support for the wound, topical applications of Hyaluronic Acid have been shown to accelerate the repair of skin wounds in animal subjects. It has also been demonstrated to improve the rate of healing in chronic ulcerations. Hyaluronic Acid performs an integral process in the inflammatory phase of wound repair by increasing the production of certain signal proteins and facilitating the movement of cells known as fibroblasts within the damaged tissue. As a topical cream, the low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid serves as an antioxidant and protects new granulation tissue from damage.
In conclusion, the legendary tissue repair properties of Hyaluronic Acid make it a highly important and effective compound in successful attempts to extend and recapture youth by rejuvenating aging and damaged skin cells.