Is it Worth it to Have a Hyaluronic Acid Injection?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have elective surgery is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having injections of the dermal filler called hyaluronic acid.
There are several dermal fillers available for injection to reduce the appearance of small defects, such as wrinkles, in the skin. This page discusses hyaluronic acid. This is a natural substance found in the connective tissues of humans and many other animals. It structurally supports connective tissue, and also pulls in water, keeping the tissues hydrated and supple. In addition to its use in cosmetic dermatology, it also has other medical uses, such as injection into the joints for people with arthritis. If you want to learn more about what the procedure and the recovery are like, please visit Dermal Fillers: the Procedure and Recovery. For more about the many resources Doctor Review has to offer, you can check out our Cosmetic Dermatology Overview page.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective surgery with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the provider who will perform your procedure if you decide to proceed.
There are some risks that can result from the injection of any dermal filler. One risk is the possibility of infection at the site of injection. Cleaning the site before injection and using good sterile technique minimizes this risk, but it’s never zero. Infection could result in a poor aesthetic result and will require antibiotics to treat.
Additionally, there is often bruising and swelling near the injection site; this usually resolves within a few days. In some cases, there may be a lump at the injection site, or the filler may be visible under the surface of the skin.
The wrinkle may not be completely filled by the filler, so it’s still present; conversely, it may be overfilled, so that it now sticks up from the skin instead of down. As the body gradually absorbs the filler, this usually resolves. In rare cases, there could be damage to the skin during injection that results in permanent scarring. There is also the risk that the filler will move away from the site where it was injected; this risk is reduced by avoiding rubbing or massaging of the treated area, which may push the filler around inside the face.
Hyaluronic acid has a very rare occurrence of allergic reactions, but they can occur with this type of filler. Hyaluronic acid is also a temporary treatment, with results lasting about three to six months; repeated treatments will be necessary to maintain the results.
Because hyaluronic acid attracts and retains water, it’s able to bring more water into the skin near the injection site, causing the skin to be more hydrated and appear more supple and youthful. It also has a low risk of allergic reactions, although they can still occur; it’s often suggested as an alternative to those who were considering animal-derived (bovine or porcine) collagen but had an allergic reaction when the substance was tested.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost to have hyaluronic acid injected once is $568. This cost varies according to several factors, including how many sites need to be injected, the region, and the particular clinic. You should check with the provider(s) you’re considering to determine the exact cost. Keep in mind that financing is often available. For more detail, visit our Dermal Fillers – Hyaluronic Acid Cost page.