Hyaluronidase is an enzyme used in cosmetic medicine to reverse the effects of certain fillers. Do you want to know exactly how hyaluronidase works and when it is used? Keep reading.
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar found in your skin and in other parts of your body. Hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin by binding water. Hyaluronic acid actually binds 1,000 times its weight in water so it’s very effective. About two thirds of your skin is made up of water, so it’s important to have enough water in your skin for it to perform its barrier functions. When hyaluronic acid is made in your skin, it draws the water into your skin from your blood. It’s important to drink enough water every day so you have enough water in your system. That way the hyaluronic acid can get it into your skin. It’s also important to apply moisturizer to trap that water in your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that binds to other hyaluronic acid sugars to create a long chain, like a strand of spaghetti. Every day your skin makes more hyaluronic acid and gets rid of the existing hyaluronic acid. This way there is a constant supply of hyaluronic acid in your skin. It takes about three days for all of the hyaluronic acid in your skin to turn over completely.
What are fillers?
Fillers, are injectable treatments that do just that: fill. Fillers are used to restore lost volume in your face and other parts of your body. Common areas that area treated with fillers include hollowing under the eyes, loss of volume in the cheeks, and thinning lips. The majority of fillers used are made of hyaluronic acid. This includes the most popular fillers in the Juvederm family: Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella. The hyaluronic acid in the fillers draws water into your skin to fill the hollows, wrinkles, and folds by restoring volume.
What is Vycross?
Vycross is a special technology used in Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella which allows you to enjoy your results longer. The way it works it twofold. First, the hyaluronic acid in Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella are different lengths, long and short. Second, the hyaluronic acid in Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella are highly cross-lined to each other. This means that each strand of hyaluronic acid spaghetti is attached to other strands. This allows for more volumization without the need for a lot of hyaluronic acid. This is why the amount of hyaluronic acid in these products is lower and why they provide such a natural look.
Everyone’s body is different and some people react differently to filler treatments than others. Dr. Alex always recommends starting with a small and conservative amount of filler. Then you can add more if you like later. But for some people, sometimes there is a little too much volume. In these cases, the filler can be removed. In other very rare cases, the filler can block the blood flow to your skin, in which case it can also be removed. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to remove all of the filler. In fact, usually only a small amount is removed to make the final result look perfect.
What is hyaluronidase?
Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that is used to remove fillers for various reasons such as if the results are not perfect or if there is too much volume. Hyaluronidase works by breaking down the hyaluronic acid in the skin. This is all the hyaluronic acid, whether it’s your natural hyaluronic acid or the hyaluronic acid from the filler. But don’t worry, your natural hyaluronic acid will be restored by your body within about three days.
The most common brand of hyaluronidase is called Hylenex. This is because it is human derived and doesn’t cause allergic reactions. Vitrase is another brand that is less commonly used since it is animal derived and can possibly cause allergic reactions.
How does hyaluronidase work?
Hyaluronidase is injected directly into the area where you want the filler to be removed. Sometimes you can see a loss of volume right away after the hyaluronidase is injected as it dissolves the hyaluronic acid. The full results take time and Dr. Alex recommends waiting two weeks before doing anything else. This is because you can see deflation in your skin from the removal of the filler and your own natural hyaluronic acid. It will take a few days before your natural hyaluronic acid is restored. Also, you can have swelling from the injection itself. All of this settles down after about two weeks. At that time, your skin can be assessed again.
Sometimes you will need multiple sessions of hyaluronidase to make the results perfect. This is particularly true in fillers like Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella that use Vycross technology. The reason is that since they are highly cross-linked (which makes them last longer), it can be harder for the hyaluronidase to dissolve them.
It’s important to understand what hyaluronidase is and how it works. It is used to reverse the effects of fillers. But it only works on fillers such as Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella which have hyaluronic acid as the active ingredient. This is why Dr. Alex only uses these hyaluronic acid-based fillers.