From plastic surgery to treating arthritis, hyaluronic acid has many uses. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the human body, mostly in the eyes and joints, reports WebMD. As a natural substance, it is a relatively safe treatment option. However there can still be side effects, most of which are minor and resolve within a couple of weeks. Do call your doctor if you have any concerns following treatment with hyaluronic acid.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that when hyaluronic acid is injected into the joint for arthritis treatment, some people experience pain and fluid buildup. These are similar to side effects that can occur with any injection into the joint. With the injection, there is also a risk of infection. If the pain or swelling continues to worsen or you develop a fever, call your doctor as this may be signs of an infection.
When used in a gel form, hylauronic acid gets injected to reduce wrinkles, usually in the face and neck. This may cause pain, swelling, itching, peeling and bumps. All of which are typically temporary, according to the FDA.
As an ingredient in many eye drops, much research as to hyaluronic acid’s safety is readily available. Some people may experience dry eyes, eye irritation or blurred vision after using these eye drops. Overall, these products are considered extremely safe, reports the FDA’s Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee, with very few adverse effects reported across multiple studies. Hyaluronic acid may also be used as an injection during eye surgeries with minor side effects such as pain or irritation.
Some individuals may be more likely to experience side effects from hyaluronic acid treatment due to the methods by which the hyaluronic acid is derived. Depending on the product, hyaluronic acid products are made from either the fleshy comb of roosters or grown using bacteria, reports WebMD. Individuals known to be allergic to bird proteins such as eggs should not take hyaluronic acid, states The Skin Center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Other allergic reactions include hives or fever, breathing problems, headache and dizziness. Although rare, allergic reactions are serious and you should call your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Many oral supplements containing hyaluronic acid claim to provide the same health benefits as injectable hyaluronic acid, including improved joint mobility and decreased pain from arthritis or other joint injuries. These claims have not been well researched and approved by the FDA. Likewise, the side effects of oral hyaluronic acid supplements are not well known.