Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory.
People take hyaluronic acid for various skin care, joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional. (1)
The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during certain eye surgeries including cataract removal, corneal transplantation, and repair of a detached retina and other eye injuries. It is injected into the eye during the procedure to help replace natural fluids.
Hyaluronic acid is also used as a lip filler in plastic surgery.
Some people apply hyaluronic acid to the skin for healing wounds, burns, skin ulcers, and as a moisturizer. (2)
There is also a lot of interest in using hyaluronic acid to prevent the effects of aging. In fact, hyaluronic acid has been promoted as a "fountain of youth."
Hyaluronic acid works by acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues. In addition, it might affect the way the body responds to injury.