People Are Using Hyaluronic Acid for What?

Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a popular dermal filler used in plastic surgery procedures. This versatile substance is found naturally in the human body – typically in joints, soft connective tissue and in the fluid surrounding the eyes. This natural occurrence means that when HA is injected into the body for cosmetic procedures, it is more likely to be accepted by the body, and with a lower risk of side effects.

Hyaluronic acid is popular for use in a variety of cosmetic procedures, including eliminating pitting from acne scars, reducing wrinkles and even filling out or enhancing the lips. But now, many plastic surgeons are noticing an uptick in the number of patients requesting hyaluronic acid nipple injections. Dr. Bruce Chau of Berkley, Michigan, explains why.

“Using hyaluronic acid to enhance the nipple is a relatively new procedure, but it was initially developed to help improve the look and feel of the nipple for patients who had undergone nipple-areola complex reconstruction (NAC),” he says.

However, according to Chau, once doctors and patients began to see the increase in volume and erectness of the nipple, the procedure began to increase in popularity among women who simply wanted nipple enhancement. The problem is, the procedure isn’t exactly safe.

“Using HA for this procedure is not FDA approved,” explains Chau. “It may be effective, but it’s also painful, temporary and carries a lot of risks, including infection.”

For his part, Chau recommends patients pass on the HA injections for nipple enhancement, at least for now.

“For something like this, it’s best left for patients who truly need the procedure, such as NAC patients. For people looking for a little enhancement, it’s not a risk I would recommend taking,” he says.