Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the extracellular matrix of the skin. When applied topically, it has been reported to create an optimal environment for healing. We studied the efficacy of hyaluronic acid sodium salt 0.2% gel in reducing the typical cutaneous side effects of intense pulsed light, namely erythema, peeling, scabbing, and, rarely, blistering, for the treatment of photodamaged or photoaged skin. Ten healthy female subjects (aged 46–67 years) with photodamaged or photoaged skin who had previously been treated with intense pulsed light were enrolled. The study was institutional review board–approved and all subjects signed an informed-consent release. This clinical study design was a
2-week, double-blind, split-face, randomized prospective trial. Subjects applied the hyaluronic acid sodium salt 0.2% gel and comparable vehicle to the designated treatment area (right or left side of face) twice a day for 2 weeks. All subjects were evaluated and clinically graded at visit days 1 (baseline), 4, 7, and 14 with digital photography and cross-polarized photography. Out of the 10 subjects, 6 subjects were observed with optical coherence tomography, 7 subjects with transepidermal water loss, and 7 subjects with capacitance (all performed at baseline and days 4, 7, and 14). All of the patients showed smoother skin with improved texture. Erythema was decreased for many patients on the side treated with hyaluronic acid sodium salt 0.2% gel at some visits during the study. Hyaluronic acid sodium salt 0.2% gel was found to be effective and safe in these subjects.