Collagen injections are used in treating fine lines and wrinkles, as well as shallow scars. Most often, collagen injections treat areas around the mouth, like laugh lines and deep nasolabial creases. Doctors can use collagen injections to supplement the body's natural collagen supply, that decreases over time. Using a series of collagen injections, doctors can raise the treated area, smoothing wrinkles and creases.
Is Collagen injection right for me?
Although many patients request collagen injections to treat areas of the face, there are a variety of other popular uses for collagen injections, including softening scar tissues and creating fuller lips. Individuals who are interested in receiving collagen injections should consult with a physician to make sure they are qualified for the procedure. Due to the ingredients in collagen injections, people who are allergic to dietary beef or lidocaine, or who have had reactions to collagen injections should not receive the treatment. A skin patch test is often performed prior to any collagen injections to check for allergic reactions.
Once patients have verified that they can safely receive collagen injections, they can plan with the physician the location and extent of the treatment. Patients must refrain from taking certain medicines and supplements prior to having their collagen injections to reduce the risks of bleeding and bruising.
Local anesthetic mixed with collagen allows collagen injections to be administered without need for sedation or general anesthetic. Patients who receive collagen injections report little discomfort and seldom require pain medication even after the local anesthetic wears off. Collagen injections usually take only a few minutes, with results lasting up to six months.
Collagen Treatment side effects
As with any cosmetic procedure, collagen injection side effects do exist. Collagen injections are not for everybody and some patients will experience side effects. Before determining if collagen injections can benefit you, two skin tests in a one-month period must be performed two weeks apart. Even if the tests reveal allergic reactions will not develop, some people can still suffer them.
The allergic side effects can appear as red, tender bumps that can end up ulcerating and causing permanent scars. The majority of people who suffer these collagen injection side effects will see them disappear over several months. Of every 100 people that receive the injections, roughly two will experience the side effects.
Another thing that patients should consider are the temporary results. After about six months to a year, the collagen will gradually be absorbed into the body. It is not yet clear if collagen injection side effects include autoimmune disease, though there have been some reports of cases developing.
Bovine Collagen Injections
Bovine collagen injections are administered in a non-surgical cosmetic technique performed to reduce the appearance of:
- acne scars
- traumatic scars
- gravitational rhytides
The FDA first approved bovine collagen injections in 1982 and it is the most common filler product used in skin and soft tissue augmentation. Prior to this technological development, the two options for treating these skin problems were dermabrasion and scar excision. Bovine collagen injections are a less invasive method of treating skin imperfections.
Bovine collagen injections are made from extracted cow skin, which is purified, sterilized and processed into a liquid form before being used for cosmetic purposes. There are alternative filling materials that can be used to the same end as bovine collagen injections, including those made from human tissues. Bovine collagen injections are less expensive, generally running between $300 and $800 per session, and are just as effective as the alternatives. Bovine collagen injections results typically last between six weeks to a year and provide a drastic improvement to the appearance of skin imperfections.
As with most medical procedures, there are some risks and benefits associated with bovine collagen injections. Some of the possible risks associated include:
- allergic reactions
- connective tissue disorders
- the transient nature of the procedure
- bacterial infection
- swelling, tenderness, redness and discomfort in the treatment area
The laser collagen procedure utilizes the laser's ability to penetrate through the skin's outer layer to stimulate new collagen growth. Collagen is the natural protein found throughout the body that provides shape, resilience and texture.
Aging can weaken the collagen fibers that give skin its strength, causing depressions and wrinkles. The laser collagen is a non-invasive option to improve the skin's surface in wrinkle reduction. The light from the laser will painlessly target tissue under the skin's surface to stimulate the collagen growth, which will fill any depressions under the wrinkles.
Depending on the degree of collagen loss, laser collagen treatments can range from 10 to 30 minutes and can require multiple sessions for an optimal aesthetic look. Opposed to more invasive cosmetic surgery procedures, laser collagen can provide noticeable improvement to the skin's surface in a gentle non-disruptive manner. Most laser collagen candidates will be able to return to regular activities within an hour following the treatment.
Collagen Lip Injections
Collagen lip injections allow individuals to increase the size of their lips without committing to a permanent result. Collagen lip injections last four to six months, with patients receiving "touch-up" treatments two or three times yearly.
Using collagen lip injections, doctors can increase the size of a patient’s upper or lower lip, or both; some collagen lip injections are used to treat specific areas of the lip, to increase the vermilion, for instance. Collagen lip injections can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles in the lips as patients age.
Because collagen lip injections contain refined bovine collagen, there is a possibility for an allergic reaction. Individuals interested in collagen lip injections are usually screened for allergies to lidocaine and dietary beef, and the doctors administering the injections will usually do a spot test to check for allergic reactions.
The procedure used for collagen lip injections is considered ambulatory; patients walk in, have the procedure, and go home. Most plastic surgeons do not use sedation or a separate anesthetic during injections. This means that patients will recover more quickly, and few individuals require pain medication.