Collagen is a fibrous protein that is found in all mammals. As the connective tissue responsible for the elasticity and strength of skin, collagen keeps it smooth and wrinkle-free. Depletion of collagen is a major contributor to the formation of wrinkles, so the replacement of collagen will allow skin to regain its youthful good looks.
Approved by the FDA for dermatologic use in 1981, collagen injections are an easy, effective way to replace lost collagen and erase the signs of aging. Especially effective for treating wrinkles of the forehead, mouth or eyes, collagen injections can also give lips a softer, more defined look and temporarily fill in scarred areas.
Injectable collagen is available in autologen, dermalogen, isalogen, bovine or porcine forms. All forms of injectable collagen are purified and sterilized before use, but an allergy test is always necessary prior to using any type of animal-derived collagen.
In addition to allergy testing at least one month prior to treatment, patients should arrive for the procedure with clean, dry skin that is free of any moisturizers or makeup.
Although general anesthesia is not necessary for this minimally invasive treatment, topical anesthetics may be applied to the treatment area to lessen discomfort. In addition, collagen injections may be infused with lidocaine, so treatment will be more comfortable.
Depending on how many injections are necessary, the entire procedure will usually take 30 minutes or less, and each injection takes only seconds.
Collagen injections are the most natural dermal fillers on the market, so major complications from treatment are almost unheard of. However, side effects like bruising, tenderness or itching at the injection sites may be experienced, but these typically subside within a week.
Other than minimizing pressure to the injection sites, staying away from the sun and refraining from strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after treatment, patients may resume regular daily activities immediately after collagen injections.
Results will be visible approximately 24 hours after treatment.
Collagen injections are absorbed by the body in approximately three months, so periodic re-treatment is necessary to maintain a youthful look.