To those who are looking for the fountain of youth, they may have found it in dermal fillers. One of the most popular dermal fillers is the collagen. This is a natural substance found in our body. It is the most abundant protein in our body and it is responsible for the skin’s suppleness and elasticity. At our youth, we have an abundance of collagen. But as we age, our body no longer produces enough collagen to support our skin, the manifestation of which is our wrinkled and sagging skin.
Collagen Injections: What is it?
This is a procedure where collagen (either bovine or human based) is used as filler. It is injected into the skin to treat facial imperfections. It is used to treat deep seated wrinkles, crow’s feet, furrows, creases, fine lines, and some scars. It is also used to enhance the facial contours. It is used to enhance or plump up the lips and the cheeks. The collagen injected smoothes out the wrinkles. It provides volume to the lips and the sagging skin.
How is it performed?
The procedure is performed by a licensed surgeon. A month before the actual procedure, an allergy test will be conducted. You will be injected a small amount of the filler and you will observe for signs of an allergic reactions (redness, itchiness, difficulty of breathing). If the result of the test is negative, you can have the procedure. The doctor marks the target areas and he determines the right amount of collagen for it. He then injects the collagen to your target areas. The collagen filler is mixed with lidocaine so you have an anesthesia to take care of the pain. The whole procedure lasts about 30 minutes to one hour.
Recovery and Result
Swelling, redness, and bruising is expected at the site of injection. This can last 24-48 hours after the procedure after which it is expected to subside. There are no specific restrictions to your activities but strenuous activities must be avoided.
The results are immediate. You’ll notice the change right after the procedure but it becomes even more evident after a week. However, the results are temporary. It lasts 3-4 months, in some cases it can last up to 6 months.
Contraindications and Complications
The procedure is contraindicated to clients who are allergic to any components (whether the bovine based collagen or the lidocaine) of the collagen injection. Those who have known allergy to the anesthetic are contraindicated. But if you wish to forgo the lidocaine, you can speak with your doctor. Clients who have collagen vascular disease are also contraindicated to the procedure.
The most common complication for this procedure would be allergic reactions. There are those who are allergic to beef and if a bovine based collagen is used, an allergic reaction can be expected. Infection is a risk with the procedure, especially if it was conducted without aseptic technique.
Collagen injections are cheaper than other dermal fillers. The average cost of the procedure is $250 to $650. This highly depends on the area treated and the doctor’s qualifications.
Collagen injections do reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It gives you back a fraction of your youth. However, the procedure is still expensive for an effect that only lasts 3-4 months. The maintenance would be difficult for the client. Also, we cannot discount the risks involved. A safer and cheaper way to reduce wrinkles are anti aging products like wrinkle creams. They help increase firmness and elasticity in the skin while using natural ingredients that are proven to work.