Collagen injections are the most common type of dermal fillers. Unlike other dermal fillers, including Hylaform and Restylane, collagen is not synthetic. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and a key component in healthy, youthful skin. But injected collagen does not serve to rejuvenate the skin in any way - or do anything other than add volume to the face.
What are collagen injections?
Collagen is a naturally-occurring protein that provides support in the human body - in bones, in skin and in ligaments. Injections of collagen are derived from bovine collagen (collagen from cows) in differing thicknesses. This injectable collagen has been patented by the Collagen Corporation under the trade names Zyderm and Zyplast. The FDA approved this procedure in 1981.
What do collagen injections do?
Collagen injections add volume to the face, thus filling in wrinkles, lines and scars on the face.
A blend of collagen and salt water is injected, using a very fine needle, at the edges of the treatment site. Only a local anesthetic is used. The patient's recovery is very fast and normal activities can be resumed within a couple of days.
Because collagen is a natural material, the body metabolizes it relatively quickly. The results of collagen injections can last from a few weeks to several months, but are always temporary. Once the body has metabolized the collagen, the appearance of the face (including wrinkles) returns to its original state.
Are collagen injections an effective anti wrinkle procedure?
Yes, within limits. First and foremost is the temporary nature of the procedure. Collagen injections don't even last as long as other dermal fillers, which are also temporary. Depending on the individual's constitution, collagen injections may last as briefly as a few weeks.
Secondly, collagen injections can only treat the types of wrinkles that result from a reduction in facial volume. Not all types of wrinkles can be treated. Therefore, collagen injections are not a total solution to the problem of facial wrinkles.