Collagen is a protein that naturally occurs in the body. It can be injected into the face to create a more youthful appearance by filling in and plumping the area around wrinkles or areas that have become sunken. Collagen can also be used to make your lips fuller and is sometimes used on other parts of the body as well.
View this procedure in 3D:Collagen Fillers
Who Can Benefit From Collagen?
You may be a good candidate for collagen injections if you have any of the following:
The appearance of some scars may also be improved by collagen. Ask the doctor if any scars you have may be good candidates for these injections. Certain types of wrinkles may best be improved with a resurfacing procedure or a face lift. The doctor will evaluate your particular situation and recommend which procedure(s) will help you to achieve your desired results.
Some people opt to have a face lift to tighten the face and collagen injections to plump up certain areas. There are other substances, such as fat, which can be injected to achieve similar results to collagen. The doctor will help you determine which injectable substance will be the best for you.
What is the Procedure Like?
Collagen injections are an outpatient procedure that is performed in the doctor's office and should take under an hour to complete. The collagen is combined with lidocaine, which is an anesthetic that will numb the areas to be injected. If you are concerned that you may still feel pain, you can opt to have a topical anesthetic to numb the areas further. You may feel a slight sting, but the needles used for the injections are very small. Some of the injected substance consists of salt water, which will be absorbed by your body within a few days. To compensate for this, the doctor may slightly over-fill the treated areas. You will be allowed to go home very soon after your procedure is completed.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
You may feel some minor discomfort after the procedure, but it should subside within 24 hours. In some cases, there is minor bruising and swelling for a day or two, or a tiny scab may appear where the injections were made. You may also experience some redness, but this should go away quickly. If you are very fair-skinned, the redness may last a few days.
You will not need any bandages, and you can wear makeup and return to work immediately. The results of collagen injections are not permanent, and the length of time they remain varies from one patient to the next. For the average person, the results of collagen last three to four months.
What Are the Risks of Collagen?
Collagen is very safe and is used thousands of times per year with no incident. If you are pregnant or if you are allergic to beef or lidocaine, you should avoid collagen. If you have these allergies, however, you may be able to have treatments with other materials instead.