Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that provides support for various parts of the body including skin, tendons and ligaments. Collagen makes up a large part of the dermis. Collagen has been used as a dermal filler since the early 1980s. It has been used to fill wrinkles, lines, scars, and for lip enhancement.
A small needle is used to carefully fill in wrinkles and scars. Topical and/or local anesthetic are used for pain control during injections. Injections in and around the lip are particularly painful and nerve block is recommended.
Complications of collagen injection include bruising, allergic reaction, and infection.
Types of Collagen
Zyderm and Zyplast are made from purified cow skin and have been around since the early 1980s. Both can cause allergic reactions, and require a skin test prior to treatment. A test dose is performed on the forearm, and observed one month for a reaction. About 1% of patients will test positive and another 1% will develop an allergy during treatment, in spite of testing Zyderm and Zyplast are used to fill wrinkles, lines and scars on the face. Results are immediate and can last up to six months depending on the area treated.
Recently, human collagen was approved for cosmetic use by the FDA. CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast are derived from human tissue that has been purified and grown in a laboratory. Allergy to human collagen has not been reported, and no skin test is required. They are used for treating fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and for lip enhancement. Cosmoderm is used for superficial lines, while Cosmoplast is used for more pronounced wrinkles. Results are immediate and can last up to six months depending on the area treated.
All photos courtesy of S. Zimmet, MD and P. Bitter Jr., MD