Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that provides support to various parts of the human body: the skin, the joints, the bones and the ligaments. Today many cosmetic surgeons will use collagen as an injectable “filler”. Injectable collagen was first patented by the Collagen Corporation in 1981 under the trade names Zyderm and Zyplast. This type of filler, derived from purified bovine collagen, has been used successfully for over 25 years. More recently, human collagen has been purified for this use, eliminating the need for allergy testing, under the trade names Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast. These products are produced in various thicknesses to meet individual patient needs.
Collagen is used primarily to fill wrinkles, lines and scars on the face. The collagen is injected into the desired area to be treated using a fine needle inserted at several points along the edge of the treatment site. A local anesthesia in used normally, so there is little discomfort during the actual procedure. If a local anesthesia has not been used, you may feel some minor stinging or burning as the injections are administered.
Since part of the collagen substance is comprised of salt water that will be absorbed by the body within a few days, your cosmetic surgeon may slightly overfill the area.
Immediately following treatment, you may notice some minor discomfort in the injected area. Occasionally some bruising or swelling may occur, but it is usually minor and is temporary. Any redness that appears in the injected site usually disappears within 24 hours. However, in some individuals, particularly fair-skinned patients, this redness may persist for a few days, though not typically.