Your skin consists of two layers known as the epidermis and the dermis. The
epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, acts as the skin’s primary defense
against the environment. The dermis, or innermost layer of the skin, is composed
primarily of connective tissue and provides the skin with a support network.
Most facial wrinkles and deeper folds occur within the dermal layer of the skin.
The connective tissue of the dermis,
elastin fibers all get together and form a network that provides
the skin with structure, support, and elasticity. Fat cells and other molecules,
hyaluronic acid, help to create volume beneath facial skin. With time,
this network of collagen and elastin fibers breaks down, and hyaluronic acid
molecules and fat cells that create volume are depleted. The breakdown and
depletion of these molecules result in wrinkles and other changes to facial
When used as standalone treatments or with other procedures, injectable fillers
can reduce or eliminate wrinkles and scars, create fuller lips, and treat lipoatrophy, or fat loss beneath the skin. With little downtime and almost
immediate results, injectable fillers offer a safe, effective method of
restoring a smoother, more youthful appearance.
What is an
hyaluronic acid filler?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring
complex sugar molecule that forms large matrices in the connective tissue of the
body, such as skin and cartilage. This molecule acts like a sponge – and its
primary function is to bind and absorb water molecules, which creates volume in
the face. Hyaluronic acid fillers are generally used to treat facial wrinkles
and folds and to enhance the appearance of the lips. One of the fastest growing
dermal filler treatments available, hyaluronic acid fillers works by replacing
the hyaluronic acid in the body that has depleted over time, which restores the
volume beneath the skin’s surface.
What are the
hyaluronic acid fillers available?
Some of the most common hyaluronic acid
fillers available are Hylaform,
Juvederm. Hylaform, marketed by
INAMED/Genzyme, consists of avian, or bird-derived, hyaluronic acid.
Restylane, marketed by Medicis, and Juvederm, marketed by Allergan, are both
non-animal derived forms of hyaluronic acid produced in the laboratory.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are generally biocompatible, which means allergy skin
testing is not required prior to treatment.
Collagen makes up the majority of the
dermis. Much like the framework of a house, its primary function is to provide
structure and support to the skin. Collagen injections are generally used to
treat facial lines, wrinkles, and scars, and to enhance the appearance of the
lips. Collagen fillers replace the collagen that has depleted over time,
restoring the structure beneath the skin’s surface.
of Collagen is available?
There are two general types of
collagen-based injectable fillers, known as bovine-derived and human-derived
Zyderm and Zyplast, marketed by INAMED Aesthetics, are derived from
bovine (cow) collagen. There is a slight risk of allergic reaction
associated with bovine-derived collagen. An allergy skin test will be performed
approximately one month before the procedure. Two of the most common
human-derived collagen fillers are CosmoDerm and
CosmoPlast, marketed by INAMED
Aesthetics. Unlike bovine-derived collagen, allergy skin tests are not required
prior to an injection procedure.
What is the procedure with
injections of Collagen?
Depending on the extent of treatment,
collagen injection procedures typically last between fifteen and sixty minutes.
Prior to the start of your procedure, the treatment areas will be cleansed,
usually using an alcohol based cleaner. Collagen injections contain lidocaine,
which is an anesthetic agent. Therefore, a separate anesthetic is usually not
administered. However, if you are especially sensitive to pain, a topical cream
anesthetic or a freon spray may be used to numb the treatment area during the
Using a syringe, collagen is injected
into the dermis at several points along the edge of the treatment area. After
approximately three to five injections, the physician will massage the treatment
area. The physician will continue injecting the filler along the length of the
wrinkle or fold until maximum correction has been achieved. If a local
anesthesia has not been used, you may feel some minor stinging from the
injections. The injected collagen replaces the body’s collagen that has been
depleted over time, improving the skin’s underlying structure, and restoring a
more youthful appearance.
does Collagen last?
The body will eventually metabolize and
absorb the injected collagen over time. Therefore, while the effects are
immediate, collagen injections do not provide the same long-lasting results that
may be gained from cosmetic surgery. Although the longevity of results varies by
patient, results from collagen injections are typically maintained for three to
Immediately following the injections,
you may experience some redness, slight stinging, minor swelling, or bruising in
the treatment area. Tiny scabs may also form at the injection sites. These
symptoms typically disappear within two to three days. Bandaging is not
necessary and most patients are able to resume normal activities immediately