For a long time considered THE wrinkle filler, collagen is one of several solutions, today, that help minimize disharmonious wrinkles on the face. Among its main side effects, allergy is a the top. That’s why an allergy test must be performed before any injection session can be scheduled to make sure you are a good candidate for this product. The time interval between a test and an actual injection session is about 1 month.
Easy to use, over-corrections are always possible but they will fade away over a few months. In fact, collagen like hyaluronic acid is considered a non-permanent filler. Your satisfaction with collagen will be high, tangible results are visible within a few days. Nevertheless, if you are looking for immediate results, for example you have a party tomorrow night, then hyaluronic acid is best.
1) The product
From bovine (cow) or poultry (chicken) origin, injectable collagen needs a preliminary allergy test before any injection session. This test in not negotiable. It has to be done. Only very recently have non-animal based collagen been introduced on the market and as such these new collagens could be injected without a preliminary test. You should ask your operator what type of collagen he/she is using. With regular animal based collagen, a 4-6 week waiting period is requested after a test. Allergies are more frequent in stressed and tired people.
Collagen’s main advantage is that it’s one of our skin’s main ingredients. In our dermis, with its fibers, it provides skin elasticity.
Bovine collagens have been hardly hit with the mad cow disease problem in the late nineties, so it is less desirable today. Now, the vast majority of individuals interested in wrinkles management are looking for synthetic collagens or hyaluronic acid products. Their safety, pertaining to possible allergies, is now well established.
2) Injection Methods
Once the allergy test comes back negative, the injection session is scheduled. Actual injections can follow two strategies:
a) Tracing or retro-tracing: the injection follows the path of the targeted wrinkle. As the product is injected, the needle moves toward the entry point. Sometimes, the same entry point is used to inject in several different directions within the same horizontal axis, to promote skin retraction so it looks smoother. The product is now set right under that wrinkle so its bottom is now flush with the rest of the skin. The result is a fuller skin. The epidermis is now laying on a filled up dermis.
b) multi-puncture: several entry points are made in which a drop of product is injected ; If this method is not well managed, some little nodules could be felt throughout the injected area. It would be seen with side lighting and would not be a satisfiying result. In case of an over-correction, massaging the area would be the only hope of making it smoother..
3) Main injection sites
- Naso-labial folds
- Lion’s frown
- Lips : red lip and contour
4) Practical issues and side effects
- Your initial consultation will determine the type of product you are eligible to. Tell your operator if you are taking blood-thinning medications or if you bruise easily when you hurt yourself.
- If Collagen is picked : perform an allergy test.
- Minimal oedema (at injection point for 24-48hours) with possible redness and/or bruises at injection points dissipating over a few days.
- Redness could come after physical effort or fatigue.
- Avoid risk factors : direct sun exposure right after an injection. Use sun tanning lotions with 60 SPF or greater for a month. Avoid cigarette smoking and alcohol for 8-10 days.
- You could use a vitamin K based cream for about 7 days post injection..
- Collagen is a non-permanent filler; it will fade away over a few months. Consequently, there is no foreign object that will stay in your skin. This is a “biological” product. It could be considered an advantage by those who do not want to get a permanent filler in their face.
How long does it last ?
Five to 7 months on average.