Collagen is a natural protein that provides structural support in the skin. Collagen injections became available in 1976. The word “collagen’’ translates to the word ‘’glue’’ in the Greek language. It is found throughout the body, in skin, muscle tendon and bone. Fibres of collagen are woven together like threads in fabric to form a framework into which new cells can grow. In the skin, collagen provides texture, resiliency and shape.
The collagen in human skin is very similar to the collagen found in certain animals. As a result animal collagen has had many medical applications: for example, animal collagen has been used in sutures for over a century.
In the early 70’s a group of physicians and biochemists at Stanford University were researching an alternative to skin grafts. In the course of this work they developed the concept of purifying bovine dermal collagen so thoroughly that it could be used to replace lost skin tissue.
Further research led to Collagen Injections which became commonplace and have been used on thousands of patients worldwide. Some treated patients however have reported adverse events therefore skin testing is done on every person before having collagen injections. If they show a hypersensitivity to the purified bovine collagen then he/she may not be allowed to go ahead with treatment.
How do Collagen Injections work?
Collagen Injections involves injecting collagen just under the skin to elevate depressions in the skin or into the lips to give a fuller and more defined lip line – the “Paris Lip” created in the 90’s was a huge hit but needs a practioner experienced in collagen injections.
Treatment time for collagen injections is very quick and the results are seen immediately. A temporary stinging sensation may occur and infrequently minor bruising or swelling may result. Faint redness may be present in the injected area for a few hours but generally patients can return to work immediately after treatment. Like the body’s natural collagen, the body slowly absorbs injected collagen, requiring touch up treatments every 4-6 months. Collagen Injections are frequently used with other facial procedures such as Botox injections, skin peels or laser resurfacing to give that extra edge to the end result.