- Aging & Longevity
Looking Younger with Collagen Fillers and Skin Rejuvenation Therapy
What is Collagen?
Collagen provides the strength our skin and organs need to function but this ability wanes overtime as we age. This loss of functionality is greatly attributed to over exposure to the sun which results in sun damaged skin.
Collagen is a protein substance produced by our body. It makes up a part of our skin and organs. Its roles are both connective and supportive.
Our skin has three layers; collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (GAGS).
The word collagen originated from the Greek language (specifically the word kola) and means glue. It provides the strength our skin and organs need to function but this ability wanes overtime as we age. This loss of functionality is greatly attributed to over exposure to the sun which results in sun damaged skin. The skin loses its ability to continue to produce healthy collagen leaving us with damaged collagen which results in our skin looking and feeling damaged.
Types of Collagen Fillers and their Sources
There are corrective measures that enable the stimulation of new collagen. Various anti aging injectable fillers are now available on the market. These include dermal fillers, lip fillers, collagen fillers and facial fillers.
These fillers are injected under the skin and eliminate the need to do a surgical face lift It is important that you educate yourself on the various collagen therapies and keep up-to-date on the latest developments in skin rejuvenation.
Collagen Filler Sources
Collagen fillers come from two main sources. These are bovine sourced or human sourced fillers.
Bovine sourced fillers are obtained from cow’s skin and is purified and sterilized before it is packaged and sold on the market as brands such as Zyderm and Zyplast.
Human collagen on the other hand is sourced from humans in various ways with one of these methods being the use of the foreskin of the newborn after circumcision.
Substances developed for use in the body have to be tested and treated where necessary. Human tissues which are collected for reuse are no different. The tissues collected for the production of collagen have to first undergo test for the presence of pre-existing conditions such as HIV and hepatitis before it is prepared and distributed for cosmetic use. Two common commercial forms of human tissue generated collagen are Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast.
Volumizing/Filling with Restylane
Selecting Collagen Fillers
It is always best to allow the doctor to select the treatment which is most suitable for you. Ensure that you use a board-certified physician with requisite training and experience. The doctor will first do a skin test to check for allergic reactions. A small amount of bovine collagen is injected into the forearm. The area is checked 2 – 3 days after the initial injection followed by a repeat four weeks after the first test.
If there is a swelling or tenderness around the test area or other reactions such as chest pain, shortness of breath, hives, lumps and scarring then the bovine treatment cannot be used. Approximately 3% of the population usually have an allergic reaction during the skin test for bovine collagen. The physician will be able to select the treatment most suited for your skin type and one which will be more effective for you. Human collagen is unlikely to produce an allergic reaction and so does not require a skin test.
The area where the collagen injection is applied may be red, tender and swollen immediately following the application but this will improve over the next few days. Makeup can be applied to the area but avoid alcohol, sunburn and strenuous exercises.
Areas where the injection is applied are the lips, cheeks, eyes, forehead wrinkles and nasolabial folds.
Other Discomforts and Risks of Using Collagen Fillers
Other discomforts and risks include the accidental blocking of a blood vessel by a collagen injection. This is a rare occurrence which results in a small area of the skin dying and the formation of an ulcer that will form a scab. This may leave a permanent scar.
There is also the risk of getting a bacterial infection from the injection if there are pre-existing conditions such as acne or rosacea spots. Persons prone to cold sores who have an injection applied to the lip area may have these eruptions occurring as a result of the injection.
Bovine Collagen Vs Human Collagen
The bovine collagen is the less expensive of the two but human collagen injections produce a longer lasting result. The difference between the prices is not very wide with the cost for a bovine collagen treatment presently at a rate of $467 while the human collagen treatment is $508 per visit.
Treatments do not last forever which means that it has to be repeated. As is the case with everything else, each person reacts differently to treatments so the treatment will last longer for some persons. The latest hyaluronic acid based fillers such as Restylane are good options to consider as they last longer and is known to stimulate the body into producing its own collagen.