By Facial Rejuvenation Specialist, Dr. Michel Siegel
Collagen cosmetic fillers have become a popular choice for improving facial appearance by delivering immediate results with essentially no down time for recovery.
The upper-most layer of skin is known as the epidermis. Just below the epidermis lies the second layer, the dermis. The dermis is primarily made up of a protein called collagen. This protein forms a network of fibers that provides a framework for the growth of cells and blood vessels. Because it is the primary component of the dermis, collagen acts as the support structure for skin.
The collagen framework in young skin is intact and the skin remains moisturized and elastic. It’s resilient to the many facial expressions we adopt as well as everyday environmental exposure. But over time, the support structure weakens and the skin loses its elasticity. The skin begins to lose its tone as the collagen support wears down. Every time you smile, frown or squint, you put stress on the collagen in your skin.
The effect of these facial expressions is cumulative and facial lines begin to appear.
How Do Collagen Injections Work?
Collagen Cosmetic Fillers injections replenish the skin’s natural support system. The natural beauty of your skin is enhanced as the contour of the support structure is restored.
Collagen cosmetic fillers should be injected into your skin only by a trained health care professional. By supplementing your skin’s own tissues, fillers help deep facial wrinkles, creases, furrows, skin depressions, and some types of scars. It can also be used to give a fuller, more sensuous look to the lips. Results, however, are highly technique dependent.
After the Collagen Injection Procedure
Results are seen immediately following treatment and last six months to a year depending on the filler used and the area treated. Gradually, the filler is broken down by the body and disappear without any residue.
Collagen however, will not remove wrinkles produced by facial expressions. Crow’s feet resulting from smiling, or wrinkles between the eyebrows when squinting for example, are better addressed with BOTOX® Cosmetic.
Do Collagen Creams Work?
Collagen creams work only on the skin surface. A moisturizer with or without collagen cannot penetrate the skin and is not designed to be absorbed. No moisturizer can undo the cumulative effect of collagen loss. Creams primarily slow the rate of water loss from the skin, and by hydrating the skin give a temporary appearance of fullness.
Side Effects from Collagen Injection
Any procedure, no matter how minor, carries the chance of an adverse reaction. Fortunately, major complications related to collagen are rare (assuming these materials are handled and injected properly).
The most common side effect is mild bruising at the site of injection.This usually last only 24-48 hours, is minor and can be covered with makeup. Temporary redness can also be seen at the site of injection. This effect resolves within several hours. With traditional fillers like collagen, a small test dose was indicated prior to treatment to ensure that the patient was not allergic to the material being injected.
What Can I Expect?
You should expect to have the area being treated numbed with a cream, or receive a small injection of local anesthesia. Remember, there is a possibility of slight bruising, and you may experience puffiness, redness and tenderness around the treated site. It is important to discuss with your physician exactly what you can expect from each treatment. Together, you can prioritize which facial areas are most important to you and how many treatments you may need, as well as the estimated cost. It is important to know that one treatment may not remove every line on your face.
How Many Collagen Injections Will I Need?
Depending on how much volume needs to be restored and the effect you want to achieve, Dr. Siegel will recommend the right quantity of collagen to be injected for you.
The injected collagen will eventually wear down and begin to lose form. Re-treatment 2 to 3 times a year is required to maintain an optimal effect.
Dr Siegel is a Facial Plastic Surgeon, this gives him an expert knowledge on facial structures, allowing him to minimize complications and create natural enhancements by knowing how much and where exactly to inject the right filler
Not all injectors have the same credentials, experience or artistry, and while this is not a surgical procedure, it is still a medical procedure, and the results depend on these qualities of your injector, not the filler being injected.
The majority of injectors, not only be not be highly skilled facial specialist, but may have very limited experience performing this procedures or may be doing them on a part time basis. It requires not only an eye for balance, but also years to achieve the mastery of injection skills-this will make the difference between a natural and more youthful appearance, as opposed to the overly filled and in-natural look associated with poorly executed injections.