Anti-Aging Skin Care: The Power of Collagen

– One of the reasons that skin ages in the first place is the body produces less and less collagen over time. Collagen is a spongy, springy protein that is not only found in the skin but is found all over the body, including bones, tendons and muscles. In the skin collagen is found in the dermis, the skin layer right beneath the epidermis and the stratum corneum, the protective layer of skin cells at the very top.

Collagen stays pliant and plentiful until a person is in their 30s, when the fibers start to loosen a little bit and fat found in the lower layers of the skin start to gather in trenches. The result is that the skin doesn’t spring back after it’s pulled the way it used to. How extensive this is depends on the person’s genes and environmental factors such as if they are sun worshippers, if they smoke or if they are exposed to toxins and pollutants.

Collagen as Dermal Filler

– Because collagen is so important to the suppleness of the skin, dermatologists and aestheticians have found a way to return it to patients whose skin is collagen depleted. This is by making collagen a dermal filler that is injected into a dry, flat or wrinkled area of the face with a fine needle. Though other dermal fillers use substances such as polylactic acid or hyaluronic acid, collagen fillers have been in use for a longer amount of time and are still popular.

Kinds of Collagen

– The two types of collagen used as dermal fillers are made of bovine collagen or collagen taken from human cadavers. Both of these types of collagen are taken from the skin and highly purified. Despite this, the person who wants collagen fillers needs to be tested to make sure they are not allergic to these products. The allergy rate for collagen dermal fillers is about 3 to 4 percent.

– The allergy test takes about two months and consists of the dermatologist injecting microscopic amounts of collagen into the skin of the patient’s forearm. The patient also needs to answer questions the health practitioner has about their medical history.

The Procedure

– When the person has shown that they’re not allergic to collagen, they return to the specialist’s office. The specialist applies a topical numbing get to the places in the patient’s face that are to be given the injections. The syringe itself has both collagen and another anesthetic such as lidocaine. This helps to minimize the discomfort the patient may feel.

– The collagen is then injected into the dermis, where the patient’s own collagen is found. The treatment usually takes between 15 minutes and a half an hour, depending on how much of the face is treated.


– Dermal fillers are all outpatient procedures, so the patient can go home after they’ve rested a bit with an ice pack pressed to the injection areas. There will be some swelling for a couple of days, and if the patient bruises easily, they may experience some bruising. The treatment is very safe, but risks are an allergic reaction and an eruption of cold sores. The allergic reaction can even happen in people who passed the allergy test, though this is rare. A person who has a history of cold sores may want to get some anti-viral medication before they have the collagen injections to be on the safe side.

How Long Does Collagen Last?

Collagen is considered a temporary filler, and this is one of its benefits. Over time it is simply absorbed by the body. A person whose skin is very damaged might need to come back for a maintenance visit after two or three months, but a person whose skin is younger might not need a touch-up treatment for as long as 18 months. Areas that are moved around a lot, such as the eyebrows or the lips might also “use up” their store of collagen quickly. Smokers always find that their dermal fillers don’t last as long as other people’s.

– Dear readers, go to your nearest dermatology center if you really want to have healthy skin. But above all, do not forget to consume foods rich in collagen!

– Anne-Vasthi

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