The Collagen Treatment Process
Collagen treatment is one of the quickest and most effective cosmetic enhancements available. In less than 15 minutes, you can dramatically reduce signs of aging, or have fuller, more sensuous lips. Below we have provided an outline of the treatment process to help you decide if collagen treatment is a good cosmetic option for you.
Because collagen is a natural substance and requires no surgery to achieve results, collagen treatment is one of the safest ways for people to enhance their appearance. Candidates for collagen treatment include people beginning to notice smile lines around the mouth, creases and lines on the forehead, and deepening furrows between the brows. As an added benefit, collagen can provide lip enhancement, making lips fuller and more voluptuous. In general, people who choose collagen treatment are looking to “refresh” or enhance their appearance rather than treat more advanced signs of aging.
General Collagen Treatment Requirements
Before a patient receives collagen injections, steps should be taken to avoid complications and help ensure excellent results. After reviewing the patient's medical history during the initial consult to see if there are any factors that could lead to complications, the doctor generally performs a skin test to determine whether the patient might develop an allergic reaction to collagen. During the test, a very small amount of collagen is injected into the forearm, and the area is then monitored for roughly one month. If swelling, redness, or itching develops during this time, the patient is probably not a good candidate for collagen treatment. If the patient is eligible, the doctor may provide instructions regarding diet, nutrition, smoking, and drinking. Following these instructions is a crucial part of achieving optimal results.
Is Collagen Right for Me?
If you are in good health, between the ages of 35 and 60, and still have relatively flexible skin, you are probably a good candidate for collagen treatment. However, as with all cosmetic procedures, it is important for anyone considering injections to have a realistic understanding of what collagen can accomplish. You should bear in mind that collagen treatment is intended to address moderate, relatively early signs of aging. While it can be an excellent way to minimize or even eliminate certain facial lines and wrinkles, collagen is not intended as an antidote to advanced aging or more serious cosmetic problems. People with particularly deep facial lines or substantial skin sagging, for instance, should probably consider more aggressive surgical options, such as a facelift or a brow lift.
Medical and Health Considerations
During the initial consultation, doctors carefully review the medical history of prospective patients to make sure they meet the basic criteria for collagen treatment. Most people who are in good health are good candidates for injections. In some cases, however, existing medical conditions or physical situations make the use of collagen inadvisable. Women who are pregnant or nursing, for example, should postpone treatment, and people with certain autoimmune diseases should avoid the use of collagen altogether. Additionally, since most of the collagen used in cosmetic procedures is derived from cows, patients with an allergy to bovine products should ensure their doctor is using human-based collagen instead. Lidocaine, a natural anesthetic, is also contained in collagen; anyone allergic to this substance should also inquire about cosmetic filler alternatives.
Preparing for Collagen Treatment
Prior to collagen treatment, the patient is first given a skin test to detect for a possible allergic reaction to the collagen material. The physician injects a small amount of collagen into an inconspicuous location on the patient's body, and the patient monitors the area for about a week. About 97 percent of patients show no allergic reaction. Whether or not an allergic reaction occurs will help determine the type of collagen used during treatment.
The Collagen Injection Process
Collagen treatment involves one or more injections of collagen into a specific area. Some patients find the injections slightly uncomfortable; especially injections performed on the lips or around the nose. A topical anesthetic can be applied to the injection area to minimize pain. Some types of collagen contain a small amount of lidocaine, which also helps to numb the injection area. Most treatments take less than an hour and can be accomplished during a lunch break.
Following Collagen Treatment – What to Expect
Immediately after the treatment there may be some temporary bruising, puffiness, or tenderness around the injection site. This is normal and gradually subsides in a few days. Patients can resume their day-to-day activities almost immediately following treatment. The longevity of a collagen treatment varies, lasting anywhere from six weeks to six months or more. Over time, the body will naturally absorb the collagen, and additional treatments will be necessary to maintain the aesthetic enhancement.
Maintaining results from collagen treatment largely depends on the types of collagen fillers used. Bovine collagen treatment results typically last around six to twelve weeks; Autologen and Isolagen collagen treatments are generally performed in intervals for steady aesthetic improvement, with results ultimately lasting several months in many cases. The results of initial Dermalogen collagen treatments typically dissipate after several months.
Most collagen treatments require "touch up" injections two to four times a year to maintain results.
Locate a Cosmetic Dermatologist Near You
The collagen treatment process is fast, quick-to-heal, and provides almost immediate results as it fills lines and wrinkles. To learn if you are a good candidate for collagen treatment, contact a dermatologist near you through the DocShop website, a comprehensive resource that can help you find a doctor in your area for your cosmetic and dermatological needs.