Collagen Filler Types
The many different types of collagen fillers have advantages and disadvantages in terms of their composition, price, duration of effect and other factors. With research and discussion with your physician, you can determine the collagen filler that will work best for you.
Bovine collagen is one of the most common types of collagen fillers, and it can effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other facial imperfections. Extracted from the skin of cows, bovine collagen is purified and sterilized, then liquefied in preparation for cosmetic treatment. Typically the least expensive of collagen fillers, bovine collagen injections generally cost from about $250 to $800 per session. Branded bovine-based collagen fillers are Zyderm® and Zyplast®, and Artefill (Artecoll®). Results can last from six weeks to a year, depending on the patient and which brand of collagen he or she is treated with. Allergic reactions and connective tissue disorders, such as lupus and/or arthritis, are risk factors associated with bovine collagen treatments. Patients are tested for allergies, and their physician should carefully examine their medical history before treatment.
This type of collagen is derived from your own skin, harvested during a previous operation. The skin is sent to a lab, where the collagen is extracted, sterilized, and liquefied for re-injection. Autologen typically requires no allergy testing because it is a natural collagen found in the human body. This makes it an excellent alternative for patients who cannot tolerate a bovine collagen treatment. Autologen is popular for lip augmentation, and lasts longer than bovine collagen. However, it may cost a bit more than bovine collagen, typically from about $800 to $1000 per session.
Isolagen is another of the collagen types that are derived from your own skin. However, instead of being made from skin harvested during an operation, Isolagen is made by cloning collagen-making cells taken from behind your ear. Isolagen collagen injections are typically performed in intervals of about two weeks, and results steadily improve over time. Since Isolagen does not contain animal proteins, there is considerably less risk of an allergic reaction. Isolagen treatments are more expensive than bovine and Autologen injections, costing around $1000 to $1500 per session.
This collagen is taken from deceased human donors and subsequently sterilized and processed. The main benefits of using donated human collagen are that it may last longer than bovine types of collagen, and the risks of allergic reactions are minimized. Human-based collagen fillers such as Dermalogen do not require extensive preparation time. Also, because Dermalogen is human-based, there is no need for an allergy test. However, if a patient is allergic to lidocaine or other numbing agents, the patient should inform his or her physician before having treatment. The cost of Dermalogen treatments ranges from $500 to $1000 per session.
For more information on treatment costs and financing your collagen treatment, visit our collagen injection cost page.
What Type of Collagen Filler is Right for Me?
Of the two broad categories of collagen fillers, bovine and human, treatment with bovine-derived products such as Zyderm® and Zyplast® is usually the least expensive. However, because the collagen is not human-based, the risk of allergic reaction is higher. Additionally, the results of bovine collagen treatments tend to disappear more quickly than the results of human-based-collagen treatments. Isolagen is the most expensive collagen treatment because extensive laboratory work is required to create the collagen. However, because Isolagen is comprised of live cells that are cloned from your own tissue, the results last longer, sometimes up to several months following an injection. CosmoDerm™ and CosmoPlast™ are two other dermal fillers created from purified human collagen.
There are also hybrid forms of collagen available. Artefill® (known in Europe as Artecoll®), is a mixture of bovine collagen and homogeneous polymethylmethacrylate microspheres, which are tiny plastic spheres. As the injected collagen breaks down, the spheres reportedly not only help maintain the desired results much longer, but also stimulate natural collagen production. According to the manufacturer, Artefill® injections are not temporary fixes, but nearly permanent solutions.
Questions About Collagen Treatment? Ask a Physician in Your Area
The best way to determine which of the many types of collagen fillers is the ideal treatment for you is to consult a dermatologist in your area. You can do this through DocShop, a patient education resource that informs you on a wide variety of treatments, from plastic surgery to cosmetic dentistry to vision treatment and more.