Collagen injection is a type of cosmetic procedure that augments skin and soft tissue to make them firmer and younger looking. The benefits of collagen injections are that collagen is a natural substance to be in the body so it incorporates with the body and doesn't degrade as quickly over time, there aren't serious complications or side effects, and it is a non-invasive procedure. Collagen injections are used to improve unsightly scars and fill in cheeks that have sunken in.
Different types of collagen fillers have different advantages. Zyderm is a bovine collagen that lasts for six to ten months and is used for shallow scars.
Zyplast is another bovine collagen, but is crossed with a heavier filler so it lasts longer than Zyderm (nine months to a year.) These two are easy to implant and are not often abused but certain patients can have allergic reactions to the collagen.
Fibrel is a filler containing gelatin, amino caprotic acid and plasma or saline and lidocaine. Its effects are seen for one to five years and is a good alternative for people who are allergic to Zyderm and Zyplast.
Artecoll is a synthetic filler consisting of polymethyl methacrylate microspheres (PMMA), collagen, lidocaine and saline. After the collagen degrades, the PMMA spheres are left. It has been shown to be reliable and long lasting in European markets but has yet to be released in the United States.
Hylan B gel is another filler made from substances in rooster coxcombs. It lasts nine months to a year but requires a series of injections rather than just one session and, again, has not yet been released in the United States.
Resoplast is another bovine collagen similar to Zyderm and causing the same allergic reactions.
Autologen is a filler made from autologous collagen which resists enzymatic degradation and allergic reactions and has been shown to last for over a year. Similarly, Isolagen is autologous collagen taken from the patient and prepared for intradermal injection. Isolagen has not been fully tested yet. AlloDerm is, in fact, not an injection at all, but is a dermal sheet and has been used mostly for burn victims and patients undergoing oral surgery.
Finally there are fat injections. These take time and careful preparation before they can be used. The fat is removed from a region such as the abdomen, thighs, knees, or backside. The fat has to be purified, washed, separated, centrifuged and prepared before use.