Collagen dermal fillers
The human body produces collagen as the main protein of connective tissues and make up 25% to 30% of the body's entire protein content.
Modern cosmetic procedures have found collagen, when injected as dermal filler under the skin, can have both temporary and lasting benefits in combating skin aberrations caused by age and scarring.
First discovered in 1908 as an injectable dermal fillers, it is now used for treating aging skin around the lips, eyes, nasolabial folds, crow's feet and frown lines on the forehead. There are basically two sources of collagen dermal fillers – natural from either humans or cows (bovine collagens) and synthetically produced. Both are FDA-approved as safe and effective for cosmetic use.
Human-Based Collagen Dermal Fillers
Human-based collagen dermal fillers are commercially sold as Autologen, Fascian, CosmoDerm, CosmoPlast, and Cymetra. They are often used to build-up mass or volume under the skin such as enhancing or augmenting thin or narrow lips to make them fuller, pumping up scarred skin depressions and smoothing skin by erasing skin creases, frown lines, crow's feet, baggy eyes and eliminate nasolabial fold (the grove from your nostril sides to the mouth tips.)
Because human-derived collagen dermal fillers are bio-compatible, their cosmetic benefits last longer than other collagen sources, typically 6 months to several years before the next touch-up is needed. Over time, collagen accumulates and successive treatments progressively require lesser amounts of collagen dermal fillers. However, the initial injection is always overfilled as about 40% of the substance gets absorbed or dissipates under the skin in a relatively short time, usually in a few days.
Bovine-Based Collagen Dermal Fillers
Bovine-derived collagen dermal fillers are known by the brands Zyderm and Zyplast. They are extracted from cows, thus the name. They offer the same benefits that can be had as human-based collagens but are cheaper to obtain.
But many patients have been documented to exhibit allergic reactions which necessitate administering allergy tests before proceeding with bovine-based collagen dermal fillers. Just like human-derived collagen dermal fillers, the beneficial effects of bovine-based collagen can last from a few months to years with regular touch-ups. And the same 40% collagen over-filling is done in the initial treatment to anticipate dissipation and absorption to the body.
The brand name ArteFil is an artificially enhanced Bovine-based collagen dermal filler that contains synthesized PMMA (Polymethylmethcrylate) microspheres clinically tested to flatten skin folds and grooves such as the nasolabial lines running from the nostril sides to the mouth corners or smile lines for a younger look. FDA-approved in October 2006, this specific bovine collagen dermal filler gives immediate results and can last up to 5 years or more with continued collagen build-up with regular injections. This is often considered a permanent collagen based filler.
Pig or Porcine based Collagen
A new type of collagen dermal filler taken from pigs is the latest to be approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in June 2008. Porcine-based Evolence is a brand name and does the same job as bovine based collagen but is more commonly used to treat milder facial wrinkles and folds with the same volume-building action when injected under the skin.
Unlike bovine based collage, porcine derived collagen dermal filler does not require allergy testing in patients as it is the most genetically similar to human collagen. Its cosmetic results can last from a few months to a year.
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