The Truth about Collagen Injections
Anyone who is considering collagen injections for the first time wants to know the following: Is the procedure painful? Will the collagen be bumpy under the skin? How long will the results last? And most important, will I look so bad afterward that? Will I have to miss that great party?
For starters, collagen injections are one of the most comfortable procedures out there, thanks to the lidocaine, a local anesthetic, that’s already premixed in the syringe. To make the entire process completely painless, a patient can choose to numb the area that will be treated with a thick coating of a cream that also contains lidocaine. Some patients choose to undergo the procedure without this extra step, while others happily ask for it and use the additional thirty minutes of waiting time to catch up on their magazines. The cream is then removed, the procedure is performed, and the skin remains numb for approximately an hour afterward.
Some patients say they see results immediately; for others, it might take three to four days for the collagen to settle into the skin. It’s quite common for patients to have some redness on the first day, but that is easily camouflaged with makeup. On average, patients need to return every four months to maintain the effects. This doesn’t mean that the collagen has completely disappeared, but in order to maintain the original results, a touch-up is necessary. The good news is that those who start collagen treatments while still fairly young—for instance, in their thirties—may obtain nearly permanent results due to the constant stimulation of their own collagen.
Aside from everything you already know about bovine collagen, it’s important to note that you suffer no risk of contracting the “mad cow disease” that has plagued certain European countries. The company that manufactures Zyderm and Zyplast, the McGhan Medical Corporation, uses cows that have been raised on an isolated ranch in California. So erase that concern from your list!
• Zyderm I and Zyderm II: A non-cross-linked bovine collagen that is ideal for treating superficial wrinkles like horizontal forehead lines, crow’s feet, and shallow scars. As I mentioned earlier, these injections are premixed with lidocaine, a pain reliever, so that the procedure is minimally painful. Zyderm II is a more concentrated version of bovine collagen. Your physician can help you determine which version is right for you.
• Zyplast: This is cross-linked bovine collagen, meaning that the substance is thicker and more durable than Zyderm. It is ideal for deeper wrinkles and furrows, nasolabial folds, and deep scars, and for enhancing the lip line.