As we age, our faces develop character. In our society personal character is lauded, but facial character, well, that’s a different story. We look to facial collagen injections to recapture our youthful look and to diminish the effects of genetics and lifestyle.
Not wanting to opt for invasive, expensive surgical procedures such as face lifts, a much quicker, less expensive alternative are filler injections such as facial collagen injections, fat injections or Botox injections. In some cases these procedures can be performed while on a lunch break and the patient may return to work without much pain or discomfort. Let’s start with the basics.
What exactly are filler injections?
Wrinkle filler injections are just as the name indicates. It is a process whereby a substance is strategically injected into various areas of the face in order to fill in lines, furrows or hollow areas. The procedure is usually performed by a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. What, you may ask, are they injecting?
There are several fillers known as soft tissue fillers that may be injected. The decision as to which type of filler to use is something that the patient should discuss with their physician. The physician will take into consideration the patient’s medical history, such as allergies, chronic illness, family genetics, condition of the skin and exactly where the filler will be injected before determining which filler to use.
Types of facial injection fillers
Collagen: We seem to be most familiar with facial collagen injections. Collagen is derived from the patient’s own tissue or the collagen may be taken from a cow (purified of course). Collagen is actually a fibrous protein which can be found in bone, cartilage, tendon and other connective tissue. This protein is converted into a gelatin for use in the wrinkle filler injection.
What makes collagen facial injections so attractive is that collagen is less painful because the collagen is mixed with lidocaine, a local anesthetic. Additionally, the results are immediate and so is the recovery. A person can return to work right away.
Although this sounds like a panacea, keep in mind that approximately 3% of the people injected with collagen are allergic, therefore, all potential candidates must undergo a skin sensitivity test prior to the procedure. It takes four weeks before the results can be read. Even after testing negative to collagen sensitivity, approximately 1% of patients develop an allergic reaction after several uses.
The reaction can cause itching, swelling and redness. The symptoms are usually treated with steroid injections. anesthesia. However, approximately 3% of patients suffer with droopy eyelids. On rare occurrences, patients have suffered from uneven smiles or drooling, infection, nausea redness, swelling and bruising around the injection site. It is very important to have Botox administered by a doctor that is very familiar with the procedure.
Botox injections vary from $500 to $1,000 per session
Above are only three of the many wrinkle injection fillers available. There are other fillers options that have been approved by the FDA. If you are considering this procedure, I’d like re-emphasize that you should discuss all of your options with your physician.
Whether electing to have facial collagen injections, fat injections or Botox injections, pregnant or nursing women should postpone such procedures until after pregnancy and are no longer nursing.This document was first written in March of 2006. Procedure prices may have changed since this article was originally written.