What is Collagen?
Collagen is a connective tissue protein found in many parts of the body. In the skin, it is one of the primary components that gives it elasticity and is replenished at a relatively rapid rate. As we age, production of collagen naturally slows. This causes skin to lose its inherent elasticity and gives way to gravity and muscle contraction, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. An attempt to combat this natural process of aging, many physicians started injecting collagen into certain areas of the face in order to smooth wrinkles and improve appearance.
Unfortunately, collagen has several drawbacks. First, collagen causes allergic reactions in some patients. While the risk is relatively rare (1-4%), it can be quite severe and therefore requires pin-prick skin testing a month in advance. Another drawback of collagen is its derivation from bovine, porcine and human sources. Many patients now prefer products that are not derived from animals and fellow human beings! Also, the injection is usually felt as a burning, or stinging sensation that can be uncomfortable. Finally, collagen can cause obvious redness around the treatment area, and the product typically only lasts for 3-6 months. These shortcomings have led to intense research into newer, improved products and methods.
Collagen vs. HA Fillers
Currrently, the most popular fillers in the world are comprised of hyaluronic acid. This substance is a naturally-occurring, biodegradable carbohydrate that is already a major component of innate human skin. It promotes the health of skin cells and improves hydration. Medical manufacturers and plastic surgeons have discovered that hyaluronic acid products such as Juvéderm and Restylane can give their patients safer, more comfortable, better-looking and longer-lasting results than their predecessor, collagen. Columbus, Ohio, patients are enjoying these benefits everyday as they virtually erase wrinkles and fine lines from their face. But what are the inherent differences that make Juvéderm and Restylane superior to collagen?
Compared to collagen, hyaluronic acid:
- lasts longer,
- does not have the same risk of allergic reaction,
- does not require pin-prick skin testing,
- does not cause as much redness
- is not derived from animal or human sources
- is more comfortable (contains lidocaine)
- has an improved mechanism of action.
Juvéderm and Restylane produce results that routinely last over six months, and sometimes more than a year after injection. This duration is two to four times longer than collagen injections. The newest formulations, termed Juvéderm-XC and Restylane-L contain lidocaine – a numbing agent that eliminates the burning and stinging sensation that many patients experienced with collagen. They also do not require the same extensive testing for allergic reaction as collagen. Columbus, Ohio, patients benefit from the dual action of hyaluronic acid: it acts by plumping skin (similar to collagen), but also traps water in large molecules, which helps the results last longer.
For patients looking for the anti-aging effects of collagen, Columbus, Ohio, plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Donaldson, is pleased to offer a superior alternative. Contact Dr. Donaldson and his team of friendly professionals to determine whether Juvéderm or Restylane would be right for you.