What are the Different Collagen Treatments?

Harriette Halepis

Essentially, there are two types of collagen treatment procedures available: bovine injections and human injections. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of treatments that should be considered prior to scheduling a collagen treatment appointment. As with any other cosmetic procedure, it is wise to thoroughly research each type of collagen treatment.

A diagram of younger and older skin showing the decrease in collagen in older skin. Many collagen treatments are designed to replace or boost the production of this protein.
A diagram of younger and older skin showing the decrease in collagen in older skin. Many collagen treatments are designed to replace or boost the production of this protein.

Bovine collagen is derived from cow tissue. In most instances, this type of injection is well-received by human skin, though some skin types will reject bovine collagen right away. Thus, it is necessary for a medical doctor to perform a skin test prior to administering bovine collagen. Human collagen injections are derived from human donors. In order to create human collagen, tissue must be manipulated by bio-engineers. Once this product has been crafted, it can then be injected into human skin. Since human skin does not usually reject human collagen, a scratch test is not necessary.

A pot of collagen cream.
A pot of collagen cream.

As with any cosmetic treatment, there are side effects to any kind of collagen treatment. Some people may experience swelling, hardness of the skin, and a slight rash after an injection. Other people may have serious complications that include the migration of collagen from the injection area to other areas of the body. Another drawback of any collagen treatment is the fact that the benefits of these injections are short-lived. Additional appointments are necessary in order to maintain the look of collagen.

Benefits of receiving a collagen treatment include desired beauty results and the fact that collagen injections are relatively safe. Injections of this sort do not usually scar or cause infection. Due to the popularity of this type of medical procedure, collagen treatments are relatively inexpensive.

While it is legal in some countries for cosmetologists and spa personnel to administer collagen injections, it is wise to make an appointment with a qualified plastic surgeon. Plastic surgeons can provide immediate medical treatments should a procedure require quick attention. Further, most plastic surgeons have a large amount of experience with cosmetic procedures of this kind.

To find a qualified surgeon, ask friends and family members for referrals, and search for a surgeon who specializes in this type of treatment. Deciding between bovine and human injections is largely a matter of personal preference, though a well-qualified specialist should be able to provide patients with a well-informed opinion. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each type of collagen treatment prior to scheduling any kind of appointment.

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Discussion Comments


@MikeMason-- Yes, porcine (pig) collagen facial treatments are becoming more popular now but I think that even these will be out of favor soon. Hyaluronic acid injections are said to give better results than collagen injections so more people are opting for those now.


Do not allow anyone other than a doctor to administer collagen injections!

My sister had collagen injection treatments done when she went to Eastern Europe because they're cheaper there. She had it done at a beauty spa by a beautician. The results were disastrous. The injection sites became infected and she developed weird lumps underneath her skin. She has had to have three treatments by plastic surgeons to remove the collagen and treat her infections. If the infections hadn't been treated, the complications could have even cost her her life! Collagen treatments are like surgical treatments, they're nothing to take lightly! And please get allergy tests before the procedure to make sure that you're not allergic to the fillers!

After seeing what happened to my sister, I feel like it's my duty to warn people.


What about collagen from pigs?

I think bovine collagen skin treatments are out of favor now because too many people have experienced an allergic reaction to bovine collagen. I've heard that collagen from pigs is being used more frequently now.

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