What Happened to Collagen Fillers?

In La Jolla

By Nasrin Mani, M.D.

For those of us you are “old enough”, the advent of the collagen filler was really exciting. The first collagen fillers were actually purified cowhide. But it filled the wrinkles and that was in itself thrilling.

The negative associated with bovine collagen (see what a nice term they used instead?) was that you had to have two allergy tests before you could get a treatment. Although rare, bovine allergies were unpleasant at best and disfiguring at worst, so the safeguard was necessary. The product itself was purified intensively – the allergy came from the protein in the collagen and some people simply were allergic.

Then we had the issue of longevity. Bovine collagen seldom lasted more than 3 months; so between the testing and the frequent injection schedule, it was obvious patients were eventually going to demand something better.

Then along came human derived collagen. Actually this was sourced from cadavers – an “ick” factor that was always in the background, but there was no allergy problem. Still, even this collagen lasted a few months at most.

A long term collagen (porcine derived = pig) was a great addition. Lasted half a year, no allergy, no swelling; but it came on the market at the beginning of the recession and simply didn’t have the financial backing to stay available.

So we lost all the collagens and they’ve been replaced by an expanding selection of allergy-free hyaluronic gels and the most wonderful Sculptra which prompts your skin to make its OWN new collagen.

Another big success in the filler market is Artefill. For all practical purposes, Artefill is permanent. The carrier for the Artefill permanent beads is bovine collagen and that component is NOT permanent; again you will need testing to rule out an allergy to the collagen, but the filler beads are inert and biocompatible so they are safe and non allergenic.

At La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic, we make every attempt to bring you the most successful cosmetic treatments available from the most highly regarded providers in the medical arena. Call us today for a free consultation.

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