4 collagen alternatives that may work for you

Collagen is no longer the gold standard of facial fillers. Newer options may last longer, with less risk of side effects. Here's some important info to think about when choosing a "filler."

4 collagen alternatives that may work for you

1. Collagen

  • Collagen injections are mankind's attempt to undo gravity's effects on the face, adding back plumpness and smoothness that nature stole.
  • Derived from connective tissue in cows, collagen has been the primary "line filler" of choice for decades.
  • It works, but it only lasts about three months on average.
  • Some people experience allergic reactions to collagen.

2. Hyaluronic acid

  • Fillers made of hyaluronic acid, a dissolvable complex sugar, last for up to a year. After four to 12 months, the filler is broken down and eliminated from the system.
  • Unlike collagen, which comes from cows, hyaluronic acid is not of animal origin, so allergic reactions are highly unlikely.

3. Restylane

  • In one study, researchers treated 138 patients with Restylaneon one side of their faces and collagen on the other. Both were equally effective at first, but after six months, most patients thought Restylane worked better.
  • Another study suggests that injecting Restylane into the skin stretches fibroblasts, young skin cells that make collagen.
  • Restylane treatments may more closely resemble those of younger skin and are better able to produce collagen.
  • With Restylane, the effects last longer, even after the filler dissolves, because the stretched fibroblasts continue to produce more collagen.

4. Juvederm

  • In 2006, the FDA approved Juvederm, and the results have been promising.
  • In one study, 90 percent of those who received Juvederm reported significant improvement in the appearance of wrinkles, compared to only 36 to 45 percent of those who received collagen.
  • Many other injectables are currently available, and still others are under investigation.
  • Side effects of injections, which include swelling and bruising, are usually the fault of the doctor's technique, not the filler used.

Collagen, the quick way to teat wrinkles, may seem like a miracle treatment. But that isn't necessarily the case. There are other options to choose from. Weigh the positives against the negatives before you go in. That way, you can make the decision that's right for you.

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