A treatment using human collagen derived from the patient’s own skin. It is processed in a laboratory setting and used via injections for filling out lines and wrinkles.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which Areas Can Be Treated with Autologous Collagen?
- How Long Does Autologous Collagen Last?
- How is Autologous Collagen Treatment Performed?
- Pros and Cons of Autologous Collagen
Which Areas Can Be Treated with Autologous Collagen?
Collagen is the natural protein contained in the skin’s connective tissue. Since it’s your own bodily tissue, autologous collagen can be injected in most parts of the body. It cannot be used on areas which are infected or necrotic (necrosis is where prematurely dead tissue forms). This procedure is mainly used to cosmetically enhance facial skin and to eliminate lines and wrinkles.
Facial areas which can be treated include crow’s feet, upper and lower eye wrinkles, nasolabial folds (nose to mouth lines) and forehead lines, lines around the mouth and between the eyebrows, frown lines and marionette lines. It can also be used for lip augmentation. If autologous collagen is being used to treat acne scarring, this is often located on the patients face or upper back.
How Long Does Autologous Collagen Last?
The cosmetic benefits are visible within a couple of weeks following the treatment and gradually improve. How long the results last varies among patients, depending on how quick the body absorbs its own collagen. This can depend on your skin type and external environmental factors but results usually last between 4 to 9 months. Autologous injections may last longer than bovine collagen. Either way, the treatment is not a permanent fix. You will require touch up treatments to maintain the results.
How is Autologous Collagen Treatment Performed?
Autologous collagen means that it’s derived from your own body, unlike bovine collagen (derived from cows) or donated human collagen (such as Dermolagen). The doctor removes a piece of skin from a donor site on your body (usually the lower hip). It can also be obtained from skin excised during other plastic surgery procedures such as the breast lift, breast reduction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or face lift. The skin is processed to remove collagen.
Autologen is a company which processes skin into collagen injections. The amount available will depend on how much skin was removed. If you did not have plastic surgery to start with, the doctor will usually take an inch of skin from your hip area. If you had skin removed from other surgery, the collagen from this skin can be stored in a laboratory for up to five years to supply future autologous collagen treatments. The processed collagen is prepared in syringes, ready for injection.
Pros and Cons of Autologous Collagen
Since the treatment uses collagen derived from your own skin, there is no risk of an allergic reaction and, unlike bovine or donor collagen, there is no need for an allergy test prior to injection. Whilst it may last longer than cow hide (bovine) products the substance is naturally reabsorbed by the body. It will not last as long as synthetic solutions such as radiance for example. A disadvantage is that it requires an excision in your skin, leaving you with unnecessary scarring (unless you’re using skin which has been removed from prior surgery). Autologous collagen is also more expensive than other products due to the skin removal, processing and cryo-freezing of surplus collagen.
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