- Antiaging Tips & Secrets Slideshow Pictures
- Cosmetic Surgery Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Skin Quiz
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Introduction to collagen injections and injectable fillers
- What are collagen injections?
- Why do lines appear?
- How do collagen injections work?
- Other injectable fillers
- What can I expect with collagen injections?
- How many injections will I need?
- Who is a good candidate for collagen injections or injectable fillers?
- Why aren't creams containing collagen enough to smooth out lines?
Quick GuideNon-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures for the Face Slideshow: Before-and-After Pictures
Collagen injections give your skin a plumper, smoother appearance. Although collagen is the best known filler, there are many other substances doctors can use to plump up your skin, including fat from your own body and synthetic materials. Below you will find a detailed explanation of how collagen works, followed by a list of other injectable fillers your doctor may recommend.
To understand collagen, you should first understand your skin.
Skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis). The upper-most layer, known as the epidermis, controls the loss of water from cells and tissue. Without this protective barrier, the body would quickly dehydrate.
Just below the epidermis lies the second layer, the dermis. The dermis, although it contains blood vessels, nerves and hair follicles, is primarily made up of a protein called "collagen." This protein forms a network of fibers that provides a framework for the growth of cells and blood vessels. Because it is the primary component of the dermis, collagen acts as the support structure for the skin. The hypodermis is a layer of fat and connective tissue that contains larger blood vessels and nerves. It also hosts sweat glands, fat, and collagen cells. The hypodermis is responsible for conserving your body's heat and protecting your vital inner organs.
Why Do Lines Appear on Skin?
In young skin, the collagen framework is intact and the skin remains moisturized and elastic. It's resilient to the many facial expressions we adopt as well as everyday environmental exposure. But, over time, the support structure weakens and the skin loses its elasticity. The skin begins to lose its tone as the collagen support wears down. Every time you smile, frown or squint, you put stress on the collagen in your skin. The effect of these facial expressions is cumulative and facial lines begin to appear.