(kol’la-jen)-major protein of connective tissue, bone, cartilage, skin, tendons, scar tissue… It is not dissolvable in water. Different types of collagen exist in these different tissues & in different animals. When a wound or incision heals collagen fibers are created by cells near the wound & these fibers are crosslinked or weaved. This strengthens the sealing of the wound so the edges do not come apart. Thus if collagen production is insufficient wounds do not heal. If it is over exuberant unsightly scars such as keloids can be formed.
Injectable collagen is derived from cow skin. It is commonly injected under the skin surface to lighten or erase facial wrinkles or acne scars or make the vermillion border more prominent. Prior to injection a diluted test dose is injected, usually in the forearm, to ensure that no allergic reaction will occur. The test area is examined at 72 hours & four weeks looking for signs of redness, swelling or skin damage. The actual injection can then take place, 4 weeks after the initial test. The material is slowly degraded so that the results of injection last at most 3 to 6 months. Regular injections are required to maintain the results.