What is collagen?
A key part (up to 80%) of the skin’s structure, collagen forms a network of fibres within the skin (acting like a framework).
Skin remains intact, moisturised and elastic during our younger years. As we age, this support structure weakens and the skin loses its elasticity and tone.
Movement, particularly the use of facial muscles (smiling, frowning, squinting etc.) to express ourselves does place a degree of stress on collagen in the skin. Over time a build-up of this kind of stress contributes to wrinkles and other facial lines and creases.
Can collagen creams smooth wrinkles?
Collagen creams are not formulated to be absorbed and only work on the skin’s surface (they cannot deeply penetrate the skin).
No cream containing collagen can undo the effect of collagen loss and make wrinkles disappear. Creams essentially work by slowing the rate of water loss from the skin, thus keeping it supple.
How do I know if I am an ideal candidate for wrinkle fillers?
If you are interested in a filler treatment you should consult with a qualified, certified and specifically trained dermatologist, plastic (cosmetic) surgeon, doctor or otolaryngologist. You and your specialist will discuss your medical history to determine if there are any flags or possible conditions that could lead to certain side effects or complications with a filler treatment.
You will also discuss the areas you wish to have treated and the type of results you are expecting. In some cases, certain lines, creases and scars may not be sufficiently treated with a filler and may need Botox instead. Your specialist should be able to assess whether you are an ideal candidate for fillers at this stage of your consultation.
As with any cosmetic treatment or procedure it is very important to have realistic expectations from the very beginning. This way you are more likely to be happy with the final result. Your specialist can also help you to understand what can be realistically achieved, and support their explanation with visuals of their previous work. One treatment may not be enough, and depending on the type of filler used, several treatments may need to be committed to, to achieve the results you desire.
A good tip is to decide on the area’s most important to you and from there, discuss how many treatments may be necessary to produce the result you would most like. Cost will be a factor, and should be discussed with your specialist. You will need to keep in mind that most cosmetic procedures are not covered by medical health insurance. It is advisable to have a very clear idea about all costs involved and if there are any payment options available to you before going ahead with treatment.
What will rule me out as a candidate for a filler treatment?
A specialist will likely advise against any filler treatment if:
- Your skin is inflamed or infected (if you have an inflammatory condition such as cysts, acne, rashes or hives)
- You have a bleeding disorder
- You already have severe allergies (especially to collagen, eggs or egg-derived products, animal products, bacteria or bacteria fermentation or lidocaine which can form part of the filler material) or have a history of anaphylaxis (acute allergic reactions).
- You have a joint, tendon or vascular disease affecting the hand.