Collagen Injection Alternatives - What Works Best?

My Dermatologist friend said that collagen injected is passe. You can now get better aleternatives. What are these?  do you agree they are better then collagen?

Doctor Answers 11

There are several excellent alternatives to collagen.

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Collagen used to be used frequently for a filler and to help plump up the lips. Several years ago we began using hyaluronic acid alternatives to the human and bovine collagen fillers. These are used to fill in the deeper creases, lines around the mouth and fill in the lips to plump them up. The fillers that my patients prefer are called Juvederm and Restylane. 

Longmont Facial Plastic Surgeon

Many Fillers Available

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There are many options available for filling in wrinkles and smoothing out the skin of your face. Most non-surgical procedures use a dermal filler. There are numerous types of dermal fillers on the market such as Radiesse, Restylane, Captique, Juvederm, and Arte-fill.

The administration procedure is painless, involving a few injections with a very tiny needle. They plump up wrinkles, effectively eliminating them, as well as smoothing tiny lines and other signs of aging. It is best to have a consultation to hear about each filler, some last longer than others and the costs vary. We have an office in San Francisco and Marin.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Collagen Alternatives

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For lip augmenation there a few alternatives to traditional collagen:

  • Evolence- Does not require testing and fairly good track record of safety
  • Thin HA's- Restylane and Juvederm Ultra both are silkiest of HA's approved in the US

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Collagen=History. There are a LOT of better fillers out there

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Collagen is of historical interest. There are a LOT better fillers out there. The hyaluronic acid class (Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm etc) are the leaders. They last long and yet do not require skin testing and can be dissolved if you are not happy with the result. Other fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse have their own indications and are superior to collagen as well.\

Dr. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Adult stem cells for lip enhancement

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I do not think  anybody is still using  Bovine collagen. The popular  effective synthetic fillers are made of hyluronic acid and marketed under different names.  Autogenous fat will be good filler but one has to go through a fat harvesting procedure. The most advanced filler material is Autogenous adult stem cell enhanced fat injuction, if you could afford the cost.

Zain Kadri, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Thin products are best to fill the lips

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Volumized naturally full lips are the goal with my lip filler patients.  Some people need more lip definition and others need more lip volume.  I find great satisfaction in filling the lips along with supporting structures that give lips their natural plumb look without overfilling them.

Restylane and Juvederm Ultra are all great products for the lips.  I do not use the thicker Hyaluronic Acids in the lips because they can overcorrect and not look natural.   I actually use Restylane the most because I like the flow characteristics and have had good success with it, but Juvederm Ultra is a great product.  Which filler you use is much less important than making sure you choose a physician who has had appropriate training.

Michael H. Swann, MD MSc

Michael H. Swann, MD
Springfield Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Injections for lip augmentation

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There are many good alternatives in injectable fillers for lip augmentation. Keep in mind that the lit tissue is very thin so that a dermal filler that is smooth and will not clump is very important. An excellent filler for this area is Juvederm. Juvederm applies very smoothly and can last between six and nine months. In our practice, patients appreciate the qualities of this filler in the lips.

Best Fillers for Lip Augmentation

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Hyaluronic acid fillers (such as Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm Ultra, and Juvederm Ultra Plus) are all great for use in the lips.  They each have their place and are used for different purposes.  For example, some patients have great definition of the lip and just need volume.  Other patients have volume, but have lost definition.  Finally, some patients have lost both volume and definition of the lip. 

Some physicians feel more comfortable with one product over another because of the flow characteristics of the product.  You should consult with your physician to have an evaluation of what you need and what products he/she feels comfortable using.

Joshua Zeichner, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist

Lip Augmentation Alternatives

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Alternatives to collagen injections to the lips include hyaluronic acid gels such as Juvederm Ultraplus or fat. Juvederm can be injected easily in the office, where I reserve fat injections as an ancillary procedure in the operating room. Both are safe, and both can have fairly long lasting effects. Collagen has fallen out of vogue for injections, though there are newer products on the horizon. I hope this helps.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Many options including new collagen fillers

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As Dr. Maddali points out there are many other fillers options available, and which one to use depends on where it is being used. Evolence is the newest collagen filler, which was approved for use in the US in June 2008 but has been in use in Europe for several years.

It is a purified porcine (pig) collagen as opposed to older bovine (cow) collagen and is crosslinked with a ribose (sugar) molecule. The manufacturer has indicated that it can last up to a year.

Unlike older collagen formulations, skin testing is not needed with Evolence. So the best alternative to collagen may just be collagen - in a newer form.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.