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What are Common Collagen Side Effects?

Autumn Rivers
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Collagen can be an effective way to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines, or at least reduce their appearance. It can also be used to add volume to various parts of the face, such as lips and cheeks. This substance can be used in various forms, depending on the expectations of the user and their budget. Most forms are quite effective, but they can carry side effects. The collagen side effects do depend on how the substance is introduced to the body, but they range from redness and swelling to infections and skin discoloration.

Products with collagen in them, including lotions and creams, are some of the most common forms of this substance. Many people purchase them from drugstores, eager to get rid of wrinkles. The good news is that they typically do not carry side effects that have anything to do with the collagen in them, so users should not worry about this form. The bad news is that this is because they are not usually effective in battling wrinkles since the collagen in creams is too large to permeate the skin. Additionally, those with sensitive skin or allergies may break out in a rash due to other ingredients of such creams.

Some people choose to receive collagen injections in order to plump up their lips and make their cheeks fuller. One of the most common collagen side effects from injections includes excess swelling in and around the affected area. This occurs most often after the first injection since it sometimes takes the skin some time to get used to the substance. Swelling is sometimes accompanied by pain, but both should go away shortly after the injection. If these side effects do not disappear within days of the treatment, it is usually time to call a doctor since they could be signs of an infection.

Itchiness is another of the most common collagen side effects, and can also result in redness of the skin. A particularly severe effect is discoloration, which is usually temporary but should still be treated by a doctor. In some cases of patients with light, sensitive skin, scarring is a possibility after an injection, but this is quite rare.

Sometimes collagen injections result in a lumpy, uneven surface. To prevent this from going undetected, many doctors request that the patient either wait in the office after the procedure, or come back the next day to make sure the injections went well. This may help prevent long-term, irreversible collagen side effects from occurring.

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Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

Discussion Comments

By anon319599 — On Feb 13, 2013

I would like to know if capsule collagen affects scar tissue from previous treatment of radiation in the pelvic area?

By fify — On Apr 01, 2012

I've used collagen lip and face fillers several times before. The areas where I had the collagen injected were painful and really sensitive for several weeks afterward. I've even had it where my lips looked misshaped for six months because the collagen was not injected properly and evenly.

Allergies were not a problem though and I don't think it should be for anyone because the doctor is supposed to do an allergy test with the collagen before the procedure. If you don't get tested for allergies first, then there is something wrong there.

The side effects are usually the results of the injection needle going in and any problems with the procedure itself.

By ddljohn — On Mar 31, 2012

@turkay1-- I think you're right. As far as I know, human collagen is available, but it's expensive so the collagen that's usually used for collagen injections comes from animals, like cows.

So yeah, it's possible for the body to see it as a foreign substance and the initial swelling is probably because of that. But it should go away, it shouldn't be persistent. I know someone whose swelling would not go away and he had an allergic reaction to the collagen.

If there is no allergic reaction, the swelling disappears and the body very slowly absorbs the collagen.

By candyquilt — On Mar 31, 2012

Many famous names now use collagen on their face. Even young women do now to enhance their lips. But they make the mistake of going in front of the media before all the swelling goes down. It looks so bad!

I just saw a young actress in the news this way yesterday. She clearly had a collagen injection done on her upper lips because it was unbelievably swollen. Her upper lips were twice the size of her lower lips!

Collagen is a natural substance that our body produces right? So are the collagen products made from human collagen? If it's not, that might be why it causes so much swelling, because the body doesn't recognize it?

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for The Health Board, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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