People who get collagen injections seek a smoother, plumper appearance for their skin, which gives them a more youthful appearance, but collagen injections are also often used to plump thin lips. A New York plastic surgery consultant told the New York Times that Angelina Jolie's mouth has done for lips what Jennifer Lopez's rear did for butts -- everyone wants Jolie's plump lips [source: Singer].
But collagen injections can also be beneficial for people with scars, acne, gaunt cheeks, wrinkles and other imperfections. The collagen is injected under the scar and smoothes the skin, promoting collagen growth and helping the patient feel less self-conscious [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
There are many types of collagen and collagen products available on the market. One such product is bovine collagen fillers. Made from the skin of cows and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1982, this option is less costly but has a higher percentage of skin allergies associated with it. People undergoing this treatment are tested in advance to avoid an allergic reaction [source: WebMD]. Some people prefer bovine collagen because the body absorbs it more slowly than human collagen.
Human collagen is also available and normally doesn't cause allergic reactions; however, it can be more costly to produce. Both bovine and human collagen products are biodegradable and temporary. Synthetic collagen options are also available and are often made in a laboratory by combining human or bovine collagen with chemicals that make the product unable to break down once it's injected. Synthetic collagen will remain in the body for a longer period than biodegradable collagen. The FDA has approved many natural and synthetic collagens [source: Tholpady].
Before receiving a collagen injection, patients should consult a doctor and discuss the expected outcome and the number of sessions necessary [source: MedicineNet]. Read on to learn more about the overall cost of collagen injections.