Ageing causes changes in the facial contour, especially hollowness of the cheeks caused by fat loss and accentuated by fat accumulation in the jowls. In addition, movement creates creases, especially between the nose and mouth. The lips shrink over time, producing lines about the mouth and loss of lip ‘pout’. Facial implants can be surgically inserted or injected to remedy many of these problems.
Collagen injectionsCollagen injections have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Collagen, which is derived from calf skin, is injected into wrinkle lines, scars and lips.Two types of collagen are used, called Zyderm and Zyplast. Zyderm is a very fine collagen and is useful for fine lines around the eyes and mouth. Zyplast, on the other hand, is a coarse, dense collagen which is more suitable for deep furrows and acne scars. It is especially useful for lip augmentation.Although collagen is a safe and effective filling substance, it only lasts for four to six months. Allergic reactions are possible so collagen must be tested twice before being injected into the face. Because collagen implantation is very simply performed, many people request collagen rather than a more appropriate procedure such as face-lifting or chemical peeling. Collagen is certainly not a substitute for some of the other cosmetic operations.To try and overcome the cost and allergic potential of calf collagen, several techniques are now available to remove a person’s own collagen and then inject it into his or her own wrinkle lines. This technique is still very new, so the long-term results are not yet known.
Silicone implantsAlthough silicone rubber is still the major material used in cheek and chin implants, liquid silicone has largely been abandoned as a filling material for facial wrinkles and contour correction. Although pure grade medical silicone was excellent and safe for facial augmentation, the recent media publicity concerning breast implants has created such adverse reaction among health officials that its use is becoming increasingly prohibited. If silicone is used, it is important that only microscopic amounts of silicone are used. If too much silicone is injected, beading can occur, and if impure silicone is used, severe reactions such as lumpiness of the skin are possible. The main advantages of silicone are that it is inexpensive and permanent.

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