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Featured article pertaining to Lip Augmentation, Lip Enhancement and Juvederm

The Historic Use of Bovine Collagen Injections For Facial Lines and Wrinkles
by: Dr Barry Eppley

Bovine( cow-derived) injectable collagen (ZyDerm 1, ZyDerm 2, and ZyPlast) has been around longer than any other injectable filler. In fact, they were the first injectable fillers approved by the FDA way back in 1981. There were unrivaled until 2002 when the first hyaluon-based injectable fillers came unto the market. As a result, they are the 'granddaddy' of all injectable fillers and are what every injectable filler since has been compared to in FDA pre-market testing. From an FDA standpoint, they are what is viewed as the 'predicate device'. (which means to a patient..... you must at least be as good to be an approved product, but being even better) Injectable bovine collagen comes in different formulations based on how much collagen is present per cc and how it is cross-linked for durability. Zyplast is more 'concentrated' than Zyderm and is meant to be used below the skin...versus Zyderm which is meant to be put directly into the skin.

Because of its age and 'older technology', it is the least expensive of the many types of injectable fillers currently available.. But it has two distinct disadvantages...Unfortunately, around 3 to 6 percent of people will develop an allergic reaction due to the differences between human and cow collagen. As a result, everyone must have a skin test prior to an injection session. Only if no reaction is observed at the injection site after four weeks should one be injected. Unfortunately still, some patients who have had a negative skin test will still go on to have an allergic reaction. Because of these potential allergic reactions, people with connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and dermatomyositis should never receive bovine collagen injections. The second disadvantage is that it doesn't last very long, usually only 6 to 12 weeks. It is rapidly broken shortly after being injected as the body's enzymes do not recognize it as 'self' and begins dissolving it fairly quickly.

While pure bovine collagen injections are almost of historic significance only ( at least in my mind), being surpassed by every new injectable filler in terms of longevity and less reactivity, it has established some important principles to which modern-day injectable fillers should strive to achieve. These include the ease of injection through a very small (30 gauge) needle, the combination with the local anesthetic lidocaine, and establishing the public's awareness of the simplicity and effectiveness of cosmetic injection therapy for facial lines and wrinkles.

Dr Barry Eppley is a board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana at Clarian Health Systems. ( He writes a daily blog on plastic surgery, spa therapies, and medical skin care at

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