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How Are Collagen Injections Different From Dermal Fillers?

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There are a wide array of anti-aging treatments available to smoothen out facial wrinkles, clear acne scars, and spruce up other extended signs of aging like a nasolabial fold. Injections are a non-invasive procedure that gives more benefits with fewer complications than plastic surgery. However, you have to choose a filling: collagen and injectable filler.

So what makes collagen injections different from dermal filler injections? While they are both delivered through injection and provide similar effects, dermal filler is a newer product that produces its results instantly, can last longer with maintenance treatments and may be reversed in the case of unsatisfactory results.

The Main Differences Between Dermal Fillers vs Collagen Injections

Even though they are nearly the exact same treatment, it's the details that bring out their own specific kind of beauty. Reviewing their differences is crucial to understanding which treatment to receive for your beauty goals.


Collagen injections are the older treatment of the two, It was first used with natural collagen from the patient but, recently, bovine collagen has been used for an easier procedure. Collagen injections, such as Sculptra Aesthetic, can also be composed of bio stimulators, compounds that are used to naturally increase collagen production in the injected area.

Meanwhile, dermal fillers are made up of a biodegradable gel made up of poly-L-lactic acid that is easily broken down by the body. The injectable filler provides instantaneous facial volume that lasts until it is completely finished. Dermal fillers come in two primary ingredients: hyaluronic acid and Calcium hydroxylapatite.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most popular dermal fillers in the market with products like Restylane Lyft and Juvederm Ultra that are specially designed to smoothen out wide areas of the face like the cheeks. The main component is a sugar found in the skin that assists in the skin’s hydration and texture.

Calcium hydroxylapatite is a compound found in the bone that also produces the same effect as a hyaluronic acid filler. Found in the dermal filler product, Radiesse, its synthetic nature gives it a longer duration than its other counterpart.


Increased collagen production from collagen injections will gradually but surely provide apple facial volume over a period of time. The benefits will slowly peak until 2 or 3 months.

Dermal fillers, aside from similar benefits, can clear up acne scars, reshape and redefine the chin and the jawline, correct minimal facial wrinkles, and provide small exact corrections to either side of the face. It can immediately provide subtle yet substantial volume right after it has been injected.

Target Areas

Collagen injections can be done in various wide areas of the face like the jawline, cheeks, and temples. They are effective in naturally lifting deep skin folds and wrinkles over a long period of time. It can be even used in the back of the hand to smoothen out the sagging skin in that area.

Dermal fillers, on the other hand, can be used across the face, especially sensitive areas like the lips and the under eye. It has a smoother consistency than collagen injectors and can be more easily injected to provide the perfect amount of facial volume in any area of the face. It's perfect for any small and minute volumes for an even face improvement.


The exact duration for either treatment is mostly dependent on how well the patient is able to maintain its effects and their current skin condition. The area of injection will also affect its duration. However, these injections are designed to have more than a year-long effect that will certainly last for more than 6 months.

Reportedly, collagen injections can last upwards of 5 years. The increased collagen production will eventually plateau and the added collagen will be spent by the skin. Additional collagen injections can substantially increase the longevity of the treatment.

Likewise, maintenance treatments for dermal filler injections are recommended to preserve their benefits and prolong its duration. Dermal filler used in smaller areas of the face like the lips may be spent first because the filler used is designed to be thinner.

Side Effects

Aside from complications due to overfilling and treating improper injection areas, the common side effects from dermal filler injections are minimal damage from the injection. The face hosts a large number of tiny blood vessels so even an expert injector may accidentally damage them, even with a microneedle. Hence, common side effects after the filler injection are:

  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Puckering

As an injection, collagen treatments have the same side effects as dermal fillers. However, since it directly agitates the collagen in the treated area, it has the added possible and uncommon side effects of skin peeling, scarring, or other markings, and the possibility of uneven skin. Fortunately, these can all be treatable by a doctor.

Specific Advantages of Dermal Fillers vs Collagen Injections

a woman received dermal filler injections at a beauty clinic

It’s required by law for dermatologists to test if the patient is not allergic to collagen. It is an extremely rare adverse event for an allergic reaction to occur. It takes a weeklong or a monthlong test to fully verify if the patient is cleared for a collagen injection. It may also occur in dermal fillers but it is rare and can be cleared out with a quick 15 to 30-minute allergy test.

Dermal fillers are also more compatible with a wider range of skin tones and skin types. Its smoother consistency and wide array of dermal filler products available make it more flexible than collagen injections. With a skilled and knowledgeable injector, a facial filler can treat uneven skin volume and smaller fine lines. and facial wrinkles.

How to Reverse the Effects of Each Procedure

In the case of unsatisfactory results like a persistent wrinkle, uneven folds treatment, and overfilling, collagen filler and collagen stimulating injections are only reversible through extensive surgery that directly removes it from the treated area. The same goes for dermal filler made up of calcium hydroxylapatite.

Hyaluronic acid filler can be reversed with a hyaluronidase injection. It’s an enzyme present in the skin to break down hyaluronic acid produced by the body. An expert injector will know how much is needed to remove the added filler without lowering the facial volume.

When to Choose Between the Two Treatments

Given the innovations made in filler technology, dermal fillers can be chosen over collagen fillers when you need a quick and effective procedure to instantly spruce up your face. If you need a longer-lasting treatment that will slowly improve over the course of months, collagen injections may be preferred.

First-Rate Dermal Filler Expertise at Dr. Lanna Aesthetics

a woman had dermal fillers at Dr. Lanna's clinic

When it comes to adding natural facial volume through injections, dermal fillers are the way to go. The next step in deciding which cosmetic injection to choose from is finding an expert injector that can bring the best out of the dermal filler.

At Dr. Lanna Aesthetics, dermal fillers are our number one expertise. Led by Dr. Lanna Cheuck, NYC’s Celebrity Liquid Facelift Doctor, our dermal filler treatment can clear up any signs of persistent aging without any complications or adverse effects. Call us at (929) 565-7539 or book an appointment with us online to start meeting your aesthetic goals.

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