The skin is made up of two layers, the dermis and the epidermis. The top layer is called the epidermis. It acts as a protective barrier to the environment by controlling the loss of water from cells and dehydration. The deeper layer, the dermis, is primarily composed of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin work together to give the skin its tone and resilience. Their breakdown, whether by environmental factors or the aging process, results in the presence of wrinkles, sagging and loss of elasticity in the skin.
Sources of collagen
In the1970's scientists at Stanford University researched alternatives to skin grafts. During their study, they developed the concept of purifying bovine (cow) dermal (hide/skin) collagen to replace lost skin tissue. This discovery led to the marketing of injectible bovine collagen (known under the trade names, Zyderm® and Zyplast® in 1981 by the Collagen Corporation .
b. One's own body
Autogeneous collagen is another form of injectible collagen. It is derived from a patient's own skin. In many cases, a patient's excess skin is available from undergoing a procedure, such as a facelift. In those cases in which a patient is not already undergoing surgery, a surgeon may obtain skin from the pubic area or another body region. After the skin is removed, the surgeon sends it away for processiong at the laboratories of Collagenesis Corporation . Your collagen will be returned to your surgeon in "pre-loaded syringes" for use.
Injectible collagen from donors can also be used to corrrect facials wrinkles and scars. The skin is derived from donors in a similar manner that organ donations are carried out. Dermalogen, marketed by the Collagenesis Corporation, prepares collagen from tissue derived from U.S. donor tissue banks.