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Zyderm And Zyplast Collagen Fillers: Past Their Prime?

Developed by Inamed Aesthetics, and acquired by Allergan, Inc., Zyderm and Zyplast were the first collagen fillers to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1980’s, after rigorous testing over a five year period. Both products are made from bovine (cow) collagen, and have been used on more than one million patients since their approval. Zyderm is used to lessen superficial, fine lines and wrinkles, while Zyplast is more concentrated, and for use on deeper lines and furrow reduction.


What Are Zyderm And Zyplast Made Of, And How Do They Work?

Zyderm and Zyplast are made by extracting dermal collagen from cow skin. A closed or isolated herd of cows is used, in order to prevent contamination from diseased cows. The cultures are grown in a closely monitored laboratory setting,the tissues are then highly purified, and processed into its injectable form. It is then contained in a buffered saline solution, and lidocaine (local anesthetic) is added.

Zyderm(1) is used to add volume to skin with superficial lines and wrinkles, topical scars, and thin-skin facial areas, lacking collagen. Zyderm(2) is a more concentrated formula, used for moderate wrinkles, lines, and scars. Zyplast has a denser composition, with an organic compound (glutaraldehyde) added, making the filler less prone to degradation, thus lasting longer, and is used for very pronounced lines, wrinkles, and scars.

Zyderm and Zyplast are no longer being manufactured as of 2010, partially because patients did not want to have to wait for the required skin test to indicate allergic reactions to bovine collagen, their results are short-lived, and because Allergan was producing newer products such as Botox, and Juvederm. Zyderm and Zyplast may still be used by doctors however, for patients who request them specifically, and some patients are still requesting them today.

Injection Procedure

After researching and locating an appropriate, trained, and experienced doctor, your first consultation will be to review your medical history, discuss injection expectations and results, and discuss alternatives if necessary. If your doctor approves Zyderm and/or Zyplast (which can be used safely simultaneously), he will perform a skin allergy test on the forearm. This test is required for all bovine (cow) derived collagen injections. You will monitor the test area for 3-4 weeks, noting any signs of redness, swelling, or infection, indicating an allergic reaction. It is also possible that you will need to have an additional skin test, in order to validate the first test, which would require an additional 3-4 week monitoring period to ensure that a false negative was ruled out.

If you choose to proceed with injections, the doctor, in his office or clinical setting, will either “score” (mark) injection points on your skin, or ask you to make various facial expressions to locate necessary injection points. These points will be swabbed with anesthetic, and a fine gauge needle will penetrate just beneath the surface of the skin (epidermis). The puncture may cause a bit of discomfort, and there may be temporary bruising, swelling, and tenderness at the various injection sites. The injection procedure takes approximately 15-30 minutes.

Results from Zyderm and Zyplast are immediate, and there is very little recovery time, unless complications arise. Zyderm (1) and (2) generally last 3-4 months, and Zyplast may last up to a year, depending on the individual and placement of injection. Follow-up injections will be necessary at additional cost. Zyderm and Zyplast injections typically cost from $300 to $500 an injection depending on the doctor, location, and availability.

Am I a Good Candidate?

In order to avoid any complications following injections, you must be a candidate for Zyderm and Zyplast. Injections are not recommended for patients who are:

  • Younger than 30 and older than 65
  • Allergic to lidocaine (topical anesthetic)
  • Prone to anaphylactic seizures (serious allergic reactions)
  • Experiencing connective tissue disease
  • Receiving immunosuppressive therapy
  • Experiencing an autoimmune disease
  • Taking blood-thinning medications or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Experiencing active inflammatory skin conditions (herpes, acne, rash, blisters)
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Prone to developing hypertrophic (raised and red) scars

Risks and Side Effects

Tissue necrosis (tissue death) may occur when the injection either punctures a blood vessel, or the filler material is injected directly into a blood vessel by mistake. The two most dangerous areas for this are the glabellar region between the eyebrows, and the upper nasolabial fold, or smile lines, and is more common with bovine fillers. When the blood vessel is penetrated mistakenly, there may be blockage of blood flow, causing loss of circulation in surrounding areas, and discoloration of the skin, or small raised areas. This may happen because of deeper injections, or untrained injectors. The bovine fillers are also known to exhibit delayed granuloma, or nodule formation, due to the body treating the collagen as if it were a foreign body.

Zyderm And Zyplast Reviews And Alternatives

Most of the patients and doctors who have used Zyderm and Zyplast, would recommend these injections only for fine lines and wrinkles. Because of new and improved alternatives however, most patients are trying the longer lasting, and deeper fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, and Perlane. There are some patients who have had good experiences with Zyderm and Zyplast, who wish to continue with these products, because they worked for them.

Zyderm and Zyplast are injected with minimal discomfort, and generally do not display any major side effects. They exhibit immediate results, and are excellent for treating fine lines. The drawbacks are that Zyderm does not last very long, and you must have an allergy skin test performed before injections, so there is a possible 3-6 week waiting period. Everyone’s body reacts differently to collagen, so it is really a matter of personal preference, and body tolerance. Be sure to research, get a doctor who is experienced in collagen injections, know what results to expect, and Zyderm and Zyplast will probably not disappoint you.

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