Collagen injections are typically used to create fuller looking lips. The treatment can be expensive, ranging in price from $200 to $400 per injection. While the procedure has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, there is a long list of potential side effects to consider before having collagen injections at any site on the body. The FDA approved collagen for use is as a repair agent only; scars and wrinkles can be filled with collagen to lessen the visible effect on the skin. The effect of collagen injections on pregnancy has not been tested, which means the procedure is not approved for women who are pregnant or women who are trying to become pregnant.
About three percent of the population is allergic to collagen. Allergy side effects include rash, joint pain, itchy skin and inflammation. Patients wishing to have collagen injection typically have to undergo an allergy test prior to treatment. The allergy test involves injecting collagen under the skin of the arm. Patients must wait four weeks after the allergy test for potential side effects to appear.
Patients effected with a connective tissue disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis and dermatomyositis, have a greater risk of allergic reaction with collagen injections. Because of the potential dangers collagen could have on pregnancy, some cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists will require a pregnancy test before starting collagen injections to assure female patients are not pregnant.
Collagen injections are a long lasting treatment; the collagen is absorbed by the body for extended periods and side effects could manifest long after the treatment has been completed. Aside from the potential side effects and lack of medical testing on collagen injections during pregnancy, the state of the female skin during pregnancy could effect the outcome of the collagen injections. Swelling of the face that occurs during pregnancy will subside after giving birth and lips injected with collagen could look larger than desired.