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Collagen and Botox treatments

Collagen is a protein derived from cows and used to fill in shallow depressions and fine lines. Potential patients must first undergo a skin allergy test and if no reaction is observed, injections may proceed. Sufficient quantities of collagen must be used to achieve a good result, but even so, the effects are temporary, lasting from a few months to about a year.

Treatments must be repeated to maintain results. There's been some concern that collagen injections may be associated with autoimmune and connective-tissue diseases, but this hasn't been proven by research. For wrinkles that are due to repetitive facial expressions, such as frown lines in the forehead, a doctor may suggest Botox injections.

Botox is a highly diluted form of the botulin (BAWTCH-you-lihn) toxin, a dangerous bacteria. Yet when used properly in trace amounts, Botox has been quite safe. It can improve wrinkles by relaxing the underlying muscles and allowing the skin to smooth out. Benefits usually lasts for about three to six months. When lines return, they're often less noticeable than before. Two or three ""touch- up"" injections of Botox per year may be needed to keep the wrinkles at bay.