Marine fish collagen, due to its unique texture, is used to cosmetically treat wrinkles and skin irregularities such as depressions. Usually injected into the skin, this collagen works to reverse the signs of ageing by physically filling in lines and wrinkles in the surface layer. Reactions to marine fish collagen differ from patient to patient. It is standard practice to perform skin tests before a course of collagen is given, but results from such tests have occasionally proved incorrect. Marine fish collagen can also be applied topically as a cream and ingested as a dietary supplement.
The adverse effects of collagen treatment depend on how the collagen is administered. Injectable collagen currently poses the largest risk. The skin of certain patients reacts to collagen injections by developing small lumps that may ulcerate. In severe cases, these lesions leave permanent scars.
Some reports indicate that patients suffering from autoimmune conditions may experience skin rashes and other skin disorders as direct results of collagen treatment. Further testing will be required to determine the extent of the occurrences.
Collagen injected under the skin may migrate, and the result is an unnatural, bloated look. The bloated appearance invariably looks worse than the lines and wrinkles that the treatment was designed to correct.
Most patients who opt for injectable collagen treatments are concerned that the youthful look their procedure has created is only temporary and that their skin will return to its pretreatment look and feel within a few months. Depending on the skin make-up, the collagen will be absorbed by the body somewhere between 6 and 12 months, and these temporary results are understandably considered to be quite undesirable.
Unknown Effects of Dietary Supplements
The effects of collagen taken as a dietary supplement are still debated, mainly due to insufficient testing at this time. Because manufacturers do not state the concentration of collagen present in supplements, consumers cannot gauge the potency of the amounts that they are consuming. People suffering dietary sensitivities may experience negative effects after consuming collagen as a supplement.