Facial plast Surg 2014; 30(06): 615-622
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1396904
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Complications of Collagen Fillers

Patricia Lucey
Department of Dermatology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, New York, New York
David J. Goldberg
Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists of NY/NJ, New Jersey
Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 December 2014 (online)


As the skin ages, a deficiency in collagen occurs, thus injectable collagen products have become a sensible and popular option for dermal filling and volume enhancement. Several types of collagen have been developed over the years, including animal sources such as bovine and porcine collagen, as well as human-based sources derived from pieces of the patient's own skin, cadaver skin, and later cultured from human dermal fibroblasts. While collagen overall has a relatively safe, side effect profile, there are several complications, both early and late onset, that practitioners and patients should be aware of. Early complications, occurring within days of the procedure, can be divided into non-hypersensitivity and hypersensitivity reactions. The non-hypersensitive reactions include injection site reactions, discoloration, maldistribution, infection, skin necrosis, and the very rare but dreaded risk of vision loss, whereas the hypersensitivity reactions present usually as delayed type IV reactions, but can also rarely present as an immediate type I reaction. Late complications, occurring within weeks to even years after injection, include granuloma formation, foreign body reactions, and infection secondary to atypical mycobacteria or biofilms. This review will give a detailed overview of the complications secondary to cutaneous collagen injections.


The authors have not received any financial support or personal assistance for this study.