Collagen injections can give your lips the look you desire. The collagen used for this procedure is the same kind found in human skin, but it’s derived from cowhide. To be sure that you aren't allergic to collagen, or to the anesthetic or preservatives mixed with the collagen, your doctor will give you a test injection in your arm. You must wait one month between the test injection and the treatment. An allergic reaction can vary from a rash, to swelling, to a flu-like syndrome of temporarily aching bones and joints. The cause of these symptoms isn't known. Collagen, however, is generally safe. Its biggest drawback is that its effects are only temporary. Over three to six months, your body will absorb the collagen and your lips will need a 'touch-up' treatment. The treatments usually take about 15 to 20 minutes. Because the lip is extremely sensitive, the treatment will be one slowly to minimize your discomfort. The collagen is injected through a fine-gauge needle into your lips. After the injections, only a faint redness and some tiny dots remain. Afterward, you can usually go home, or back to work. For more information on lip augmentation, contact a cosmetic or plastic surgeon.