Collagen Injections: FSA Eligibility
Collagen injections for cosmetic purposes are not eligible.
What is collagen?
Collagen is one of the most important substances found in the human body, which effectively acts as the glue that holds together bones, muscles, skin and tendons. This hard, fibrous protein makes up 1/3 of the protein found in the human body, and the inherent production of collagen will decline as a person ages (intrinsic aging), as well as being reduced after being exposed to ultraviolet light and other environmental factors (extrinsic aging).
There are at least 16 separate types of collagen, but between 80-90 percent of the substance falls into types I, II and III. While the body produces collagen naturally, collagen synthesis will begin to decline around the age of 40. Because collagen plays a vital role in supporting the structural support, strength and degree of elasticity in the body's skin bones and other tissues, the gradual decline of collagen production is one of the clearest signs of aging, which can cause skin to sag, weaken the cartilage of joints and progressively deteriorate other body tissues (Medical News Today).
How do collagen injections work?
Collagen can be injected into the body to serve a variety of potential medical purposes. While collagen injections are most often associated with the cosmetic procedure, they have a series of vital medical applications as well, including:
- Osteoarthritis: Collagen injections have been found to have some efficacy in pain management in the treatment of osteoarthritis. These supplements are typically implanted into the cartilage around joints to reduce pain, which can allow the collagen to synthesize with the underlying cartilage and strengthen it (ScienceDaily).
- Tissue Regeneration: Collagen-based membranes are especially helpful in periodontal and oral surgeries, which can prevent harmful bacteria from penetrating into open wounds and causing costly infections. These membranes can also be made to be resorbable, which allows the body to gradually break down the membrane, promote the healing process and prevent additional surgery to have this membrane removed down the road (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
- Wound Dressing: In some cases, physicians may use collagen injections as a wound dressing to promote the healing process. Collagen has the unique ability to attract new cells to the site of the wound, and these injections are used to tackle more stubborn wounds, such as skin grafts, major burns, partial/full thickness wounds, necrotic tissue and chronic, non-healing wounds (National Center for Biotechnology Information).