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Plastic syringe containing liquid collagen for cosmetic/plastic surgery, Europe, 2000

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Collagen is the main protein in the human body’s connective tissue – which acts as a type of internal scaffolding for the tissues and cells. As we get older, collagen is replaced less effectively causing a visible ageing of the body, such as wrinkles and receding gums. Injecting liquid collagen into the skin using syringes like this one is a popular and simple cosmetic surgical technique intended to ‘iron out’ wrinkles, although the effects tend to be only temporary.

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    Glossary: syringe

    An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle for injection into the bloodstream.

    Glossary: plastic surgery

    A surgical speciality dealing with the restoration or construction of the body. Often used to refer to elective surgery done for aesthetic reasons.