Collagen Loss

Collagen Loss

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein that connects tissues in the human body. Approximately one third of the proteins found in the body is collagen, which is made up of molecules that are packed together to form long and thin fibers that support each other. It helps keep the skin strong and supple and sustains the renewal of skin cells and replacement of damaged and dead body cells.

What causes collagen loss?

Collagen loss in the body occurs due to aging, exposure to ultraviolet light, tobacco use, and excessive intake of sugar. This loss of collagen can cause the skin to lose elasticity, reduce thickness of the epidermis, increase in the formation of wrinkles and sagging, and make the skin vulnerable and easily damaged. When an individual ages, the outermost layer of skin becomes thin, and the number of cells that contain pigment reduces and the melanocytes (melanin-producing cells located in the bottom layer the stratum basal) increase in size. This is why aging skin looks thin, pale, rough, uneven, and translucent.

The primary cause of extrinsic aging of the skin is exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. When exposed to ultraviolet radiation, collagen in keratinocytes cells decreases which leads to the emergence of wrinkles due to a weakened connection between the dermis and epidermis. Research shows that type 1 collagen (the strongest) reduces in amount when exposed to UV light because of the destruction of the collagen.

How to preserve and prevent collagen loss and stimulate collagen production

While collagen cannot be added to skin, the body can produce collagen naturally. Collagen restoration treatments, such as Opus Plasma and Plasma Pen Fibroblast (radiofrequency and plasma skin resurfacing and tightening), stimulate new collagen growth that take anywhere from four to 12 weeks following a treatment. Visible results such as smoother, tighter, and youthful looking skin can be seen immediately with these treatments, but final results take several weeks due to the collagen rebuilding process.

Topical products and creams that contain collagen cannot replace damaged dermal collagen. Products that contain certain vitamins and minerals do help preserve and boost collagen production. Here are some things you can do to preserve and regenerate collagen production.

  • Use skincare products containing vitamins C and A, peptides, and SPF 30 or higher.
  • Consume high-protein foods containing amino acids and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit sugar intake.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Consider a chemical peel, which boosts cell turnover and therefore stimulates collagen production.
  • Consider collagen restoration treatments such as Opus Plasma or Plasma Pen Fibroblast.

The wound healing process following aesthetic treatments

In collagen rebuilding aesthetic procedures, the skin is injured and a flood of biochemical reactions take place involving the immune system, blood, and fibroblasts. In an injury to the skin, clotting stops the immediate flow of blood from the injury and the immune system is altered, sending white blood cells to the area to help fight infection. The fibroblasts from the surrounding tissues migrate to the area of injury and begin producing large amounts of collagen to help rebuild the tissue in the injured area. A “scaffolding” is established at first, and eventually the collagen fills in the separated area in the injury. Small blood vessels begin to form from larger vessels to help bring more blood to the healing area. Blood flow to the area is a crucial part of wound healing. The epidermis is regenerated and cells that line the follicle walls in the lower part of the dermis begin replicating. These new cells migrate to the surface and begin the formation of the epidermal layers. The result is beautiful, regenerated, renewed skin. Aesthetic procedures that stimulate collagen production are the best and most impactful solution to combating the adverse effects of aging skin. The more collagen that’s produced, the softer lines and wrinkles become, and the more radiant your skin looks and feels.

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If you’d like help with collagen loss and stimulating new collagen to improve your skin appearance and health, contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.