Collagen Replacement Treatments
There are a number of different ways to restore collagen to aging skin and the dermatologists at Dermatologic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery can help you choose the one that’s right for you, based on your medical history, the extent of your skin issues, and the expectations you have of the treatments.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the main protein found in the human body. It provides the structure for bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and skin. Collagen gives skin its strength and elasticity and also replaces dead skin cells. As we age, collagen production declines, causing, for instance, our skin to lose elasticity and plumpness.
Other than aging, what can damage collagen and collagen production?
While we cannot control the fact that we age, there are a number of lifestyle choices we can make that will support (or, conversely, negatively affect) the health of the collagen in our bodies and specifically in our skins. Exposure to sunlight (especially when resulting in sunburn), using tanning beds, smoking, and high sugar consumption can all aid in the premature destruction of collagen.
What can be done to replace collagen?
Collagen replacement can come in the form of inserting collagen extracted from cows (the original collagen filler) or extracting collagen from another area of the patient’s body. In the latter case, there is a far lesser chance of allergic reaction – almost none in fact – because the injectable substance comes from the patient themselves.
You may also have noticed a number of over the counter lotions that contain collagen and claim to be able to restore collagen to damaged skin. The efficacy of these lotions is highly dubious, as collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin. Therefore, if you want to restore collagen to your skin, scheduling a visit to a board certified dermatologist is your best bet.
Other collagen treatments use a variety of methods to stimulate the body to create its own collagen. These include light therapy, lasers, certain implants, and radio waves. Your dermatologist can help you decide which one is the best for you.