December 1, 2017
What is Collagen and how does it affect your skin?
Whether you want to maintain your youthful appearance for as long as possible or you are struggling with signs of aging such as wrinkles, leathery skin, loose skin and more – it’s time you learned the truth about collagen.
Collagen is a protein that is found in your skin as well in all others parts of your body.
In the skin, collagen is produced by cells called fibroblasts. Once produced, collagen molecules pack together in bundles throughout the dermis where they are responsible for providing structure and firmness to your skin.
In other words, collagen plays a key role in helping people look younger and more wrinkle-free.
Collagen is basically the foundation or the cement that surrounds blood vessels, muscle tissue, and more in ypur skin and holds everything tightly together.
Unfortunately, as we age collagen production slows while at the same time cellular proteins begin to hook together or change shape – which results in wrinkles and other skin conditions, including:
- Thin, transparent skin
- Loose skin
- Hollowed cheeks and eye sockets
- Sagging skin
- Dry skin
- And more
It also doesn’t help that there are many external factors that can act along with the aging process to prematurely damage our skin and further diminish collagen’s firming impact.
By far the biggest of these factors is sun damage. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to freckles, age spots, spider veins, rough skin, wrinkles, sagging skin, blotchy complexion, and skin cancer.
Other factors that can damage the skin include:
- Facial expressions – repetitive facial movements can cause fine lines and wrinkles
- Gravity – as we age and our skin’s firmness declines gravity can cause our skin to droop and sag
- Sleep positions – sleeping on your side or stomach can cause the creation of sleep lines on your chin, cheeks, and forehead.
- Smoking – smoking accelerates aging and increases the chance you’ll develop wrinkled, leathery skin
So What Can You Do to Stimulate the Production of Collagen & Erase Skin Damage?
Many people are turning to laser treatments. Here’s how these treatments work:
A licensed physician uses a laser to gently heat a patient’s dermis, which is the second layer of skin.
This gentle heating stimulates the production of new collagen, which is then used by the body to repair damaged skin, such as wrinkles, fine lines, large pores, blotchy skin, red skin, saggy skin, acne scars, and even under eye bags.
The end result?
Patients end up with younger, smoother looking skin. In fact, many patients report seeing results in just a few days after a treatment.
However, the number of treatments recommended is generally one for each decade of life lived. Additional treatments can be scheduled three or four weeks apart.
Another collagen stimulating procedure that may be considered is Titan XL, which uses radiofrequency energy to heat and stimulate collagen production in the skin.
Is There Anything You Can Do on Your Own to Protect & Increase Collagen in Your Body?
Yes, among the things you can do are:
- Avoid tanning, especially tanning beds
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, particularly between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest
- Wear protective clothing during the day, such as long sleeves, and a wide-brimmed hat
- Apply sunscreen generously all year round
- And if you smoke, STOP… if you don’t smoke, don’t start!
You may also want to:
- Consume more cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna, and cod. These fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep the skin supple and soft
- Consume more garlic, which is rich in sulfur that the body that the body uses to produce collagen
- Consume more tomatoes, which contain lycopene, a collagenases inhibitor. Collagenases are enzymes that break up the peptide bonds in collagen
- Also eat foods rich in Vitamin C, which is essential to collagen production. These foods include hot peppers, sweet peppers, oranges, grapefruits, peaches, and tomatoes.
Deciding if Laser Treatments Are Right for You…
In the end, only you can decide if it is right for you. But one of the the advantages of undergoing laser treatments to stimulate collagen production and reduce and even eliminate wrinkles and fine lines is that it is much less expensive and invasive than a surgical facelift and much more effective than other treatments, such as Titan XL.
Laser treatments usually last no longer than 90 minutes, and result in little redness. In fact, many patients are able to undergo treatment on their lunch hours and then report back to work without anyone the wiser.
The key to successful laser treatments is finding a physician that is experienced and well-trained – someone who understands the importance of proper jewel and pulse settings on the laser to maximize the body’s production of collagen without producing side effects.