collagen effect on aging skin
Skin

Restoring Aging Skin through the Powers of Collagen

Wrinkles are the outward sign of our skin’s underlying loss of collagen. As we get older, the collagen that supports our skin’s structure ebbs, and wrinkles settle in.

For decades, dermatologists have sought ways to replenish collagen and erase wrinkles. Starting in the 1970s, doctors were able to use collagen from animals. Since then, we’ve seen incredible advances, with safer bio-identical collagen, which does not require lengthy allergy tests, as well as the potential for combining complementary procedures. There are also an increasing number of ways to stimulate the body’s own production of collagen. Today, patients face the fortunate challenge of myriad choices to customize the approach best suited to them

Collagen – our body’s most plentiful protein – is a key connective fiber that helps support our bones, muscles and skin. Under our skin, collagen fibers build the framework that keeps the surface taut and wrinkle-free. Over time, as collagen fibers are lost, our skin sags into the gaps left behind, creating wrinkles.

Make sure you know how long the results will last.

Wrinkle treatment injections – including collagen-based dermal fillers – are by far the most popular cosmetic procedure today, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In 2017 alone, there were close to 2.7 million dermal-filler injections, an increase of more than 300 percent from 2000.

cosmetic-surgeon-explaining-operation-to-patient

In addition to replacement collagen, we also have new ways to trigger collagen production. These include injectables such as Sculptra, as well as surface techniques like microneedling and lasers. With the guidance of an experienced doctor, patients have increased opportunity to achieve the results they want.  Here’s how you can get those results:

  1. Choose a doctor you can communicate with: To make the most of the range of options that exist, you need to feel comfortable explaining what you want – and also to fully understand what your doctor is presenting. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  2. Consider short-term versus long-term goals: Today’s choices include fast-acting collagen-replacement injections, such as CosmoDerm®, as well as collagen-stimulating procedures, such as Sculptra injections and microneedling, that have a delayed cumulative impact.
  3. Make sure you know how long the results will last: Staying power varies. After collagen injections, the replacement collagen will gradually diminish, too. To maintain rejuvenation, patients typically need ongoing touch ups after several months. Other approaches, those that stimulate collagen production such as microneedling and Sculptra, can last a year or longer. And some procedures, such as Bellafill injections, can be permanent.
  4. Consider adding a “plus”: We’ve seen that combining different procedures – for example, botox plus collagen or hyaluronic acid plus microneedling – can accentuate each other to achieve a greater overall impact. It’s another reason communicating your big-picture goals to your doctor is so important for a truly individualized plan instead of a piecemeal approach.
  5. Be realistic about the results: Collagen provides support for the skin and can address wrinkles, but it can’t affect more extensive issues such as excess or loose skin. In these cases, collagen can support additional interventions, such as a facelift.

Valerie Goldburt, MD, PhD, is board-certified and specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology at Advanced Dermatology P.C.  One of the leading dermatology centers in the nation,  Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York and New Jersey) offers  highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic dermatology. To learn more, click here.

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