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Collagen, Elastin, and Your Skin

Published on December 15, 2015 

Collagen and elastin play an important role keeping your skin firm, flexible, and young. Here’s what you should know:

What is collagen?

Collagen is a very abundant protein in you body. It is found in your skin, hair, nails, muscles, tendons, and other areas of the body. It is a large component of connective tissue. Collagen helps your skin stay firm and smooth. It also helps new skin cells form and works to keep toxins out of the body.

What is elastin?

Elastin, like collagen, is an important protein that keeps your skin younger. Elastin helps your skin stay flexible and elastic. There is less elastin in your body than collagen, but elastin works with collagen to keep your skin firm, flexible, and smooth. Elastin can help to counter the effects of gravity on your skin.

What happens to collagen and elastin as you get older?

As you get older, your body has less collagen and elastin. As a result, skin gets looser and thinner. It is also more easily damaged and more susceptible to the effects of gravity. Fine lines and wrinkles become more noticeable and your skin may sag, which can create the appearance of jowls or a double chin.

What can you do to protect your skin?

While you can’t completely prevent the effects of aging, there are many things you can do to protect the collagen and elastin in your body and keep your skin as young as possible.

  • Avoid Sun Damage: UV radiation can break down collagen and elastin in your skin to accelerate the aging process. Sun damage leaves you with drier, tougher, wrinkled skin and can lead to skin cancer.
  • Stop Smoking: Toxins from smoking and air pollution also damage collagen and elastin and accelerate the aging process. Stop smoking and avoid spending time outdoors when the air is dirty.
  • Eat A Balanced Diet: Too much sugar can contribute to the breakdown of collagen in your skin. Eat a balanced diet and limit your sugar consumption to keep your skin younger and healthier.
  • Replenish Collagen: There are a number of cosmetic treatments that can counter the effects of aging. Some dermal fillers use other substances to restore lost volume in your face and smooth the skin. Others stimulate your body’s production of collagen, for natural, and long-lasting results.

Procedures to increase collagen:

A number of procedures are now known to increase your own natural collagen. Sculptra ,which is an injectable material that is FDA approved was originally developed to help AIDS patient restore tissue to their faces and which has been found to have significant aesthetic benefit in all patients who have lost facial volume. We also now know that even Juvederm and other HA type fillers will stimulate collagen production over time. There are also new injectable products derived from amniotic membrane that may have significant benefit in laser resurfacing as well as in microneedling.

For further information and to schedule a consultation to see if you are a candidate call Core Plastic Surgery at (205) 397-2100.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have and get you on your way to beautiful, natural-looking results. Contact us.

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