Used to make your body's connective tissue, collagen makes up one-third of all the protein present in your body. Its strong fibers are used to connect ligaments, muscles, bones, and of course, your skin.
Collagen is responsible for keeping your skin supple, resilient, and youthful. As you age, however, your body is unable to produce as much collagen as it once did, leading to noticeable changes in your skin such as:
- fine lines and wrinkles
- thin papery skin
- dull, lackluster skin
What are the Uses of Collagen in Your Body?
Derived from the Greek word for glue, "kólla," collagen is the glue that keeps your body together. From your bones and tendons to your organs and skin, collagen's connective tissue web holds it all together.
Collagen is also used to:
- Keep bones strong and dense
- Strengthen muscles throughout the body
- Keep skin elastic
- Keep your tendons and ligaments flexible
What are the Symptoms of a Loss of Collagen?
While a loss of collagen is typical as you age, certain factors can make you lose it quicker. These can include exposure to the sun or UV light, smoking, excess alcohol intake, as well as a lack of sleep, and a poor diet.
Your body begins to produce less collagen beginning in your mid-to-late twenties. Symptoms of a loss of collagen include:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Joint pain
- Digestive problems
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Sagging skin
- Formation of wrinkles
- Slow wound healing
Treatment to Replace Lost Collagen is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Dermatologist
If you're looking to alleviate the symptoms that a loss of collagen has on your skin, seeing a board-certified dermatologist can undoubtedly help. Depending on your overall health and cosmetic requirements, your dermatologist can recommend one or more forms of treatment that will leave you with more youthful and plumper-looking skin.
Popular treatments for replacing lost collagen include:
- Collagen Fillers
Collagen filler injections are a standard cosmetic procedure that's minimally invasive with gradual, more natural-looking results over a period of time. Most commonly applied to your face and neck, collagen fillers help smooth your wrinkles and add volume to areas that need plumping up by stimulating your body to produce collagen naturally.
- Vitamin C
In addition to being an antioxidant that prevents damage from UV rays, vitamin C also stimulates your body's production of collagen and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Chemical Peels
Depending on the concentration of the acid used, chemical peels can exfoliate the outer layer of skin and stimulate your body's production of collagen, resulting in a more youthful-looking appearance. This procedure, however, takes time, and depending on your requirements, your dermatologist may recommend several treatments before a noticeable difference can be seen.