Collagen and elastin are two essential proteins that give the skin tone, texture and elasticity for a youthful look. These connective tissues also have a vital role in other areas of the body and overall body functioning. Preventing and treating collagen loss has many anti-aging benefits and will keep you looking and feeling your best.
Collagen’s Role in the Body
Collagen is formed from a triple helix of amino acids and elements like vitamin C, zinc, and copper. It is an essential protein in the body that serves as the building block of connective tissues like the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When collagen production slows down, the joints stiffen, muscles weaken, and the skin loses elasticity, resulting in sagging and wrinkling. Natural loss of elastin (another essential protein) and hyaluronic acid (a water-retaining molecule) simultaneously contribute to these aging effects.
Are There Different Types of Collagen?
Twenty-eight types of collagen have currently been identified in the body. Different types of collagen have different molecular structures to serve various purposes in the body. For example, the densely packed collagen fibers in your skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments are different than the elastic collagen fibers in the joints.
What Causes Collagen Loss?
There are many factors that contribute to the loss of collagen. The most common are natural aging and free radicals in the environment, however certain diseases and stressors can also have an effect on premature skin aging and loss of collagen.
Natural Aging and Environmental Factors
As we age, collagen production slows, and existing collagen fibers start to break down. As these connective skin tissues break down without a healthy supply of new collagen to replace them, skin turgor, elasticity and quality decreases, and the skin starts to sag and wrinkle. Sun damage, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, stress and a sugary diet can all speed up these skin aging effects. The sun’s ultraviolet rays actively damage skin cells and connective fibers. Nicotine in cigarettes and vapes limit blood flow to the skin’s surface and slows the wound healing process.
Collagen Vascular Diseases
Collagen vascular disease (connective tissue disease) refers to a group of autoimmune or genetic conditions that cause chronic inflammation in the connective tissues. When people have autoimmune diseases, their body’s immune system attacks their own healthy cells instead of harmful pathogens and parasites. Genetic diseases are passed down from birth and often involve gene mutations or chromosomal abnormalities. Examples of collagen vascular diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and Marfan syndrome.
How Can You Slow Skin Aging?
Collagen loss is not completely preventable, but most people can slow the breakdown with a few precautions and simple changes to their lifestyle. Apply a daily application of broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ and reapply every 2 hours to sun-exposed areas like the face, neck, chest, and hands. Wearing hats, sunglasses and sun protective clothing when exposed to UV rays will also help to slow down collagen and elastin degradation. You should also avoid tanning beds since they expose the skin to the same harmful ultraviolet rays.
Avoid smoking and eat a diet with plenty of nutrient-dense vegetables, lean meats, and grains that contain the vitamins and minerals needed to make collagen. Staying hydrated is also important since well-moisturized skin retains volume, elasticity, and a glowing complexion.
The Best Anti-Aging Skin Treatments for Boosting Collagen
Dr. Chetty is pleased to offer a wide range of skin rejuvenating treatments to slow skin aging and refresh skin by boosting collagen production and overall skin health. Some of these treatments include:
Microneedling treatment at our Kelowna skincare centre uses tiny needles to create microchannels on the skin’s surface. This process triggers the body’s natural wound healing process which includes the growth of new collagen. Microchannels in the skin also allow skincare products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, maximizing their benefits. Microneedling can be used to improve signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and volume loss as well as skin imperfections like sun damage, acne scars, uneven skin texture, and more.
We offer a wide range of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers in Kelowna from Juvéderm, Belotero and Teosyal as well as collagen stimulating Radiesse made with calcium microspheres. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin, lifts and contours, fills in deep facial wrinkles and folds, and replenishes moisture for a healthy glow. Radiesse can be used to stimulate collagen and elastin as well as replenish lost volume in the face, neck and body. Thin, creepy skin on the makes tendons and veins more prominent, creating an aged appearance and Radiesse helps to replace lost volume and improve skin sagginess and texture.
Body Contouring and Skin Tightening
Our non-surgical body contouring and skin tightening treatment combines radiofrequency energy and ultrasonic energy for a combined lifting and tightening anti-aging effect. Ultrasonic energy generates heat in the deep skin tissues to tighten connective fibers and stimulate new growth. Radiofrequency energy aids in collagen and elastin production, lifting and smoothening wrinkles on the surface of the skin.
Chemical peels slough off and remove old skin cells, resulting healthy and unblemished skin. Chemical peels (especially superficial peels) are a great choice for patients in need of a quick refresh or those who are noticing the early effects of aging. Your chemical peel will be customized for your skin type and the specific skin concerns you need to treat.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing removes damaged superficial skin and resurfacing with new skin cells to rejuvenate a more youthful appearance. Simultaneously, lasers stimulate new growth to target age-related wrinkles and sagging skin. Although new collagen will not stop the aging process, it will set back the clock by replenishing the skin.
Schedule a Consultation
At Cerulean Medical Institute, Dr. Chetty is dedicated to helping his patients find the best anti-aging treatment for their specific skin concerns. Call our Kelowna skincare clinic on (778) 760-5050 to schedule your consultation today and start your journey to healthy youthful, natural looking skin.