Why Your Skin Needs Collagen
Without collagen, it’s uncertain what your body would look like, since it accounts for about one-third of your body protein. Your joints couldn’t function without it, and your skin would be poorly nourished, saggy, and unable to bounce back with resilience.
Yet, starting in your 20s, collagen production falls off, and after menopause, women can lose an additional 30% of collagen capacity within five years. It’s no wonder the collagen supplement industry thrives.
Can you make a difference in your skin by using collagen supplements? The answer varies depending on the type of supplement you choose. There are also other procedures and treatments that stimulate collagen production in your body. When you have questions about your skincare regimen, talk to the aesthetic specialists at Dr. Kochert Pain & Health.
Collagen and your skin
Collagen is the main component of many types of connective tissue in your body. Its name is derived from the Greek word for glue, which is an excellent metaphor for the role collagen plays. These protein fibers form into the 16 types of collagen used by the body.
When it comes to your skin, type I collagen is the main component, the same type used by bones, ligaments, and tendons, and type I accounts for 90% of the collagen in your body. Type I’s tight fibers provide strong structural support through your body, firm or flexible, depending on the role of the tissue that uses it.
Your skin benefits from collagen for hydration and elasticity. As collagen production slows with time, and your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light and other environmental factors, these benefits are lost, and skin becomes more dry and loose.
Products from skin creams to shampoos now advertise that they include collagen. You can buy dietary supplements in the form of powders and capsules. However, there’s comparatively little research on the effects of collagen supplements, so there are no definitive answers about their effectiveness.
Oral collagen supplements go through the digestive process, where they’re broken down into their nutritional components and absorbed the same way as the foods in your diet. There’s no way to track if the collagen components from supplements contribute to new collagen production. However, there’s little harm in taking these supplements, even though their benefits are unclear.
Stimulating collagen production is possible because your body maintains the ability to produce extra collagen in response to an injury. If you have a raised, light-colored scar due to a serious cut or incision, that demonstrates collagen production in action.
Many aesthetic procedures like skin peels and dermabrasions create controlled injuries to stimulate production of a new collagen matrix, bringing with it fresher skin conditions, at least temporarily. Regenerative medicine techniques, particularly platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, help to speed this stimulated response in procedures like the Vampire Facial®.
When time and the elements take their inevitable toll on your skin, contact Dr. Kochert Pain and Health for a medical partner in your quest for younger-looking skin. You can book your consultation by phone or online to find out more about improving your skin.