Collagen is everywhere in skincare these days. Many products and procedures claim to support, produce, or boost collagen as an important part of anti-aging skin regimens. However, without knowing what collagen is and the role it plays in keeping the skin looking young and radiant, the word can become somewhat meaningless. Understanding more about what makes collagen useful can be helpful in planning your skincare regimen and professional treatments.
The Facts About Collagen
Collagen is a type of vital protein found in abundance throughout the body. It forms connective tissue that makes up the structure and foundation of skin and other body parts. There are many different types of collagen, but they all serve similar functions. Often described as the body’s “glue,” it is vital to the stability, strength, and beauty of the skin. It also lends the skin elasticity, which allows for expansion and retraction of the skin.
Collagen’s Role in Aging and Facial Rejuvenation
As we age, the body’s structures begin to deteriorate. Collagen production slows down during middle age, and existing collagen starts to break down. This causes many signs of aging, including wrinkles, sagging skin, and skin weakness.
There are ways to help prevent the deterioration of existing collagen, which can be especially helpful following skin treatments. Prevention tactics involve protecting the skin from the sun, and practicing good skincare habits, with regular gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing.
Fortunately, protecting existing collagen is not the only method available for helping skin to look youthful and beautiful. By utilizing collagen-boosting treatments, patients can enjoy healthier, rejuvenated skin.
Encouraging Collagen Production
Collagen injections were often used by plastic surgeons in the past, and are still available today for facial rejuvenation. However, they have been mostly replaced by synthetic dermal fillers, which are generally more effective and tend to last longer. Today, collagen is still important in anti-aging procedures, but most techniques focus on encouraging the body to make its own collagen, rather than introducing new collagen to the body. Many procedures today use heat, light, and other energy to stimulate collagen production, which can continue for many months following the procedure. Here are some procedures that can help rejuvenate the face with collagen boosting-effects:
A revolutionary radiofrequency treatment, Pellevé is a nearly painless procedure that can help the skin boost collagen production for up to six months. Its main purpose is to reduce facial wrinkling and sagging skin.
The treatment is so comfortable that it requires no anesthesia whatsoever. A handpiece is used to direct the radiofrequency energy deep into the skin, warming the deeper layers to encourage collagen production, without affecting the top layers of skin. The treatment takes only about half an hour, and the only common side effects are slight swelling and redness, which should subside within a day. Patients can resume normal activities immediately. Results will gradually become apparent as the body produces more collagen.
An in-depth treatment requiring a certain amount of downtime, laser skin resurfacing can accomplish a number of skin-rejuvenating goals and provide great results. For deep carbon dioxide laser treatments, patients are sedated or put under anesthesia while the heat of the laser goes to work destroying damaged skin cells. Laser resurfacing can accomplish many goals, including:
- Resolving sun-damage and unwanted pigmentation
- Improving wrinkles and fine lines
- Improving overall skin tone
- Softening scars
- Encouraging collagen production for up to six months
Depending upon the depth of the treatment, patients can expect 1-2 weeks of downtime following the treatment. The facial skin will be red and swollen, with older skin peeling off in the days after the procedure. Over the course of the recovery period, new, healthy skin will begin to emerge.
Plasma Skin Rejuvenation
Much like laser resurfacing, plasma skin treatments heat the skin and encourage the formation of vibrant, healthier skin in the days following treatment. While not as intense as some of the laser treatments available, patients can get great results with plasma treatments, offering many of the same benefits as carbon dioxide lasers, including improved collagen production for up to a year.
Nitrogen plasma spray is used in one or a series of treatments, and patients can expect up to eight days of downtime following a session. The skin will peel about four days following treatment. Typically, only local or topical anesthesia is required for patient comfort.
Choosing Your Procedure
Procedures that encourage collagen production often have a variety of other benefits, which can help patients decide which treatment will be most beneficial. These treatments also involve different levels of intensity, downtime, and associated cost. These can help you narrow down the best procedure for you, but it is also important to consult with an expert about your goals and needs. A qualified plastic surgeon can assess your candidacy for each procedure, make recommendations, and address any questions you may have. Keep an open mind about your procedure–an experienced plastic surgeon will have the skill to help you make a decision if you are unsure.
A Provider You Can Trust
Though many collagen-producing treatments are not surgical procedures, there is always variation in the quality of care and results from cosmetic treatments, depending on the provider chosen. In order to set yourself up for success and help avoid complications, you should always choose a board certified facial plastic surgeon with many years of experience.
If you are looking for the best in skincare in the Boston area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in Worcester(508-363-6500) or Stoneham(617-247-0033) MA, to meet with acclaimed plastic surgeon Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover is a skilled and compassionate surgeon, providing patients with a wide variety of rejuvenation procedures and consistently good results. Dr. Bentkover’s work with lasers is well-respected, and he has been honored with accolades for his Pelleve results. To schedule your consultation, call either location today.