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Collagen and Depletion

Collagen and Depletion Collagen and Depletion

Overview

Collagen fibers are strong protein fibers that give skin its elasticity, according to 3D Chem. As you age, collagen fibers deplete in the body, which can result in wrinkles associated with aging. Understanding what activities can advance collagen depletion can help you to reduce this occurrence.

Significance

When you move your arm, digest your dinner and perform a number of activities, you have collagen to thank, according to the World's Healthiest Foods. Collagen is one of the most prevalent compounds in the body and is found in your bones and skin. These fibers also provide strength and support to your skin. As you age, diminishing hormones slow collagen production, resulting in collagen fiber depletion. The physical result can be wrinkling when gravity pulls down on skin that doesn't have as much of its structural components.

Smoking

If you smoke, you will likely experience faster collagen depletion than your non-smoking counterparts. This is because smoking activates an enzyme that depletes collagen in the skin, according to BBC News. "Smoking exerts such a noticeable effect on the skin that it's often possible to detect whether or not a person is a smoker simply by looking at his or her face," said Antony Young, a dermatology professor at the St. Thomas School of Medicine in London, England. If you currently smoke, quitting can help reduce future damaging effects to your collagen fibers.

Sun Exposure

One of the best ways to prevent collagen depletion is to wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher each day, according to Dr. Eric F. Bernstein, a clinical associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, on "The Patient's Guide to Collagen." Sun damage can deplete and damage the skin's collagen fibers. To avoid advanced signs of aging, avoid the sun whenever possible and always wear a protective sunscreen.

Treatment

If you experience collagen depletion that results in skin wrinkling, stimulating collagen growth may require invasive medical treatments, according to Dr. Bernstein. Examples of these include laser, radiofrequency or intense pulsed light therapy. These are applied to the skin in order to penetrate to the deeper, collagen-producing layers to stimulate growth. Collagen injections also may temporarily restore skin volume and elasticity.

Warning

Many skin creams promise to restore collagen fibers in the skin through regular application, according to Smart Skincare. However, collagen is produced in the skin's deep dermal layer, making it difficult for most creams to penetrate this deeply. Take caution when buying creams labeled for collagen growth; they likely have little effect on skin wrinkling.

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