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How Is Collagen Produced?

How Is Collagen Produced?


Collagen is a protein found in the dermal layer of your skin, which is the layer located just below the epidermis, or the surface of the skin. It works in combination with elastin and keratin, two other proteins naturally occurring in the body, to help support your skin. Together they provide the firmness and elasticity of healthy, youthful skin. But as you age, these connective tissues begin to break down, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Along with a thinning of skin and a loss of fat, the breakdown of collagen contributes to the formation of wrinkles. However, just because your collagen is weakening doesn't mean there aren't methods of reversing this effect.


It's possible to stimulate the production of collagen through cosmetic procedures. The Mayo Clinic claims that both light and laser therapy can reverse the signs of aging by stimulating the dermis to produce new collagen. As light or laser energy penetrates the epidermal layer of the skin, it begins to heat the dermis. With this rise in temperature, new collagen is produced by the body. This firms and plumps the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. Results are temporary, since this new collagen will weaken over time, which will lead to the formation of wrinkles again.


Collagen not produced naturally by the body is harvested from either human or bovine donors, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This form of collagen is typically used as a soft tissue filler to improve the appearance of aging skin. It is injected under wrinkles, firming and plumping the area to give a more youthful appearance. Most of the time, the body treats this "transplant" tissue as its own. Eventually, the injected collagen will break down, necessitating additional collagen treatments to maintain the fullness of the skin. However, it's possible for people to have an adverse reaction to the collagen from a cow. An allergy test is administered prior to injection to ensure that the body will accept this form of donor tissue.

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