The best ways to build collagen in aging skin

Written by jennifer elrod
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The best ways to build collagen in aging skin
Ageing skin loses collagen with each passing year. (skin care image by anna karwowska from Fotolia.com)

Collagen is a protein that helps make up the lower layer of the skin. As people age, collagen breaks down, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin firmness. The good news is that a number of ways exist in which to regrow and rejuvenate---to some extent--the collagen lost in ageing skin. A dermatologist can help you choose the method that works best with your skin type.

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Collagen Injections

Collagen injections are fillers made to "plump up" parts of your face that have reduced areas of collagen. The injected collagen replenishes what has been lost in your skin. Injections can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They are appropriate for ageing skin because much of the collagen in the skin is already lost. Injections give immediate results, which can last several months.

Different types of collagen are available for injection. Zyderm, Zyplast, CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast are collagen fillers. The first two are animal derivatives, while the last two are bio-engineered and need a test application on patients before filling in a large area.

Collagen Rejuvenation

Collagen rejuvenation refers to a laser resurfacing or microdermabrasion that can help stimulate the natural production of collagen in skin. Laser resurfacing transmits pulses of light to your skin, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and stimulating new collagen growth. Microdermabrasion uses crystals instead of light pulses, but the effects are similar to laser rejuvenation.

These treatments can slowly rebuild lost collagen. This is appropriate for ageing skin, which slowly loses its collagen; therefore, slowly rebuilding it will cause results to be gradual but long-lived. Only qualified specialists should perform any type of skin rejuvenation. You can find licensed professionals at most salons or day spas.

Prescription Topical Creams

To get topical creams that actually help rebuild collagen in skin, you will need a prescription-strength formula. The FDA has approved Retin-A as a product effective at reducing the signs of ageing. Other products like vitamin C or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) may also aide in collagen regrowth.

Retin-A can only be prescribed by a doctor. You must follow the directions for the medication to work as prescribed. AHA can exfoliate the skin, which stimulates collagen regrowth. Always follow package directions when using a medicated topical cream.

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