But before you go chasing after creams and supplements to increase your own collagen levels, continue reading to learn more about its significance in the human body.
The importance of collagen
The importance of collagen in our bodies can hardly be understated. Without it, the structure and shape of the human body would not be possible. Collagen makes up more than one-fourth of the proteins found in our connective tissues, granting them the ability to withstand extreme stretching and pulling. Collagen takes the form of small strands of fiber which are wound together by amino acids (organic compounds). Of the more than sixteen different types of collagen fibers, collagen type I is said to have a tensile strength greater than steel.
Collagen type I is responsible for giving our skin its elastic, durable nature and supple appearance. When it comes to skin repair and scar formation, collagen plays an integral role in promoting new tissue growth at the wound site. Scar tissue is on average 20 percent weaker than pre-damaged skin; so even though this protein is known to promote strength in our vital organs, it begins to break down as we age or undergo trauma. As we age, our bodies naturally begin to produce less collagen. This is the reason older adults begin to develop fine lines and wrinkles. Other factors that lead to collagen loss or a decrease in collagen production include smoking, drug abuse, and extended exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Collagen in scar formation
Scars form during remodeling, the final stage of a complex and dynamic process of wound healing. During this stage, collagen rearranges and restructures itself to resemble the skin’s former self in the form of scar tissue. Scars can develop differently depending on a variety of factors. Variables such as a person’s age, genetics, and skin type can have profound impact on whether scars become raised and bumpy or smooth and unnoticeable. Raised scars, otherwise known as keloids and hypertrophic scars develop in response to collagen buildup from hyperactive fibroblast activity. Fibroblasts are cells in connective tissue that synthesize collagen, especially in the event of trauma. Scars on the opposite end of the spectrum, known as atrophic scars, appear sunken and pitted from a loss of collagen. Atrophic scars are commonly seen in cases of severe acne formation on the face, chest, or back.
There’s very little evidence to support products that supposedly stimulate collagen growth in the body. Synthetic collagen found in skin, hair, and nutrition products is different from what our bodies naturally produce. The effects associated with collagen loss and old age cannot be reversed, only modified or temporarily allayed. However, when it comes to skin hydration and scar reduction, products that work with the skin’s natural levels of collagen can have great benefit. One such product is topical silicone for post-operative scar care.
Silicone gel technologySilicone gel technology for scar management works through two mechanisms of action: dermal hydration and collagen regulation. When we sustain a wound, the skin’s hydration levels can diminish from excessive moisture loss at the wound site. This, in turn, signals fibroblast activity to synthesize massive amounts of collagen to repair the skin in the form of scar tissue. But if left unregulated, this collagen can build up and lead to abnormal scar types. By fully encapsulating the scar bed for extended lengths of time, the skin is able to retain that moisture, and collagen production returns to normal levels. This has the effect of flattening and smoothing scars to blend in with the surrounding tissue.
To fight the onset of fine lines and wrinkles from age-related collagen loss, BIO-luminance Hydration Masque is a safe and effective solution. Unlike other facial masks that claim to increase natural collagen levels in the face, BIO-luminance simply and effectively works through pure moisture and oxygen. This semi-permeable 100% silicone mask helps to lock in precious moisture while also allowing optimal levels of oxygen to penetrate the skin. This perfect balance of oxygen and moisture, also known as homeostasis, helps to correct age-related wear.