The Role of Collagen and Elastin in Your Skin

The Role of Collagen and Elastin in Your Skin

There are two proteins responsible for the youthful appearance of skin: collagen and elastin.

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. It can be found not only in the skin, but also in connective tissues, bones, and muscles. Collagen makes tissues sturdy and strong. 

Elastin is a protein that’s less abundant in the body. However, it’s found in the skin, ligaments, lungs, blood vessels, and other body parts that require elasticity. Elastin is responsible for the skin’s ability to stretch and bounce back to its initial position.

Do you want to learn more about these two vital proteins? Below, we asked Dr. Richard M. Levin, our expert at Lancaster Plastic Surgery, how to keep your skin looking younger for longer by preventing damage to collagen and elastin. 

What damages collagen and elastin? 

Both collagen and elastin are affected by excess UV/UVA radiation, smoking, chronic stress, dehydration, and lack of sleep. 

Collagen production can also be damaged by excess sugar in a diet through a process called glycation. Glycation occurs when excess carbohydrates in the diet bind to collagen, making them stiff. 

As you age, your body’s collagen production drops. Elastin is produced mostly in the early years of life. Because both collagen and elastin are proteins, a diet high in protein may help keep your skin looking healthier for longer. 

How to improve collagen and elastin production 

Aside from eating a healthy diet and avoiding excessive sun exposure, there are a few treatments that can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. These treatments include the following:

In certain cases, encouraging the production of collagen and elastin isn’t enough to fight the signs of aging. 

Fillers can help replace the lost volume due to the loss of collagen in the skin, and facelifts can help remove excess skin due to poor skin laxity and damaged elastin.

Learn how to improve the appearance of your skin at any age

Dr. Levin has solutions for skin concerns at any age. If you’re unsure about what to do next to improve your appearance, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Levin will examine your skin, and he’ll recommend either treatments or surgical procedures to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. 

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