Collagen is a protein found in the skin that gives the skin the appearance of fullness and smoothness. In addition, it sustains internal organs, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and is present in teeth. Collagen makes up 25 percent of the whole amount of proteins in the body. As you age, collagen production decreases, causing the appearance of wrinkles, scarring and sagging skin.
There are about 20 different types of collagen in your body. Each group of collagen has vital roles in many of the body’s functions, such as formation and maintaining of internal organs. Collagen is essential for healthy, smooth skin. The layer of skin responsible for wrinkles is called the dermis. The dermis is made up of blood vessels, sebaceous glands and hair follicles. Collagen is necessary for the support and elasticity of this layer of skin.
Collagen production naturally decreases as you age. In addition, collagen degeneration affecting the skin may be caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure. Connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can also lead to collagen degeneration, says HealthScout.
The group of collagen that's related to the skin shows symptoms of wrinkles, sagging skin and skin that's easily prone to scarring. When there is a deficiency of collagen in the muscles, you experience muscle pain and soreness. In addition, a collagen deficiency in the cartilage leads to joint pain.
If your collagen deficiency is affecting your skin, causing wrinkles and sagging skin, it may be treated with collagen injections. Collagen injections involve the injection of purified animal or cadaver-derived collagen under the skin of the affected area. Collagen deficiency affecting the organs may be treated with collagen supplements. Collagen supplements are available in liquid and pill form. In addition, collagen supplements may prevent collagen deficiencies from developing. According to Parkinson’s Symptoms, vitamin C, zinc and bioflavonoid are essential in the production of collagen. Always consult your physician before starting a supplement regimen.
Prescription drugs used for collagen supplementing may have side effects. Collagen supplements are produced from the tissues of animals. If you have pre-existing medical conditions or are allergic to certain animals, let your physician know.
- skin image by Robert Kelly from Fotolia.com