The human body is incredible. It’s self-healing, adaptable, and can even look younger on its own–with the right persuasion.
In the past, most cosmetic treatments for signs of aging were very invasive. Facial plastic surgeries like face and neck lifts involved the removal of skin to create more youthful facial contours. Today, these procedures have advanced significantly and are still a good option for some patients. However, they are now more focused on lifting the underlying facial structures and tend to involve less skin removal.
For the majority of patients, non-invasive skin treatments are often all that’s necessary for younger-looking skin. If you’ve done any research on these kinds of procedures, then you’ve probably heard of the term “collagen remodeling”. But what does this term mean, and how does the process work? Before we can understand how non-invasive treatments work, it’s important to know how our skin repairs itself throughout our lives.
How the Skin Changes with Age
When it comes to aging, most of the changes occur within the skin. We may lose facial volume due to hormone changes and other factors, but most signs of aging are caused by aging skin. In youthful skin, collagen and elastin provide firmness, volume, and the ability to bounce back. Hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin wrinkle-free and we enjoy a youthful “glow” through young adulthood. As we age, though, our bodies stop producing these important components as quickly. Over time, the skin can’t maintain its firmness and begins to sag and wrinkle.
Collagen production slows down significantly with age, but it doesn’t stop completely. New collagen formation occurs when the skin is injured. Collagen production increases and concentrates on healing the skin to protect the body’s internal structures. The whole concept of cosmetic collagen remodeling involves leveraging the body’s natural processes to create younger-looking skin.
What is Collagen Remodeling?
Now that we know collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid are the main components of youthful-looking skin, it’s easier to understand how non-invasive treatments work. Collagen remodeling is simply stimulating new collagen production and tightening/rearranging existing collagen fibers. By increasing production and making the collagen tighten or contract, the skin gradually looks more youthful and supple. The collagen fibers reorient and rearrange themselves creating a stronger and firmer skin scaffold.
Collagen remodeling is triggered when the body believes it has been injured–when stress is placed on the collagen fibers. A cut can cause collagen remodeling in the area of the injury. By harnessing this tendency, plastic surgeons can “trick” a patient’s body into producing and remodeling collagen. Most non-invasive treatments use a type of advanced energy (such as laser-based light, ultrasound, or radiofrequency) to create controlled injuries or tissue disruption within the skin, triggering collagen remodeling. With today’s advanced cosmetic devices, the energy source can affect the tissues deep within the skin without affecting the surface layers. This means that patients don’t have to deal with peeling, discomfort, or other side effects after treatment.
Other treatments can help to remodel collagen while also resurfacing the skin to address surface wrinkles and unwanted pigmentation (like brown spots). Each treatment has a slightly different purpose and process, which is why plastic surgeons meet with each patient and customize non-surgical treatments based on their needs.
Does Collagen Production Continue?
Many people think that collagen remodeling can stop aging in its tracks and turn back the clock forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Nothing can stop the aging process forever. Eventually, collagen production will return to its pre-treatment levels.
The good news? Many of the least invasive treatments offer long-lasting results. Collagen remodeling happens gradually, and patients will typically see improvement for many months after their treatments. Most patients love the results of their treatments and choose to have touch-up procedures periodically to help maintain their results and reduce future aging. Medical-grade skin products and a healthy lifestyle can help patients preserve their results for as long as possible.
Great Treatments for Younger-Looking Skin
Interested in non-invasive procedures that use the all-natural power of collagen remodeling? Getting younger-looking skin has never been easier thanks to the great treatments on the market. Some of the most popular non-invasive treatments for sagging skin and other signs of aging include the ultrasound treatment Ultherapy, infrared treatment Skin Tyte, and radiofrequency treatment TriPollar. All of these options offer patients younger-looking skin with little to no downtime.
To find out more about options for collagen remodeling treatments, contact the Hillelson-Whipple Clinic in Richmond, VA at 804.290.0060. Our staff is renowned for their skill in non-invasive skin treatments and takes pride in the beautiful results they offer patients. Call today to schedule a consultation.