Collagen therapy is a form of treatment directed on or in the skin to reduce signs of aging, making the skin look younger and softer. It is not considered a surgical procedure and is usually very minimally invasive and requires no incision; at most, it can only involve small injections. Collagen therapy may usually be performed for cosmetic purposes, but can also be used to treat other conditions such as arthritis and joint pains.
As a protein, collagen is naturally produced by the body and is the primary component of the skin’s inner layer, called the dermis. The collagen acts like a foundation to hold up the skin properly, keeping it firm and elastic. As the body ages, its ability to produce and reproduce collagen decreases, and skin elasticity may be lost. This results in wrinkles, dry skin, and uneven skin tone. Collagen therapy helps reduce these skin problems by increasing the collagen in the dermis layer.
One method of a collagen therapy is done through injection, wherein the collagen is physically inserted into specific areas through a small syringe. Many estheticians say this is more effective than applying collagen creams, as the latter is only absorbed by the epidermis, but not deeply in the dermis. This method usually uses purified and sterilized collagen derived from bovines or cows, but patients will need to undergo a skin test weeks prior to the actual session to see if allergic reactions will occur. This kind of collagen treatment is very quick, and a single session can be completed in an hour, with minimal irritation or redness. The effect of the treatment can last up to more than six months before the body fully breaks the collagen down and the patent has to undergo another session.
Another type of collagen therapy is the “red light therapy.” Unlike the injection method that literally adds collagen into the skin, the red light therapy works by stimulating the skin to produce more collagen and elastin, another protein that keeps skin young. Substantial research and clinical trials, including those of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have supported the process. In a red light therapy session, a patient is asked to lie down under panels of red lights wearing a pair of goggles to protect the eyes. This kind of treatment might induce some irritation and peeling as the skin is metabolizing, so the healing period might take several days.
Aside from reducing wrinkles and tightening the skin’s texture, collagen therapy can also even out one’s skin tone due to previous pimples and sun exposure. For those who have had acne, scars can also be minimized, and pores will appear smaller. If directed at the body, the collagen treatment can also reduce stretch marks and might ease some pains in the joint. An increase of collagen production will also help wounds to heal twice as fast.