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Collagen- the body’s natural wrinkle buster? 
Collagen is one of the latest beauty buzzwords- but collagen is nothing new. The Chinese have traditionally chewed on pig’s feet or donkey skin to increase collagen, keep their skin smooth and their joints mobile- but there are other ways to boost this essential protein. 
In this blog, we’ll explore collagen, what collagen does, and how innovative Morpheus8 treatment can harness your skin’s natural healing process, boost collagen production and smooth, sculpt and lift the complexion. 
Collagen is the skin’s natural scaffolding, providing its strength, support and tone. Collagen protects our skin health and boosts its barrier function. As we age, our natural collagen levels fall, contributing to skin sagging, drooping and wrinkling. However, there are ways to increase your skin's collagen and help protect against the signs of skin ageing. 
What is collagen? 
Collagen is the most important and abundant protein in the body. Collagen is found in your skin, bones, muscles and cartilage. It has a fibre-like structure that acts as the body's scaffolding, holding the cells together, providing strength and support and making the tissues strong, stretchy and resilient. Collagen supports the skin’s natural strength and elasticity- but our natural collagen falls as we grow older. 
What happens to collagen as we get older? 
As we grow older, our collagen levels naturally fall, and the fibres become finer and weaker. The turnover of elastin in the skin also decreases. With reduced amounts of these essential proteins, the skin becomes less plump and elastic, it’s more fragile and can’t bounce back as quickly when pressed. 
Our natural collagen production starts falling in our twenties, with collagen production typically dropping by about 1% per year . You may not notice it then, but over time, the cumulative effect of decreased collagen and the downward drag of gravity gradually starts to contribute to the classical signs of skin ageing, including skin sagging, drooping and fine lines and wrinkles. 
Collagen and the menopause 
Women typically notice dramatic, and sometimes distressing, changes to their skin between the ages of 45 and 55, when the levels of the hormones oestrogen start to fall. The hormonal changes during the menopause and perimenopause accelerate collagen loss, with levels dropping by a whopping 5% a year. This significant depletion of collagen increases skin sagging and wrinkling. Dermatologist Dr Shoshana Marmon, Assistant Professor at New York Medical College, said: 
‘In the first five years of menopause, a woman can lose approximately 30% of her skin’s collagen, causing a loss of firmness which contributes to the development of wrinkles and jowls. ’ 
Men aren't unaffected by age; their skin changes too. However, male hormonal changes are more gradual, so skin ageing is usually less dramatic. 
Can you increase your collagen? 
Ageing is inevitable for all of us, but the good news is you can increase your body's collagen and help reduce some signs of ageing. 
Collagen production drops as we grow older, but too much sun exposure and lifestyle choices can also accelerate collagen loss. You can protect your natural collagen if you: 
• Wear sunblock daily and avoid sun exposure, particularly in the middle of the day. 
• Stop smoking. 
• Don’t drink alcohol to excess. 
• Make sure you get enough sleep. 
• Exercise regularly. 
• Eat a healthy balanced diet to provide the essential amino acids your body needs to produce collagen. 
If you are worried about collagen loss and skin ageing, innovative new treatments like Morpheus8 can increase collagen production in your skin at targeted treatment areas. 
How does Morpheus8 increase collagen? 
Morpheus8 is a revolutionary treatment that uses your skin's natural healing processes to boost collagen. Morpheus8 precisely targets treatment on the areas that worry you, whether it's jowls, eye bags, saggy tummy or wrinkly knees. If you want to avoid invasive surgery, Morpheus 8 is a minimally-invasive alternative. The procedure combines microneedling and radiofrequency technology to tighten the skin and lift and remodel the fat to provide a smooth, contoured and younger appearance. 
The Morpheus8 probe has 24 fine microneedles. When applied to your skin, the coated microneedles penetrate your skin below the dermis level. These carefully controlled punctures stimulate the skin cells to repair the tissues and heal the wound. In response to Morpheus8, the skin cells increase collagen and elastin production in the treatment area, making your skin look smoother, plumper and more youthful. 
Collagen, nutrition and supplements 
Collagen is found in the food we eat. It is plentiful in meat and fish skins, and a variety of plant foods also contain peptides and amino acids, the building blocks of collagen, that can support our bodies natural collagen production. But is a healthy diet enough, or can supplements turbo charge your collagen levels? 
Collagen supplements are big business, and the market is booming. Reports valued the global industry at more than US$1.8 billion in 2019. There are powders, smoothies, gummies and chewy sweets, all claiming to boost your collagen levels and give you a dewy, youthful glow. Are supplements the elixir of youth or just an empty promise? 
The truth is probably somewhere between the two options. The problem is, that your body is designed to break down collagen from your diet or supplements into amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Is there any difference between supplements and a natural, protein-rich meal? A review of research into oral collagen supplements showed promising long and short-term effects on skin ageing and wound healing. Oral collagen supplements appear to increase the general density of collagen in the skin and increase its elasticity and hydration. Collagen supplementation also appeared to be generally safe with no serious adverse effects . 
Keep an eye on this page for a deeper dive into collagen, recommended supplements and nutrition- coming in a future blog. 
Morpheus8 at Fourways Dental and Aesthetics clinic 
Collagen from your diet and supplements may help boost your body’s general collagen levels, but it can’t specifically target problem areas. If you’re concerned about slack, droopy and uneven skin and don’t want surgery, Morpheus 8 is an effective alternative. The innovative Morpheus 8 device can treat specific problem areas like the face, tummy, knees or decolletage to provide a smoother, firmer, younger appearance. 
Fourways now offers this ground-breaking treatment at an introductory rate until the end of October 2022. Please email info@fourwaysdentalsurgery.com, call Fourways Dental and Aesthetics clinic on 01732882413 or click for more info on Morpheus8. 
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