Dozens of studies show collagen repair is possible and demonstrate why three types of available skin treatments, topical retinoic acid, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and injections of cross-linked hyaluronic acid, are effective.
University of Michigan scientists draw on dozens of studies since the early 1990s to explain why these treatments all improve the skin’s appearance – and its ability to resist bruises and tears – by stimulating new collagen. Collagen is a key supporting substance, plentiful in young skin, that’s produced in the sub-surface layer of skin known as the dermis. The findings show that the breakdown of the dermis’ firm, youthful structure is a very important factor in skin aging – a much more straightforward thing to fix than genetic factors that others theorize may be involved.
“Fibroblasts are not genetically shot,” says John J. Voorhees, M.D., F.R.C.P., chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School and the article’s senior author. Fibroblast cells in the skin are the key producers of collagen.