What is Collagen and How Does Ultherapy Build It?

When we are in our 20’s, our skin is strong, smooth, and radiant. As we age, we begin to notice changes in our skin, including laxity, wrinkles, jowling, and thinning of the skin. What causes this and what can be done about it?

Collagen is a group of proteins that makes up 75% of the dry weight of our skin, and offers structural support and firmness to the skin. Some forms of collagen in the skin are stronger than steel. Elastin, another protein in the skin, provides elasticity.

Unfortunately, due to the natural aging process, both collagen and elastin content in the skin decline. As a result, we see the associated changes of wrinkling and laxity. These intrinsic changes of aging, changes associated with the typical aging process, can be accelerated by extrinsic causes of aging. These extrinsic causes include smoking, sun damage, some medications including steroids, and a high sugar diet.

What can be done to slow the decline, or even increase the amount of collagen and elastin in the skin? At Pura Vida Medical Spa in Naples, Florida, there are many options. These include radio frequency energy, both externally delivered (ThermiSmooth Face and JuVaShape) and internally delivered through a minimally invasive procedure known as ThermiTight. Collagen and elastin production are stimulated through heat generated by the radiofrequency energy.

Another option includes microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy. During this procedure, many small needles puncture the skin, stimulating a repair process that includes collagen and elastin production. Microneedling’s collagen stimulation may be augmented by the combined use of radio frequency energy emitted by the microneedles as they penetrate the skin. Also, one may also add platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to the microneedling procedure, in which your body’s own growth factors are applied and enter the newly formed microchannels into the deeper skin layers. These growth factors, taken and concentrated from a blood sample, also stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin.

Another option is Ultherapy. Ultherapy uses the safe and time-tested ultrasound technology which has been used clinically since 1959. Ultherapy uses ultrasound to both image the treatment area, as well as to deliver micro-focused ultrasound, which naturally stimulates collagen and elastin production. Ultherapy was initially FDA-cleared in 2009, and is the only technology currently available that has an FDA clearance for nonsurgical skin lifting as well as skin tightening. Thus far, there have been over one million treatments performed worldwide.

Ultherapy bypasses the superficial layers of the skin, making it safe for all skin types. The ultrasound is strategically micro-focused to multiple layers below the skin’s surface. The deeper layers result in primarily skin lifting, and the more superficial layers offer primarily skin tightening benefits.

To improve the treatment experience, Pura Vida offers inhaled nitrous oxide (laughing gas) FREE with each Ultherapy treatment, which gently relaxes the patient during the treatment.

Learn More about Ultherapy

Interested in learning more about Ultherapy? Call Pura Vida Medical Spa at 239-919-PURA (7872) to schedule a FREE consultation at Pura Vida’s beautiful location on 5th Avenue South in Downtown Naples. We hope to see you soon!