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Fighting the signs of aging

Some people like letting themselves age passively. Others prefer fighting the signs of aging. There are several methods for fighting the signs of aging. Going under the knife in an operating room may be the most drastic measure. Chemical peels and Botox® also require medical supervision. Collagen can help fight aging in ways, some of which are gentler than medical procedures. Collagen can be delivered through injections, creams, or supplements. Some people favor collagen supplements for aging, as long as the collagen is absorbable.

Scalpel and Harsh Chemicals
Cosmetic surgery is an expensive and potentially risky way to fight the signs of aging. During cosmetic surgery, the surgeon cuts open the skin and tightens the muscles and connective tissue beneath. Then he removes excess fat and skin before sewing the skin shut. It can take months to fully recover from cosmetic surgery.

Chemical peels range from the mild to the severe. They damage the surface of the skin so that it peels off. A deep peel may take two weeks to heal. It may also leave the skin red for up to 2 months.

Botox® is not a chemical peel but a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. It paralyzes or weakens muscles temporarily. A doctor injects Botox into a patient's face to make certain muscles weaker. The effects last for a few months. If the paralyzed muscle atrophies, the skin benefits can be more permanent but use of the muscle is largely lost.

Collagen
Some collagen products can make skin look younger. Some skin creams contain collagen. These creams only benefit the surface layer of skin, because they are unable to penetrate the deeper layers, where a large amount of collagen resides.

Sometimes a doctor will inject collagen below the surface of a patient's skin. The collagen injections can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping-up the skin, but these changes are temporary. Collagen injections are more expensive than topical creams and carry some health concerns. There is a slight risk of infection at the injection sites. Also, the results from collagen injections will vary with the skill of the doctor performing the procedure.

Certain collagen supplements can get digested and absorbed by the body. The circulatory system then distributes the collagen throughout the body, including the skin. Because the deeper layers of skin have plenty of blood vessels, collagen from supplements can reach those layers. The key is the collagen has to be absorbable; many collagen forms are not. Absorbable collagen supplements like TOKI® are a gentle, clinically proven to improve the appearance of certain fine line and age spots.

Choices for fighting the signs of aging range from the expensive to affordable, invasive to simple. Any medical treatment carries some risks and potential side effects. Skin creams, collagen injections, and collagen supplements deliver collagen to the skin, although the latter two approaches can reach deeper layers of the skin. Clinical research suggests that an absorbable collagen supplement such as Toki may be both effective and a non- invasive way to fight the signs of aging.

Options for Fighting the Signs of Aging
Cosmetic Surgery Very expensive and has the risks that are inherent in any surgery
Chemical Peels Uses harsh chemicals. May take months to fully recover.
Botox® Injects a paralyzing toxin into muscles.
Collagen Boosts collagen in the skin. Collagen form must be absorbable.

References:

1. Wrinkles. Mayo Clinic
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wrinkles/DS00890

2. Wrinkles. MedlinePlus
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003252.htm

3. Chemical Peel. Healthwise Knowledgebase
University of Michigan Health System
http://health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=HW%5FKnowledgebase&AEArticleID=aa59621&AEArticleType=HealthConditions

4. Face-lift (rhytidectomy). Healthwise Knowledgebase
University of Michigan Health System
http://health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=HW%5FKnowledgebase&AEArticleID=tf6232&AEArticleType=HealthConditions

5. Cosmetic Surgery: What to Know Beforehand. Mayo Clinic
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cosmetic-surgery/SN00006

6. Botulinum Toxin (Botox). Healthwise Knowledgebase
University of Michigan Health System
http://health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=HW%5FKnowledgebase&AEArticleID=tf6217&AEArticleType=HealthConditions

7. Filler Injections. Healthwise Knowledgebase
University of Michigan Health System
ttp://health.med.umich.edu/healthcontent.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=6&action=detail&AEProductID=HW%5FKnowledgebase&AEArticleID=tn10185&AEArticleType=HealthConditions