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Collagen is a principal structural protein holding the skin together. Collagen’s ability to provide structure to the cells in the dermis keeps akin looking young and healthy. Collagen gives skin its strength and makes it appear firm and flexible with the help of elastin.

As collagen levels deplete, the layers of the skin lose support and begin to sag. With loss of collagen comes wrinkles and a greater risk of stretch marks with weight gain. Our bodies slowly stop producing collagen around the age of 35. Enzymes found naturally in the body, as well as smoking, pollution and sun damage, break down the collagen and cause the wrinkling of skin.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can slow the decomposition of collagen and onset of wrinkles. Wearing sunscreen, avoiding cigarettes and sun exposure, and moisturizing regularly can prolong the presence of collagen in the skin.

While there are certain habits that are known to slow the signs of aging skin, it cannot be stopped in its tracks. In August of 2009, the FDA approved Scupltra® Aesthetic as a collagen-stimulating injectable. Sculptra ®, which has been available in Europe for a decade, was previously administered to HIV patients as a way to restore volume in to the face. Sculptra® Aesthetic, a long-acting facial filler, works deep within the dermis to replace and stimulate the production of lost collagen.

Unlike dermal fillers such as Juvederm® or Restylane®, Sculptra® Aesthetic works slowly over time to subtly correct facial wrinkles. Sculptra® Aesthetic is injected an average of three times and results are said to last up to two years. As with any dermal filler, if you end the treatment your skin will revert to its original appearance. Sculptra® Aesthetic can only be administered by a physician in New Jersey, and be sure to choose an experienced medical professional for your treatment.