This is a very complex question. The half-life of collagen fromf skin fibroblasts is affected by many factors. For example, ultraviolet light from the sun, dramatically reduces collagen production and strength. This means that fair skinned people with a lot of sun exposure, will loose a lot of collagen strength. Women loose collagen faster than men-especially after menopause. Smoking and certain medication will also reduce collagen strength. Obesity and streching, weakens collagen.
On the other hand, patients who are taking creams that have collagen growth factors (such as Skin Medica TNS Essentials) will have much better results (tighter skin and more long-lasting results). Sunscreens, will protect collagen. For post-menopausal women, we prescribe hormone creams which are designed to strengthen the skin. Cumulative MLP treatments, one week apart, will give longer-lasting results.
Generally, about 10% of skin fibroblast strength and production is lost for every decade after the age of 20. This means that a 50 year-old woman will have lost 30% of collagen volume and strength. If this patient is a smoker, is post-menopausal, or if the skin has been exposed to a lot of sun, there will be more collagen loss.
Since each MLP treatment increases collagen strength/production by 5%, about 6 treatments will be needed initially. Each treatment will result in increased collagen synthesis over the next 6 weeks, and a persistent effect up to 12 weeks. For heavily photodamaged skin (such as the face), we also give prescriptions for skin tightening creams (Skin Medica TNS line). For women with thin skin, hormonal creams are prescribed. Post-menopausal women, or patients taking steroids or who are hypothyroid, need to be on a bone preserving protocol-regardless of the status of a bone density scan.
Aug 30, 2012