When you think about collagen, you probably think of a concoction like a natural collagen and placenta night cream, a treatment designed to smooth wrinkles and give a youthful appearance. This works because collagen (along with elastin, keratin and other compounds) is responsible for maintaining skin strength and elasticity. While collagen creams can be a good addition to beauty routines, and is even used in some cosmetic injectable procedures, live collagen benefits aren’t confined to cosmetic purposes alone.
Here are some promising medical applications for collagen:
- Joint Pain Relief:
Collagen is made in supplement form to support joint health and relieve the pain of arthritis. There isn’t a medical consensus as to whether this works beyond supplementing amino acids in the body, but many patients report decreased pain.
- Burned Skin Replacement:
Collagen is used to create artificial skin substitutes used in the treatment of severe burns. This collagen may be derived from human or animal sources.
- Gum Healing Acceleration:
An article published in the medical journal Head and Face Medicine showed positive results using bovine collagen to promote gum healing around exposed tooth roots. The doctors who performed the study said that all the patients saw improvements in receding gums that would have usually required surgery.
- Heart Disease Treatment:
It was discovered in 2010 by MIT researchers that collagen can switch back and forth between a rigid form and a flexible form. This has facilitated the development of drugs that lower heart attack risk by directly targeting the collagen that prevents arterial plaque from rupturing (an approach previously thought unfruitful).
- Corneal Shields:
Corneal shields made from collagen fit onto the eye somewhat like contact lenses, delivering healing power directly to the eye surface. The shields can dissipate in as little as six hours and as long as one week. While the most direct application is in the treatment of dry-eye, scientists are also exploring how this might be used as a safe and effective drug delivery system.
Did you know collagen is used for more than smoothing out crow’s feet? Would you use a natural collagen and placenta night cream, or would you prefer to stick to natural collagen for purely medical procedures? Discuss in the comments.