Elastin

Medical Specialties: Dermatology, Family practice, Internal medicine


Clinical Definition

Elastin is a flexible, stretchy protein found with collagen in the dermis, responsible for providing structure to the skin and organs throughout the body. Elastin, like collagen, is affected adversely with age and environmental exposure. When elastin levels in the dermis diminish, it can lead to the onset of rhytides.


In Our Own Words

Elastin is an elastic-like protein, found along with collagen in the skin, that gives structure and flexibility to skin and other organs. Breakdown of elastin and collagen in arteries is thought to be a factor aneurysm development, and loss of elastin in the lungs is associated with emphysema.

Cosmetically, as elastin declines with age, the skin accumulates wrinkles (rhytides) and begins to sag. Elastin is not the most abundant protein in the skin; collagen is.

However, collagen and elastin together are responsible for warding off fine lines and wrinkles. They both decline with age.

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