Collagen is a protein that the body produces and uses almost ubiquitously, in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It contributes to skin elasticity, joint health, muscle strength, a healthy gut and more. In fact, there are 28 different types of collagen found in the body, each of which has a unique function.

However, sometime in our early-to-mid twenties the natural production of collagen slows down and the body begins to lose about 1% of its collagen per year. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors like genetics, UV damage, diet, environmental toxins and more, exacerbate collagen loss and result in the telltale signs of aging in the form of new lines, wrinkles and even body aches.

As we age, the face undergoes deeper changes like the loss of bone density and the separation of structural fat pads. This happens in part because of the body’s changing relationship to collagen and other building blocks like elastin and fibrin. Even wrinkles are deeper than the outermost surface of skin. When the dermis atrophies it becomes less elastic and weaker, causing collagen to break down faster. To compound the process, in our 40s and 50s elastin production steeply declines, which is generally when patients begin to seek collagen-producing solutions. Advancements in regenerative, aesthetic medicine have made it possible for providers to take a more comprehensive approach that works alongside these shifting bodily processes.

For decades, scientists and leaders in the field of Aesthetics have been studying collagen replacement therapies like PDO (polydioxanone) threads. It is one of our favorite bio-stimulatory therapies because these threads are proven to generate collagen, elastin, and fibrin— the essential building blocks for youthful looking skin.

What are PDO threads?

Polydioxanone is a biodegradable material that has been used as dissolvable sutures since the 1980s. When placed in the skin, the threads stimulate fibroblast activity, triggering skin cells to generate brand new collagen and tissue. In the late 1990s, physicians used PDO threads as a semi-permanent solution for sagging skin because they gave providers a safe, minimally invasive alternative to surgery.

Decades of research, improvements to the thread formulation and placement protocols have given aesthetic physicians and nurses the ability to consistently achieve increased volume, superior tightening and lifting. Treatment has not only shown an increase in new collagen and tissue, but also improvements in elasticity.

Types of PDO Threads

There are different types of PDO threads. PDO mono threads, or smooth threads, are small and, as the name suggests, smooth. These help generate collagen and are ideal for treating deep lines between the eyebrows and on the forehead, lip lines, neck lines, and more. They stimulate new collagen, the results of which can be seen after 3 to 4 months.

Molded or barbed threads, also known as cog threads, are ideal for lifting and tightening the skin. They provide a more supportive structure. We insert these threads and reposition the skin in an upright or lateral position, depending on the area of the face, neck or body. What follows is a bio-stimulatory process. Tissue encapsulates the threads and the skin’s fibroblasts go to work generating new collagen, elastin and fibrin. As the threads dissolve, new tissue has formed to replace them. There is significantly less risk associated with the PDO thread face, neck or breast lift, and the results are more natural and nuanced.

Collagen Therapies, Natural Solutions for Aging Skin

Using the power of the body to initiate new tissue growth is safer than surgery. There’s little to no downtime, minimal risk, minor discomfort (if any), yet the results have a big impact on the confidence of our patients. The future of aesthetic skin and body treatments are regenerative therapies like PDO thread lifts that produce semi-permanent results by tapping into the natural healing abilities of the body.

When prescribing preventive or corrective solutions for aging, RejuvenationMD’s providers combine therapies to achieve better outcomes. For some patients, we may recommend pairing a PDO thread lift with Sculptra injections or a series of RF microneedling treatments. Taking a multifaceted approach to collagen generation improves the bio-stimulatory response, helping us achieve optimal results.

An important caveat, central to the success of regenerative aesthetics, is the general health and wellness of the patient. We treat patients of all ages. Patients who lead healthy lifestyles see better results from collagen producing therapies because the body is equipped with the amino acids, minerals and vitamins it needs to foster collagen synthesis more effectively. Health looks different on every body, so consult with your provider to see if you’re a candidate for PDO thread treatments and other nonsurgical therapies.

About RejuvenationMD

RejuvenationMD is the premier aesthetic skin treatment and wellness center in Washington’s North Sound. Our award-winning practice is home to 3 female physicians, an ARNP, a registered nurse, and a team of master estheticians and patient care coordinators. Learn more online at or call RejuvenationMD in Bellingham 360-685-8408 or Burlington 360-982-2620 today.

Aesthetic Skin Treatment