When it comes to aging, wrinkling may be the most common problem people worry about, but there are also other aesthetic problems that can contribute just as much to the appearance of aging. One of the most obvious signs of aging that can greatly affect appearance is sagging skin, which can occur in all areas of the face and neck. Sagging skin can make the face lose definition and youthfulness quickly, and this rapid change can make you look much older than you actually are. If you are struggling with the effects of sagging skin, then it is a good idea to understand why it occurs, as well as ways to improve the skin’s appearance through cosmetic surgery and treatments.
What Causes Sagging Skin?
It may seem like gravity is the culprit when it comes to sagging skin, but that is only part of what occurs when aging begins to take place and initiates changes in the skin. The underlying structures of the skin start to break down, especially collagen, an abundant protein that keeps the skin looking smooth, firm, and youthful. Production of collagen slows down with age, and existing structures begin to break down over time.
Where Does It Begin?
Sagging skin can start in many areas of the face, but it often begins in either the forehead and eyelids or the neck/jaw areas. This can start to affect your resting expression and overall appearance. Because aging is so individual, where your skin starts to deteriorate first depends on your lifestyle, genetics, sun damage, and other factors. If sagging skin is affecting you in just one area instead of many, it will affect your treatment options.
How Severe Is It?
Early intervention is best when it comes to signs of aging, especially sagging skin. Starting with treatments early can mean that a less invasive treatment is needed to rejuvenate the face. More severe facial sagging may require surgery for satisfactory improvement.
Options for Treatment
Unfortunately, sagging skin can be a difficult problem to improve without fairly invasive measures. New technologies are always in the works to reduce the invasiveness of cosmetic procedures, but effective options for severe sagging are still quite invasive. That said, here are some treatments that can help with sagging skin, depending on the severity of the problem.
A fairly new and powerful minimally invasive procedure, Pelleve was created to address wrinkling and sagging skin, and it can help address up to moderate sagging. Pelleve is a comfortable treatment that utilizes radiowave energy to heat the deep layers of skin and stimulate collagen production. The treatment lasts about an hour and requires no anesthesia or downtime. Patients can expect improvement for up to six months after treatment.
An anti-aging solution that has been popular for many years, resurfacing techniques are a good option for many signs of aging, including sagging skin. Both plasma and laser treatments involve heating deep layers of skin, encouraging old, damaged skin to peel off and new, fresh skin and collagen to form. Laser treatments are a more invasive procedure than plasma, but offer slightly more dramatic results. Downtime and anesthesia requirements depend on the procedure, but initial recovery typically takes one to two weeks.
Face lift and Other Facial Surgery
The most comprehensive way to tighten loose skin, surgical procedures are the most invasive option, and also produce the most dramatic results. A face lift may be a good option for patients with all-over sagging skin, but younger people with aging focused in just one area of the face may get good results with a standalone procedure such as a brow lift. Surgical procedures are used to manually tighten and remove excess skin, and are usually performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Recovery time is dependent on the procedure, and results can last for years, for procedures such as a face lift.
Choosing Your Surgeon
Anti-aging is a very individual process, and there is no one method of facial rejuvenation that works well for every patient. Good results require expert facial assessment, planning, and execution of customized procedures. Because of this, you should only speak with a board certified facial plastic surgeon to pursue your goals. A highly experienced provider will have your best interests at heart and help you get the results you are looking for.
If you are looking for an experienced provider in the Boston area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA to meet with acclaimed facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover has been working with patients to achieve their facial rejuvenation goals for over 25 years, specializing in face lifts, laser treatments, and rhinoplasty. Dr. Bentkover has also received recognition for his exceptional results with Pelleve. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentkover, call either location today.