This is a guest post courtesy of Dr. Christopher Pavlou, the Founder, Owner, and practicing medical and aesthetics doctor at Skin Technique in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Even those who are blessed by good genetics and who are utterly devoted to good skincare from their youth will eventually have to deal with loose and sagging skin as they get older. It’s just a fact of life that as we age, our skin loses more and more of its youthful elasticity and tautness. Most home remedies and products you can buy in a beauty store will only slow down the amount of skin sagging you have.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to help keep your skin firm and youthful as you get older, thanks to advances in new treatments related to your skin. So if you want to treat loose and sagging skin as you age, look into these five treatments that can help you fight off Father Time.
Radio Frequency Treatments
One of the best new technologies that has been found to have very positive effects on improving the health and youthfulness of your skin is by using heated radio frequency waves. These treatments involve having an applicator device placed on your skin in the area you want to tighten up. The device emits heated radio waves into your skin at tightly controlled temperatures to produce very precise effects in your skin cells.
The effect of these treatments improves the health of the collagen in your skin, as well as causes your body to produce new collagen. Collagen is an important protein that maintains the structural integrity of your skin, as well as other parts of your body. When your body heals a cut on your skin, it does so by producing more collagen in the area to form new skin cells that eventually seal up the cut.
So by affecting the collagen in your skin using the heated radio waves, your skin essentially becomes healthier and younger. This helps your skin firm up by making it more elastic and taut, making any wrinkles or loose sagging skin go away. You typically get anywhere from 8 to 12 sessions for radio frequency treatments, but the effects can last up to three years with proper skin care maintenance afterwards.
There are a few different types of laser treatments to help reduce loose or sagging skin. The first works in a similar way to radio frequency treatments. Instead of using heated radio waves on your skin, it uses microscopic beams of light that are heated to penetrate the skin at a level that is invisible to the naked eye.
The method is different, but the result is the same — the heated lasers helps your body produce new amounts of collagen to improve the youth and health of your skin. You usually only need to get as many as 5 sessions to complete the treatment, and the results can last just as long as radio frequency treatments.
The other type of laser treatment is called laser resurfacing, or laser peels. It is more aggressive to produce faster results, but also requires more serious recovery from treatments, including the treated area being bandaged. It uses more concentrated lasers to remove entire layers of your skin in targeted areas with precision. The lasers vaporize the cells on the surface of the skin, which forces your body to create entirely new skin cells with a larger scale of collagen production.
Injected Facial Fillers
One of the reasons for skin becoming more loose and saggy comes from a decreased amount of hyaluronic acid production by our bodies. Hyaluronic acid is what gives skin a lot of its volume and plumpness, so as we lose the same levels we had in our youth, our skin continues to lose its tautness. This is where fillers come in.
Fillers work similar to Botox, in that they are injected into the parts of the skin in your face that you want to have smoother and more plump. But where Botox introduces a foreign substance to our bodies that is actually a toxin, fillers use a gel-like substance that replenishes the natural hyaluronic acid levels to the targeted areas of your face. The restoration of the natural acid helps tighten and smooth out your skin again.
After getting one treatment, you should start noticing results in less than an hour, with the effects lasting as long as two years. There are different types of fillers you can get that use different ingredients, but we think using naturally occurring acids works best.
Chemical peels use gel that contains natural acids, as well as other ingredients that promote your skin’s health, that are applied to your skin. It works in a similar way to laser resurfacing, but at a less aggressive level. The acids in the peel slowly burn away and remove the surface layer of your skin to create a controlled wound. This makes your body kick its collagen production into gear and create a newer, healthier layer of skin that is more tight and firm.
There are different levels of strength for chemical peel treatments, and they are also used to treat other skin issues such as acne, scarring, and other skin blemishes. You should typically get peels no more than twice a year, as they make your skin very sensitive to the sun and other elements in the aftermath of the treatment.
What can exacerbate the appearance of sagging skin is when you have stubborn body fat that accumulates as you age. Things like belly fat, love handles, chin fat, and other areas of your body that tend to have more sagging skin can make your skin look looser and older than it is, especially for women who go through multiple childbirths.
Coolsculpting is a very new treatment that gets rid of these types of body fat to make your skin look tighter. It works similar to radio frequency treatments, in that an applicator is held to the area of skin you want to treat and it emits cold waves at precisely controlled temperatures just below the surface of your skin. The cold temperatures cause the fat cells to freeze and die, where your body absorbs them and passes them off as waste naturally.
It is non-surgical and can get rid of specific types of fat near the surface of your body. Make sure to consult with your doctor to make sure the treatment will work for the body fat you want to get rid of. If it’s the wrong type of fat, the treatment won’t be nearly as effective.
About the Author:
Dr. Christopher Pavlou is medical doctor and board certified in aesthetic medicine. He is the owner and founder of Skin Technique, a medical aesthetic clinic in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. He has brought his philosophy of Honour Your Beauty to Skin Technique by offering a variety of specialized services including dermal fillers, anti wrinkle treatments, lasers and coolsculpting. When he isn’t performing naturally rejuvenating treatments and procedures, he loves to share his expertise and knowledge on aesthetic artistry with others who are looking to educate themselves in the evolving field of aesthetic medicine.