The winter edition (2013) of New Beauty has offered a synopsis of options for sagging skin.
As we age, the production of collagen, a protein that gives our skin its structure, weakens leaving in its wake looser skin. Outside of proper diet, and minimizing sun exposure, board-certified dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons can perform both non-invasive and surgical remedies.
Non-invasive skin tightening procedures utilize energy. Brand names include Thermage, Cutera, and Ultherapy. These procedures deliver focused energy deep into skin layers to stimulate collagen production within the skin’s dermal layer. Results are usually noticeable after the treatment but continue naturally over a few months time. Appointments range from 30 to 60 minutes. Depending on the treatment and or patient sensitivity, topical pain medications may be used. The best candidate for this therapy is a person with minimal to moderate sagging skin. Some redness may result after the treatment that may last a few days.
For sagging skin that appears with lost volume such as occurs around the nose and lips, micro-fat-grafting transfer may be an option. Fat is suctioned from the client’s body: tummy, hips, or buttocks. After a purification process, a very thin cannula redeposits the fat into the areas that need plumping. The thinness of the cannula helps prevent damage to the fat cell. Bruising and swelling are normal, and can last upwards of a few weeks. This treatment leaves the client with a natural look.
Another temporary, non-surgical treatment involves fillers under the brand names such as Radiesse or Sculptra. Dermal fillers offer minimal recovery time and bruising. The injected volume offers a bit of a lift. Results can last from a few months to a year.
When sagging skin becomes too extreme for non-surgical methods, an option might be the transconjunctival mid-facelift. This service focuses improvement in the center part of the face, lower eyelids and corrects cheek irregularities. Incisions made inside the lower eyelid and/or within the gum line avoid cutting the skin’s outer surface. Recovery time is about two weeks and results that result a smoother, natural look.
A mini face-lift is a good procedure for patients concerned with loose skin in the cheeks and jowls but not the neck. It offers long term, natural results for the individual. Scars will sit around the front of and possibly within the ear itself. Recovery time is approximately 2 weeks.
All of these procedures provide improvements for sagging skin but do not replace the standard face-lift. Consulting with a board-certified physician, specializing in cosmetic procedures, about any of these services is recommended.