Saggy Skin and How to Treat It
Skin sagging, as much as we hate it, affects all of us.
You may have noticed the folds of your face such as the laugh lines looking more prominent. Or realise that the shape of your face is looking more squarish and bottom-heavy.
Your skin may also feel looser to touch, not as firm and taut as before. These are all signs that your facial skin is starting to sag.
Why Does Our Skin Sag?
1. Loss of Collagen and Elastin
Collagen and Elastin are the building blocks of youthful, elastic skin. They form the mesh that supports the skin, resisting the effect of gravity allowing it to stay tight and firm.
Ageing and sun exposure causes our skin to lose collagen and elastin, which leads to sagging as this supportive mesh becomes looser.
Genetics also play a role as our skin are programmed to age differently from person to person. In addition, the production of new collagen and elastin reduces with age, hence stimulation of its production is a cornerstone of saggy skin treatments.
2. Loss of Volume
Our facial skeleton and deep fat pads prop up the overlying skin and are very important for a youthful appearance.
While most people realize that skin becomes looser with age, it is less common knowledge that the structures propping up the skin also shrinks with age, exacerbating the saggy appearance.
What treatments are there for saggy skin?
Ultherapy uses Microfocused Ultrasound (MFUS) to deliver ultrasound energy precisely to the deeper layers of the skin which loosens with age. This stimulates the formation of collagen and elastin, strengthening the foundation of youthful skin without harming the outer layers of the skin.
There is minimal downtime and is termed a “non-surgical facelift” which only has to be done once a year for optimal results. Since its inception, the Ultherapy protocol has been further refined and we currently follow the Amplify Protocol to deliver sufficient treatment shots for predictable results.
Thermage uses Mono-Polar Capacitative Radiofrequency (RF) to deliver energy safely and uniformly into the skin layers and renew the collagen, resulting in an immediate skin tightening and a well-defined three-dimensional skin contour.
The skin layer targeted is more superficial (nearer the surface) than Ultherapy, hence it has a synergistic skin tightening effect when done in conjunction with Ultherapy. It is also recommended for Thermage to be done annually for best results.
Fillers improves sagging by restoring volume in the face, hence supporting and propping up the overlying skin better. Modern-day fillers, such as Juvederm Voluma, can last up to 24 months after injection. Fillers are injected to restore fat pads and bone of our face with immediate effect and aims to deliver a natural-looking result.
4. Surgical Facelift
For those with moderate to severe sagginess and excess skin, a surgical facelift is a definite option to consider. During a surgical facelift, incisions are made at the hairline or sides of the face and excess skin is trimmed and stitched back.
Fat may also be sculpted and redistributed while the deeper layers of the skin may be tightened at the same time. The results from a surgical facelift are not permanent and can be expected to last about 10 years as the skin will start to sag again.