Young Skin is Tight Skin
Young skin is tight skin. It has a natural elasticity that allows it to rebound to its original position quickly when it is stretched. It holds everything up where it is supposed to be. The natural fat pads are held up under the eyebrow, up tight under the eye, and up high on the cheek. Skin feels firm. Eyelids are smooth and tight. The jaw line is tight, with the skin up against the bone. The neck is firm without sagging.
With aging, collagen and elastic fibers are broken down and the skin loses elasticity as a result of repeated exposures due to damaging effects of the sun, gravity, smoking, environmental toxins, glycemic diet, weight fluctuations, and hormonal changes. Skin feels too loose. Everything starts to sag. The fat pads end up dragging the eyebrows down, bags develop under the eyes, and the cheeks end up at the lower face as jowls. Neck is flabby. Adding to the loss of elasticity is loss of volume in the face. Aging related loss of fat, collagen and bone structure cause skin to be too loose around too little volume. When this happens, gravity takes over and the skin sags.
How to Prevent and Slow Down Skin Sagging
The earlier you start the better results you will get. However, there is a genetic factor to sagging and early wrinkling of skin, especially in women. If the older women in your family, especially your mother, had early sagging and wrinkling, then it is even more important that you start early.
The best way to slow down this progression is prevention: don't tan, consistent daily sun protection with sun block every day to your face and neck; avoid weight fluctuations, toxins and smoking; eat a healthy non-glycemic diet; use of topical retinoids, antioxidants, peptides, growth factors, fruit acids. Dealing with estrogen loss helps too.
Tighten Sagging Skin Without Surgery
When you start to see skin looseness and sagging but it is not pronounced, then it is time to start in-office non-surgical aesthetic skin tightening treatments to prevent and correct early or moderate changes. Non-surgical cosmetic procedures to combat sagging can also be useful in patients who have more pronounced sagging, but who are either not candidates for surgical tightening or who don't want a surgical procedure and are willing to accept less tightening than they would get with surgery.
There are two ways to approach the problem and best results are often achieved by utilizing both. The first approach is a skin tightening procedure that increases collagen and tightens existing collagen and elastic fibers. The second option is to restore the aging related lost volume with Sculptra, hyaluronic fillers Juvederm and Restylane, or Radiesse to lift the skin in what has been called a "liquid lift" or "liquid face-lift." All skin tightening treatments work best on patients with some remaining collagen, elasticity and underlying fat; on those who are healthy; non-smokers; those with mild to moderate skin looseness and good underlying muscle tone. They all work less well on those with very thin skin lacking collagen and fat, smokers, those who continue to tan, and older patients with decreased ability to make new collagen. They are not a substitute for a face-lift.
Best results are achieved by using both Thermage plus Sculptra sometimes called Therma-Fill. Sculptra improves the function of the fibroblast cells and they produce new collagen, so that Thermage tightening is increased. The result is a natural looking youthful fullness with tightened skin on the face and neck.
Thermage Skin Tightening
Thermage is a non-surgical FDA approved office procedure for tightening skin, with no incisions, surgery or recovery time. The Thermage treatment tip delivers radiofrequency (RF) energy into the deeper layers of skin giving immediate tightening of collagen and underlying tissue followed by gradual skin tightening over time by promoting growth of new collagen. The Thermage facial skin tightening treatment helps combat the sagging skin which leads to jowls and softening of the upper neck. While not a replacement for a traditional "facelift," it can provide a significant tissue tightening effect on the face and neck for patients who have mild to moderate looseness or sagging, and for those who do not want or do not need a surgical facelift.
Eyes by Thermage helps smooth and tighten skin and decrease hooding in the eye area. You'll have younger looking, more lifted eyes that look less tired. Smoother eyelid skin makes it easier to apply eye shadow and eyeliner.
Body by Thermage treats lax skin on the body from pregnancy, weight loss or aging for those who are not significantly overweight and are looking to help firm sagging skin. It may be combined with CoolSculpting fat reduction to both reduce fat and tighten loose skin.
Thermage Skin Tightening Treatment
Thermage—helps combat sagging skin which leads to jowls and softening of the upper neck, and tightens eyelid skin. Thermage is an office procedure with no surgery and no recovery time that tightens loose skin with non-invasive radiofrequency heat. It gives some immediate tightening of collagen and promotes the growth of new collagen fibers and additional tightening over time.
Thermage Face and Neck Results— smoother and tighter skin, contouring of jawline and upper neck, and lifted eyebrows and cheeks.
Thermage Eyelid Tightening Procedure Results—tighter, smoother skin, reduced crepiness and hooding, more upper eyelid revealed and reduced under-eye bags.
Thermage Body Tightening Procedure Results—tightening and lifting with flatter and smoother skin, smoothed dimples and improved skin texture.
Improve Thermage Procedure Results—with Therma-Fill, the injection of Sculptra or Juvederm to restore volume and stimulate collagen production.
Number of Treatments—one treatment for many patients; some patients require more than one treatment for optimum results.
Discomfort— with each touch of the tip a brief intense heating sensation is felt. We prescribe oral pain and anxiety medications.
Time to See Results— some patients see results immediately; however, results are usually gradually seen over 2 - 6 months. Improvements continue for at least 6 months. If a second treatment is needed, it is usually done 6 months after the first treatment.
Duration of Results— much of the results are permanent.
Recovery Time/Side Effects— your skin may feel flushed as with mild sunburn. Rarely patients develop swelling of the face and neck after treatment, occasionally lasting up to a week. Some patients may experience thickening of the tissue deep in the skin, numbness or mild discomfort when pressure is placed over bony areas (such as jaw line). This may last several weeks, rarely longer, and is normal. Patients return to their regular activities immediately following treatment.