Skin laxity, or sagging skin, occurs when skin loses its firmness and ability to bounce back. Often a symptom of aging, skin laxity occurs when the skin stops producing elastin and collagen. Because of this, skin becomes loose and slack, and can droop in places, including the face. It can result in a less youthful, more tired appearance.
While skin laxity is most evident on the face, it also affects the body. As we stop producing collagen and elastin, our skin sags everywhere, including the upper arms, abdomen, and thighs.
As we age, our bodies stop producing two important things that help keep our skin firm and elastic: collagen and elastin. Collagen is a protein found in the skin and other connective tissues throughout the body, and is one of the main drivers of skin elasticity. The other driver, elastin, is also a protein, which provides stretchiness and strength for many of your body’s tissues, including the skin. When our body readily produces both collagen and elastin, our skin remains firm and is able to “bounce back”; however, as we age and stop producing these compounds, skin becomes saggy and skin laxity develops.
While aging is the main cause of skin laxity, there are also other factors that can influence its development.
Because our bodies slow and eventually halt the production of collagen and elastin, the two proteins that influence skin’s ability to stretch and bounce back, as we age, skin laxity is a natural and common byproduct of aging. Most if not all individuals will develop skin laxity in their forties and fifties and beyond.
The severity of your skin laxity can depend on your genetic makeup. If members of your family have very saggy, droopy skin, it is likely that your skin will develop substantial skin laxity, as well. Genetics can also influence where your skin droops – for instance, if family members tend to develop saggy skin on their upper arms, the likelihood of you developing skin laxity there is higher.
During pregnancy, your body will change, and it is likely that you will gain weight, stretching out the skin of your abdomen, as well as potentially your face, arms and thighs, if weight gain occurs there, as well. After you give birth, it is likely that you will lose some of this weight, but your skin may not bounce back to its pre-pregnancy state.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is the name of a group of genetic disorders that affects your connective tissues, mainly your skin and joints. Those with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have very stretchy, fragile skin.
If you have lost a substantial amount of weight in a short time, either from lifestyle changes or a surgical procedure such as bariatric surgery, the loose, sagging skin that was once stretched by excess fat may not be able to bounce back into shape.
If you experience high levels of stress, the excess cortisol produced by your body as a stress response can speed up the loss of collagen and elastin, which can accelerate skin laxity.
While there are some options for preventing or lessening the development of skin laxity, once skin begins to sag, the most effective solutions are surgical ones.
For skin laxity of the face, a facelift procedure is an effective and commonly chosen solution. To perform a facelift, At SpaMedica, a facelift is performed under local anesthesia with IV sedation or under general anesthesia. During the procedure, incisions will be made within the ear and behind the ears, as well as in the temple scalp hair. The skin will then be raised from the face and neck area, and liposuction under the chin will be performed if required. Finally, excess skin will be carefully removed and sutured.
If you experience skin laxity on the next, it is possible to have a procedure performed, called a necklift, that specifically targets loose skin at this area. A necklift procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. During the procedure, incisions will be made under the chin and inside and behind the ear. The procedure may involve tightening and suturing together the two neck muscles under the chin, which are called the platysma bands. Your low lying submandibular glands and obtuse hyoid bone angles can also be adjusted.
FaceTite is a non-surgical procedure that can help reduce or eliminate sagging skin. During this procedure, which is performed under light sedation, your surgeon will make small access ports on the skin’s outer layers, typically under the earlobes and chin. A small electrode is then placed on the inner layer and outer layer of the skin, and radiofrequency waves are used to heat the area under the surface of the skin.This procedure remodels the tissue and changes the contours, leaving people with a younger-looking appearance.
BodyTite lipo is a medical procedure used to reduce and eliminate localized collections of unwanted fat and loose skin. Like FaceTite, BodyTite uses a small internal electrode to release radiofrequency energy to heat, coagulate and gently liquefy fat. This procedure can be used anywhere on the body where skin laxity occurs, such as the upper arms, thighs, or abdomen.
If a surgical procedure is not an option for you, there are some non-surgical ways to treat skin laxity.
Some preventative measures, such as maintaining good hydration, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and using over-the-counter skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid or other moisturizing products can help you prevent skin laxity. Also, you can take collagen supplements and eat foods that are high in protein.
Ultrasound waves can penetrate deep into the skin, heating skin tissues and improving skin’s appearance.
Like ultrasound, radiofrequency treatment applies heat to the surface of the skin, which penetrates and affects the skin’s laxity and overall improvement.
Some surface-level laser treatments can be used to tighten skin on all areas of the body.
Check out our before and after section here!
The cost to treat skin laxity will depend on the treatment you choose. Non-surgical procedures, such as laser treatments and ultrasound therapy, tend to be lower in cost than invasive, surgical procedures. However, surgical procedures offer more dramatic, lasting results, and generally only require one treatment.
At SpaMedica, Dr. Bell has more than 25 years of experience performing all types of cosmetic procedures, including facial procedures such as face lifts and neck lifts. He will work with you before your surgery to determine your key areas of concern, and to help you develop a plan to achieve your desired results. In addition, our team of professional clinicians are highly trained and professional, and eminently qualified to not only perform non-surgical procedures such as laser treatments and ultrasound therapy, but to consult with you before your surgery to help identify the right procedure for you.
Whether your primary concerns are sagging skin on your face, neck, or body, there is a solution that will deliver your desired results at SpaMedica. Contact the clinic to book your skin laxity consultation today.
For a restored facial appearance with a tight and youthful contour, a facelift will tighten the neck muscles and remove excess facial skin.
FaceTite is an advanced contouring system that is a minimally invasive alternative to a facelift.
Utilizing a probe that is designed to deliver energy or heat to the underlying fat layer while performing a liposuction procedure.
A hyaluronic acid dermal filler that can control the signs of aging.
A soft tissue filler used to create a more youthful appearance by replacing lost collagen to smooth out facial wrinkles and folds.
A non-invasive, suction-coupled infrared and radiofrequency heating device that reduces fat, tightens the skin and contours the body.
Fractora is a fractional skin resurfacing and subdermal tissue coagulation tool that is utilized to enhance the results of fractional lasers and surgical procedures.