What Causes Saggy Skin?

If you’ve recently lost a lot of weight, you probably learned the hard way that saggy skin is an undesirable side effect. When the skin has had a particular shape for a long time, or if it developed stretch marks due to rapid weight gain, saggy skin on the arms, abdomen, thighs, or face can be a result of fat loss. With age, our skin slows the production of collagen and elastin, the undesirable result is once again – saggy skin.

While saggy skin is often linked to weight loss and pregnancy, it can happen to anyone as they get older. In fact, no one is immune; we all age eventually and virtually everyone experiences saggy skin as they reach their golden years.

It can be very challenging to treat sagging skin at home, but fortunately there are non-surgical and surgical solutions, some of which can make a noticeable, if not dramatic difference. From topical creams and injectable treatments, to radiofrequency and microneedling, to laser resurfacing and surgery, there are solutions for those living with saggy skin.

Main Causes of Loose Skin

We’ve discussed the two major causes of sagging and loose skin: weight loss and aging. However, those aren’t the only culprits. Saggy skin can be caused by any of the following:

  • Aging
  • Weight loss
  • Smoking
  • Sun damage
  • Tanning beds
  • Exposure to environmental pollutants
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetics
  • Medical conditions, such as cutaneious T-Cell Lymphoma and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Treating Saggy Skin

If you have saggy skin and you’re concerned about the way it looks, there are things you can do to reduce or eliminate it. The best treatment option(s) will depend on the cause of your loose skin and the severity of it. From slight to significant, sagging skin can vary quite a bit. As you consider your treatment options, you’ll want to think about the location of the saggy skin, the degree of sagging, and how you feel about your condition.

An important factor in treating saggy skin is to avoid the factors that exacerbate it. Quitting smoking, avoiding sun exposure or tanning, drinking adequate amounts of water, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and exercising regularly are the first steps to take.

Some treatment options include:

  • Creams, lotions, and serums containing retinol
  • Injectable treatments (Sculptra, Radiesse, PRP, Fillers)
  • Laser treatments (fractional CO2, Erbium, NeoGen Plasma or Renuvion)
  • Radiofrequency treatments (external Velashape, Forma, BodyFx, Morpheus8)
  • Subdermal tightening (Renuvion, FaceTite, BodyTite)
  • Mimimally invasive neck rejuvenation (Ellevate procedure)
  • Body contouring surgery, such as a tummy tuck, face lift, neck lift, arm lift, fat transfer and liposuction etc.

Non-surgical procedures can definitely help but the results may need to be maintained at regular intervals. For moderate to severe saggy skin, surgical procedures typically yield the most effective, long-lasting results.

Saggy skin can be bothersome to a lot of people, it can affect how they look in a bathing suit or fitted clothing and can impact their self-esteem. If you have saggy skin, contact our office to meet with Dr. Yuly Gorodisky and discuss your options.

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