Sagging skin is defined by the appearance of loose skin on the face, neck and body. This is usually caused by ageing, weight loss or pregnancy. It may sometimes be referred to as ‘turkey skin’.
As we get older, our natural production of elastin and collagen slows. This causes skin to have less ‘bounce back’ when it is stretched, and over time gravity can cause skin to sag. Facial sagging is common as we age, and sagging skin often occurs around the jowls, jawline and neck.
Sagging skin may also be a result of fat loss or pregnancy. If you’ve lost a large amount of weight, you may find sagging skin appears on areas such as your upper arms, stomach and thighs. Post-pregnancy, you may also experience sagging skin around the stomach and breasts.
What Causes Sagging Skin?
Sagging skin is a normal – and inevitable – part of growing older. As we age, our skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin slows down. In time, mature skin becomes thinner and less elastic. Without the natural ‘bounce back’ higher levels of collagen and elastin provide, skin is more likely to sag and droop.
Sagging skin is also associated with fat loss. Weight loss, dieting and pregnancy can all cause saggy, excess skin on the body. This is because carrying extra weight can cause damage to the collagen and elastin fibres in your skin, which makes it harder for skin to ‘snap back’ when you lose weight. This is particularly true as you get older, as diminished levels of collagen and elastin make the ‘snap back’ even more difficult.
Treating Sagging Skin
Sagging skin as a result of ageing is – to some extent – inevitable. However, there are ways to prevent it. Avoiding exposure to UV rays as well as environmental damage like pollutants and smoking will slow down the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin.
However, professional treatments are most effective to tighten and firm sagging skin – particularly if it is the result of weight loss or pregnancy. Cosmetic treatments include laser resurfacing and radio frequency; both of these non-surgical options boost skin’s natural collagen product, in turn tightening and lifting sagging skin. Collagen injections and Profhilo are also effective in this manner. Effective surgical options include a thread lift or Accutite; these are minor procedures that lift and tighten the skin very successfully.