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As we age, the production of the structural proteins collagen and elastin begins to decrease. Collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping the skin firm and smooth, so as collagen production falls, the skin loses its elasticity, becoming saggy and lax. While decreased skin laxity is a natural part of aging skin, sun damage and exposure to other pollutants can speed up the aging process, particularly in the areas of the body that are the most exposed, such as the face, neck, and hands. On the face, skin sagging can manifest as the appearance of jowls along the jawline, hooding above the eyes, or a hollow appearance to the cheeks, emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles that also develop with age. On the neck, lax skin can lead to the dreaded “turkey neck” or the appearance of bands around the neck, while on the hands, increased skin laxity can emphasize the look of veins and bones. Luckily, there are many non-surgical treatment options available at board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green’s New York City dermatology office.

Some patients believe that the only option for dealing with sagging skin is to undergo plastic surgery, such as a facelift. However, many FDA-approved non-surgical skin tightening treatment options provide patients with youthful-looking results without the need for incisions or downtime post-treatment, including radiofrequency laser treatments, such as Thermage, non-ablative laser resurfacing, intense pulsed light (IPL), chemical peels, and Microneedling. These non-surgical procedures boost the production of collagen and elastin for full skin rejuvenation and a firmer, smoother look. Non-invasive skin tightening procedures can also be combined with neuromodulators, such as Botox, and hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, for full anti-aging results. Available for patients of all skin tones, these cosmetic procedures can be performed at Dr. Green’s dermatology office for facial and body contouring and a naturally youthful appearance – little to no recovery time required.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green has been masterfully treating patients at her Upper East Side New York City dermatology office for more than 25 years. Highly experienced in treating many skin conditions and signs of the natural aging process, including high skin laxity, fine lines and wrinkles, volume loss, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and much more, Dr. Green is an expert in creating individualized treatment plans to achieve each patient’s aesthetic goals. Well-known for high patient satisfaction, Dr. Green has been voted one of the best healthcare providers in New York City by such publications as Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and New York Magazine.

What is skin tightening treatment?

It is a natural part of the aging process for skin laxity to increase as the production of collagen and elastin decreases. There is a broad spectrum of skin tightening treatments, ranging from the application of topical skincare products at home to non-surgical skin tightening treatments, such as laser therapy or Microneedling, to cosmetic surgery for skin tightening. For patients looking to decrease signs of aging at home, topical creams containing retinoids can help to increase collagen production in the skin. However, topical creams can only do so much and do not have dramatic anti-aging results. Surgical skin tightening procedures are the other extreme, providing patients with dramatic results but with a high risk of significant side effects, including bleeding, pain, scarring, and infection. That is why many patients turn to non-surgical skin tightening treatments, which provide substantial skin tightening results without the serious risk of side effects or the need for significant downtime.

What causes loose skin?

Two of the most important proteins for giving the skin structure and elasticity are collagen and elastin. In youth, production of these structural proteins is high, meaning the skin appears smooth and firm. But beginning in your late 20s or early 30s, the production of collagen and elastin decreases, causing skin laxity to increase, which emphasizes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and volume loss. High skin laxity can affect nearly any part of the body but is often most apparent on the face, neck, and hands. Sun exposure without the protection of sunscreen and other environmental pollutants can damage the skin and speed up the aging process, furthering the appearance of loose, saggy skin.

What is Microneedling for saggy skin?

Microneedling is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that uses fine needles to boost collagen production by triggering the body’s natural healing response. Microneedling treatment is most effective when performed by a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, in-office with medical-grade equipment. When the Microneedling device is applied to the treatment area, the ultra-fine needles pierce the dermis, creating micro-wounds, which trigger the increased production of collagen and elastin. As the body heals the micro-wounds and collagen production is increased, the skin becomes smoother and firmer over time.

Microneedling can also be paired with radiofrequency laser treatment for even better results. Radiofrequency (RF) Microneedling begins by piercing the skin with fine needles, which then release thermal RF energy into the micro-wounds, causing controlled heat damage to the dermis. This heat damage triggers the body’s healing response and causes collagen production to increase, leading to tighter, firmer, more youthful-looking skin. The RF Microneedling device can be programmed to extend to different depths depending on the severity of the skin laxity, the treatment area, and the patient’s aesthetic goals. Some results of the treatment can be seen immediately as the RF energy causes the fibrous collagen to contract, tightening the skin. Still, results will continue to improve over time as collagen production increases.

female before and after Thermage

How to treat sagging skin after weight loss

It is common to experience some degree of skin laxity after weight loss occurs, particularly if the weight is lost quickly due to a surgical procedure, such as liposuction. When weight loss occurs rapidly, the skin does not have the elasticity to keep up with the contour of the body, resulting in loose, saggy skin. For mild to moderate skin laxity post-weight loss, a non-surgical treatment option, such as laser therapy, can be very effective. However, patients dealing with severe skin laxity post-weight loss may find that the best option is cosmetic surgery. For surgical skin tightening, the plastic surgeon will make an incision before cutting away the excess skin and suturing the wound with fine stitches.

Will sagging skin go away?

Patients often ask, does sagging skin go away? Unfortunately, sagging skin will only increase with age as collagen and elastin production decreases over time. While patients can apply topical creams and skincare products at home, these products alone will not provide dramatic anti-aging results. Luckily, many non-surgical treatment options can reduce the appearance of sagging skin on the face, neck, and body. The best first step to making sagging skin go away is to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Green, who will help you develop the treatment plan that will provide you with naturally youthful-looking results.

Can sagging skin be reversed?

The appearance of sagging skin is a natural part of the aging process but can still be distressing for many patients. Many skin-tightening treatment options provide firmer, smoother, more youthful-looking skin, including Microneedling, laser therapy, and chemical peels. Treatments can also be combined for even more dramatic results, such as radiofrequency laser treatment combined with Microneedling and Thermage RF laser therapy combined with dermal fillers, Botox, or Kybella fat dissolving treatment.

Male before and after Thermage

Can sagging skin be tightened?

There are many skin tightening procedures to address sagging skin resulting from the natural aging process or rapid weight loss, including radiofrequency Microneedling, Thermage RF laser therapy, ablative or non-ablative laser resurfacing treatment, and chemical peels. While the mechanism of action is different for each of these treatments, the general principle remains consistent: causing controlled damage to the epidermis and dermis to boost collagen production for firmer, smoother skin. Non-invasive, non-surgical skin-tightening procedures provide patients with dramatic skin-tightening results without the risk of serious adverse events or the need for significant recovery time.

What to do for sagging skin

The best first step for addressing sagging skin is to schedule a consultation appointment with an expert board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Green will examine the treatment area and discuss your aesthetic goals to create an individualized treatment plan that will meet your needs. Dr. Green is highly experienced in working with patients of many skin tones and skin types, meaning she knows which treatment options are going to be the safest and most effective for each patient. Once Dr. Green has recommended the treatment or series of treatments that will be best for you, you will arrive in her Upper East Side dermatology office for treatment. Most non-invasive treatment options are quick to perform and require minimal discomfort during the procedure. If there is a risk of any pain, Dr. Green will apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment area prior to the process, which increases patient comfort throughout. Once the procedure has been completed, Dr. Green will provide patients with detailed aftercare instructions to ensure that the skin heals properly for beautiful, natural-looking results.

Female treated with Thermage (Abdomen) – 4.5 months

What is the best treatment for wrinkles and sagging skin?

When treating mild to moderate wrinkles and sagging skin, Dr. Green recommends a non-surgical skin tightening treatment plan, which can consist of one or a combination of many treatment options, including Thermage radiofrequency laser treatment, RF microneedling, ablative laser treatment, or chemical peels.

Thermage radiofrequency laser therapy is the gold standard for skin tightening treatment and is FDA-approved to tighten the skin on the face, neck, decolletage, hands, and body. The treatment uses radiofrequency technology to emit a pulse of laser energy that heats the dermal layer of skin, causing controlled thermal damage to the tissue. The heating of the dermis triggers increased production of collagen, which reduces sagging skin, eliminates fine lines, and improves skin texture. Patients will see an immediate improvement in skin laxity following the procedure, and the results will continue to improve over time as collagen production continues. The effects of the treatment can last for as many as 2-3 years, depending on skincare, and the procedure can be repeated annually for optimal results.

Radiofrequency Microneedling combines radiofrequency laser therapy and Microneedling to induce collagen production and tighten the skin. The Microneedling device uses fine needles to create small channels into which the radiofrequency energy is emitted. The combination of the micro-wounds caused by the needles and the thermal damage caused by the RF energy boosts collagen production, creating smooth, evenly textured skin.

Ablative laser resurfacing is a more invasive laser treatment that uses laser energy to remove the outer layer of skin while heating the dermal layer for a full skin resurfacing treatment. Ablative laser resurfacing can provide dramatic results but does require more significant downtime than other non-surgical treatments. The possible side effects of ablative laser resurfacing treatment include swelling, redness, skin irritation, bleeding, scarring, and infection.

Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution, which reacts with the dead skin cells and debris on the skin’s surface to slough off the top layer of skin, boosting collagen production and promoting skin cell turnover for smoother, less saggy skin. Chemical peels are most effective for mild skin laxity, hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts, acne scars, and fine lines. Many different kinds of chemical peels are available, and when you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will choose the chemical peel that will best suit your aesthetic goals and skin type.

What is the best treatment for sagging neck skin?

Sagging skin on the neck can be one of the most distressing signs of the natural aging process. For some patients, sagging neck skin can manifest as a “turkey neck,” which is the unflattering name for loose skin that extends from below the chin down the neck. This loose skin can appear as a result of age or due to rapid weight loss. The best treatment for eliminating sagging neck skin is Thermage radiofrequency laser treatment, which is FDA-approved for use on the neck, face, decolletage, and body. When applied to the treatment area, Thermage heats the inner layer of skin, causing controlled thermal damage that boosts the body’s production of collagen, tightening the skin. Radiofrequency Microneedling can also be used to tighten the skin on the neck, and one study showed that 93% of participants who received RF Microneedling treatment were satisfied with the effects of the treatment, saying that they would receive the treatment again.

Sometimes, sagging neck skin is emphasized by stubborn pockets of fat on the neck, creating a double chin or bulging appearance. If a build-up of fat cells causes the formation of a sagging neck, Dr. Green may recommend pairing Thermage treatment with Kybella, the injectable fat-dissolving treatment. When Kybella is injected into the pockets of fat, the treatment works to destroy fat cells, contouring the neck for a slimmer look.

Thermage (lower face & neck), with Voluma & Restylane Lyft

How to treat sagging skin on the face

Patients often ask, what is the best treatment for sagging face skin? While there are many treatment options, the gold standard for non-surgical skin tightening on the face is Thermage radiofrequency laser therapy. With multiple tip sizes, Thermage can be used on the lower face to address the jowls and around the eyes to eliminate hooding. As we age, sagging skin on the face is pulled downward along the jawline, reducing the chiseled appearance of the lower face and creating jowls. Additionally, sagging skin above the eyelids can start to droop down, causing what is known as “hooding,” creating shadows and a tired appearance to the eyes. When used on the jowls and sagging skin around the eyes, Thermage boosts collagen production for firmer skin and a more contoured look. Thermage can also be combined with treatments like dermal fillers, which fill in lost volume in the cheeks and lips, reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth, and augment the chin and jawline, or Botox, which eliminates dynamic wrinkles that form when facial expressions are made.

What helps sagging skin?

The best first step to help sagging skin is to schedule an appointment with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. Many treatment options are available at Dr. Green’s New York City dermatology office that are non-surgical, meaning they require no downtime and have minimal risk of serious side effects. Typically, for mild to moderate skin laxity, Dr. Green will turn to Thermage radiofrequency laser therapy, which tightens the skin for a smooth, evenly textured, naturally youthful appearance. The radiofrequency energy emitted heats the inner layer of the skin while simultaneously cooling the outer layer of the skin to protect the surrounding tissue and increase patient comfort. Patients can observe the skin tightening results of the treatment immediately after the procedure, and the effects will only continue to improve over the next six months as collagen is continuously created.

55-64 year old woman – Thermage in thigh & knee area – 3 months

How to treat sagging skin today

The natural aging process can wreak havoc on the skin, and sun damage plus environmental pollutants will only emphasize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, volume loss, and skin laxity. Over time, the production of collagen and elastin – the proteins that give the skin structure and elasticity – decreases, resulting in loose, saggy skin on the face and body. Previously, many patients falsely believed that the only way to improve skin laxity was to undergo plastic surgery in the form of a facelift. But in fact, many non-surgical options provide dramatic skin tightening results, including Thermage radiofrequency laser therapy, RF Microneedling, ablative or non-ablative laser resurfacing, and chemical peels. These treatments and more are available at Dr. Green’s New York City dermatology office for full facial rejuvenation.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist with over two and a half decades of experience providing some of the world’s most discerning individuals with the best non-invasive cosmetic procedures, including skin tightening treatments. Dr. Green takes a holistic approach and embraces a less-is-more philosophy regarding skin rejuvenation, customizing each patient’s treatment plan to suit their particular concerns and aesthetic goals best. She is consistently identified as one of NYC’s best dermatologists by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors for her dedication to her patients and expertise. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Green and get started with non-surgical skin tightening treatment today, call the NYC office at 212 535 3088 or contact us online.

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