You’ve sweated it in the gym for hours and put Mr Cadbury into financial difficulty with the amount of chocolate bars you’ve refused. Yet, while the pounds might be starting to creep off, there’s one thing that simply won’t change – that frustrating bit of loose skin on your body.
No matter how much weight you lose or how well you try to look after yourself, sagging skin can seem virtually impossible to get rid of and can make even the most pampered physique look out of shape and frumpy. Regardless of whether it’s from weight loss, pregnancy or something that’s simply decided to pop up of its own accord, sagging skin is a common problem – but there are treatment options available.
Why does skin get loose?
Ever noticed how those fine lines from your pillow in the morning used to disappear that little bit quicker when you were younger? That’s because as we age, our skin’s production of collagen and elastin begins to deplete – meaning its elasticity and ability to restore itself also lessens. As a result, one of the biggest causes of loose or sagging skin is – surprise, surprise– time.
What’s more, many of our decisions earlier in life can begin to haunt us later down the line. Too much time in the sun causes collagen and elastin reserves to break down, meaning your skin can no longer repair itself as easily. This results in wrinkles, poor texture and, you guessed it, sagging in the skin.
If you’re facing loose skin before the hands of time should be taking their toll, there are a number of things that can cause it to sag. One of the most common is the loss of a large amount of weight over a short period of time. This is because your skin doesn’t have enough time to ‘shrink’ into your new shape or adapt its elasticity. While fat in the area might have disappeared, the skin takes longer to follow suit – time and patience can, in some cases, be your best friends. Similarly pregnancy causes many women to face sagging skin for the first time after the stomach grows to far larger than its usual size. To aid your skin’s recovery, doctors normally recommend putting on around 25-35 pounds and losing it over the 6-12 months after birth.
Despite there being a range of skin-sabotaging factors, you are not necessarily stuck with skin that’s gone slack. Read on to learn ways to defend against a droopy dermis.
Non-surgical treatment options
For early stages of facial sagging, a ‘non-surgical face lift’ may be the best way forward – avoiding the trauma of surgery, but giving a refreshed and lifted appearance. There are a range of different options available including the 8-Point-Lift which uses dermal fillers, and a Thread Lift ( pictured below) which uses bio-degradable sutures to lift and elevate the face.
Aesthetic Doctors & Nurses
- Dr Hanson MBBS MSc MBCAM. GMC Number: 6136433
- Dr Rosa Santa Cruz MD, PhD. GMC Number: 7441197
- Dr Richard Brighton-Knight MBChB. GMC Number: 4196903
- Mel Recchia RGN
- Dawn Lisa, RGN, RN(Child), SCPHN, PG Dip, BSc (Hons)
- Ruth Atkins RGN
- Lesley Dean RGN
- Marie Narsoomamode RGN, BSc. NMC Reference No: 92A1045E
- Ann Hampson RGN
A particularly popular option to help reduce sagging is Fat Transfer to the Face. In the treatment, fat is extracted from elsewhere on the body through minimally-invasive forms of liposuction (areas like the stomach, thighs and flanks are common choices) before it is refined and injected back into areas lacking in volume. Because the fat is completely natural, there is minimal risk of infection and the result is natural and long-lasting (providing you maintain your weight).
For the body, where sagging skin is often more severe, treatment options are perhaps more limited. Prevention (if possible) is always the best means, with doctors recommending trying to maintain as stable weight as possible (recommended weight gain during pregnancy normally lies between 10kg – 12.5kg over the entire nine months for example). If prevention hasn’t worked, Thermage (which also produces fantastic results on the face) is one of our favourite methods of skin tightening. It uses radiofrequency energy to heat collagen fibres in the skin as well as underlying tissue to encourage the skin to regenerate and tighten itself.
Non-invasive treatments won’t be suitable for everyone and, if you’re experiencing more severe areas of loose skin, you’ll normally be far better suited for a surgical procedure. While they might be more invasive, there is no point wasting your time and money on other methods that won’t work if you’ve been advised differently. There are a multitude of treatment options available, with modern technology and techniques meaning they are far less invasive than ever before.
For facial laxity, a Surgical Facelift may be required. The treatment is best for those battling signs of ageing and very rarely advisable for those under about 40. It is a popular choice in that it targets all areas of the face, and the results are extremely long-lasting with no need for top-ups or refreshes.
If your problem area is primarily focused around the eyes, a Blepharoplasty or Eyebrow Lift may be particularly useful. Eyelid lifts on the upper brows are usually performed under local anaesthetic in as little as 30 minutes, making them arguably one of the ‘easiest’ and safest plastic surgery treatments. It’s important to remember that no treatment is without risk, however, making it crucial you work with a recognised and highly qualified surgeon.
Facial Plastic Surgeons
- Mr Roberto Uccellini, MD. GMC Number 7416337 in London
- Mr Davood Fallahdar, BSc, MB ChB(Hons), MD FRCS(Plast), MicroSurg (Hons), ORL H&NSurg. GMC Number: 4686602 in London
- Mr Dario Rochira, BS, MD. GMC Number: 6130664 in London and Bristol
- Mr Navid Jallali, BSc, MB ChB(Hons), MD FRCS, MicroSurg(Hons), ORL H&NSurg. GMC Number: 4686602 in London
- Mr Adel Fattah, FRCS(Plast). GMC Number: 4764599 in Manchester
- Mr Philip Lim, BSc(Hons), MB ChB, AFRCS(Ed), MRCS(Eng), FRCS(Plast). GMC Number: 4219068 in Leeds
- Mr Kenneth Kok, MBChB, MRCS, MSc(Hons), FRCS(Plast). GMC Number: 4701147 in Birmingham
- Mr Mrinal Supriya FRCS, (OTOL-HNS), GMC Number: 6066458 in Northampton and Birmingham
For the body, the treatment you require will completely depend on your problem area. There’s specialist procedures for many areas of the body, all with various focuses and one of the most common problem areas is the stomach, making an Abdominoplasty (more commonly known as a Tummy Tuck) a popular choice for many people.
Tummy Tuck Surgeons
- Mr Dario Rochira BS, MD, GMC Number: 6130664
- Mr William Van Niekerk, MB ChB, MSc, MRCS, FCMI, FRCS (Plast.), RAF (qs) GMC Number: 4362791
- Mr Navid Jallali BSc MB ChB (Hons) MD FRCS (Plast), GMC Number: 4404969
- Mr Maisam Fazel MA(Cantab) MB BChir MSEd FRCS, GMC Number: 4767420
- Mr Mobinulla Syed MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRCS (Plast) GMC Number: 6035480
- Mr Philip Lim BSc (Hons), MB ChB, AFRCS (Ed), MRCS (Eng), FRCS (Plast) GMC Number: 4219068
- Mr Adel Fattah, FRCS (Plast.) GMC Number: 4764599
- Mr Prashant Govilkar, MBBS MS MCh FRCS FRCS (Plast) GMC Number: 4258041
- Mr Kenneth Kok MBChB MRCS MSc(Hons) FRCS(plast) GMC Number: 4701147
- Mr Adrian Richards, MBBS, MSc, FRCS (Plast.) GMC Number: 3286812
Remember – there are specialist treatments for multiple areas of the body ranging from an Arm Lift to tackle ‘bingo wings’, to a Breast Uplift to target sagging in the chest. It’s all about finding the area you want to target and working with a legitimate clinic you can trust.
Loose Skin Treatment at The Private Clinic
Getting rid of loose skin is difficult. When skin has been stretched and lost its elasticity it won’t always be able to repair itself. Your first step to restoring skin problems is always a healthy diet and exercise plan in which your weight is maintained (as much as possible) and skin isn’t stretched. For the people that this will no longer work for, do not panic. There are a multitude of options out there and experts who are able to help.
To find out more about loose skin procedures, call 03339209135 or use our online contact form to request a call back.