Aging is a part of life’s natural process – unpreventable and irreversible.
While babies and kids are infamous for their soft and smooth skin, adults and older individuals may experience dry, rough, and textured skin. Thus, looking forever youthful is quite a growing concern for everyone.
Nowadays, skincare trends have been increasingly popular, especially on various social media platforms. May it be a do-it-yourself (DIY) home remedy, skincare products, vitamins for the skin, and cosmetic procedures in clinics.
The two main problems were saggy skin and wrinkles. Modern-day innovations have paved the way for skin tightening treatments such as laser therapy to reduce, if not fully treat, loose skin and visible lines in your face and body.
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Brief Description Of The Skin
The skin is the body’s largest organ system. It functions as an external protective covering for the underlying structures and insulation medium to prevent feeling too much cold or heat, assists in vitamin D production, eliminates metabolic wastes and free radicals, perceives cutaneous sensations, supports body homeostasis, regulates body temperature, and as an attachment of skeletal muscles.
Each layer of the skin plays an essential part in keeping it healthy, especially collagen, elastin, and keratin production:
It is considered the most bountiful protein in your skin but is also found in bones, cartilage, muscles, and tissues. For decades, it’s been called the ‘fountain of youth’ as it’s the main binding component of connective tissues in humans and animals.
It’s made up of amino acids, arginine, hydroxyproline, glycine, and proline. Altogether, they promote skin elasticity, prevent dehydration and tissue repair, and serve an integral part in the skin, hair, and joint strengthening.
Collagen loss is primarily caused by aging. Factors such as diet, stress, sun exposure, alcohol consumption, smoking, lifestyle, and underlying disease can also contribute to its rapid degeneration. These can lead to dry skin, sagging, wrinkles, and accelerated aging.
It is a structural protein found in connective tissues, giving its elastic characteristic – the ability to return to its original shape after being stretched. It’s primarily made during the fetal stage and ceases the post-puberty phase, unlike collagen, which regenerates until adulthood.
Aging plays a significant factor in elastic fiber network disruption and damage to neighboring structures. Its degeneration results in skin wrinkles and reduced elasticity.
It is mainly produced and found in the epidermis, the outermost layer. It acts as an adhesive to bind cells and creates a protective covering around the skin.
Skin Tightening Treatment And How It Works
When you notice signs of aging skin, you should consult a dermatologist or cosmetic specialist right away. Immediate intervention will be taken to prevent it from worsening and save money from intensive, costly procedures.
Skin tightening treatments may differ according to the severity of saggy skin and the physician’s tailored treatment plan for you. This fast-paced era gave rise to various treatments ranging from simple to advanced.
Here’s the list of skin-tightening treatments and how they work:
Laser Therapy Treatment
Many companies have customized their own machines to size, shape, and specific use, such as getting rid of acne scars, giving you glowing skin, removing dark spots due to sun damage or aging, and skin tightening or facelifting.
The laser head may or may not touch your skin, and it depends solely on the machine used. You may feel comfortable warmth to slightly hot as the laser hits your face, arms, stomach, legs, or any body part you wish to address.
This treatment utilizes an infrared light laser to penetrate the skin and stimulate collagen to contract. As a result, the skin tightens and becomes firmer. Collagen production is also activated, leaving you a younger and plumper skin.
Post-treatment, your face or body may look reddish and swell for a few days. Depending on the intensity of the treatment, some may have to stay at home for five to seven days. The best results are usually obtained after three to five sessions, with each session lasting about an hour or less.
Skin Ultrasound Treatment
This procedure is also called the high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU); it’s different from the machine used for diagnostic imaging and physical therapy (PT). Aside from skin tightening, it can also get rid of wrinkles, tumors, and brow lifts. However, it’s only applicable for mild loose skin and fine lines.
Ultrasound waves penetrate the skin up to 5 millimeters deep. They target the dermal layer, where collagen production takes place – as a result, more collagen is generated. After a few sessions, the skin will begin to tighten and become firmer and younger. This treatment can also stimulate elastin production, improving the skin’s elasticity.
You may feel comfortable warmth as the US head touches your skin. Depending on the areas covered, the procedure usually takes an hour or less. There’s visible redness that lasts for a few days post-treatment. However, you may experience skin tenderness or pain upon touch, which persists for more than a month.
Your dermatologist or cosmetic specialist will provide instructions on properly managing pain, possible skin bleeding, scratch-like markings, bumps or nodules, and swelling on the treated area. These adverse effects must be carefully monitored. Immediately report to the doctor if they worsen.
One of the latest inventions is the Ul therapy. An advanced non-invasive procedure utilizes US waves and cis cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Radiofrequency (RF) Skin Tightening
This treatment emits radio waves that penetrate the skin and its underlying structures. A wand makes contact and heats the skin. Like the US, it stimulates collagen and elastin production. Nowadays, this is used as an alternative to invasive facelift procedures.
Each session takes about 30 to 90 minutes, depending on how wide the treated areas are. The face, neck, stomach, arms, and thigh areas are commonly addressed. Dermatologists and cosmetic specialists also use this procedure for body sculpting, especially for models, bodybuilders, and celebrities.
The recovery time will be shorter than other treatments, and you may go back to your daily routine the day after the session. The side effects are usually manageable such as mild redness and increased sensitivity to treated areas.
This might be costly, but it may only require one treatment session, and the effects can last up to a year. Proper skincare regimens such as sunscreen, moisturizer, and serums are necessary to prevent sun damage and maintain firmer and younger-looking skin.
Botox And Derma Fillers
These treatments are cosmetic injectables that help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin. Once incorporated, they act as stimulants and activate collagen and elastin production.
Botox is popularly used by influencers and celebrities worldwide. However, it’s a muscle paralyzer. Studies show that repetitive movements of facial muscles can cause saggy skin, and wrinkles; thus, it helps relax the affected muscles and prevent the worsening of aging signs. Users usually have restricted facial movements such as smiling and laughing.
Dermal fillers address areas that require tightening and lifting. It adds volume to the face to lessen the appearance of fine lines, sagging skin and wrinkles. Botox and dermal fillers are usually used together for better results.
Small needles are embedded into the skin and penetrate the dermal layer. These micro-injuries activate the skin’s natural healing process and the production of new collagen and elastin. Although it may be considered a slightly invasive treatment, it’s guaranteed that there’s no scar formation.
When Should You Consider It?
Nowadays, individuals undergo skin-tightening procedures even with minimal skin changes due to aging. These treatments may be available in local derma and beauty clinics.
You should consider it when you observe or experience any of the following:
- Fine lines, wrinkles around the eyes, cheeks, mouth, neck, hands, arms, and other areas you wish to address.
- After you gain or lose weight, or post-partum – you may consider skin tightening treatments around your arms, chest, abdomen, and thighs.
- You notice saggy skin on your face, neck, and other body parts.
- If you want to improve your skin appearance and boost your confidence.
Before taking skin-tightening treatments, you may have to seek medical advice from your primary physician. There are contraindications and risks you need to be aware of, such as pregnancy and individuals who take certain medications, undergo other therapies, have sensory dysfunctions, and have skin problems.
Taking All Into Consideration
Aging is only normal, and there’s no way you can prevent or reverse the various signs in your face and body. Fortunately, the fast-paced modern era has paved the way for many available treatments you can choose from, may they be simple or advanced.
Fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin can reduce and improve skin texture and overall appearance. Consult your primary physician before undergoing a procedure; even non-invasive ones have restrictions and precautions.
Always use sunscreen to prevent damage from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. You may also incorporate moisturizers, gentle cleansers, and serums into your daily skincare regimen. Research well and ask for professional advice to attain your desired young-looking skin.