Ageing is inevitable. A year goes by and another candle is added on top of the cake for us to blow. Sometimes we wish that age is just a number. However, it is more than just that. Age takes its toll on our bodies as we grow old. And the part of the body that makes signs of ageing more obvious is our skin.
A lot of patients come to me for treatments to deal with the early signs of ageing on their faces. Once, a patient questioned if there exists a single treatment that can treat all ageing symptoms in just one sitting.
The firm answer to that, unfortunately, is NO.
There are a lot of symptoms of ageing and a one-size-fits-all treatment doesn’t currently exist. So, among all the noticeable ageing symptoms, which one should be tackled first?
If you guessed pigmentation or “age spots,” try again.
The correct answer is actually SAGGY SKIN!
What makes me say that saggy skin is the most noticeable sign of ageing? Simple. Other signs can be remedied with cover-ups. Take pigmentation, for example. Skin discolouration such as pigmentation can easily be hidden with the basic application of foundation. However, saggy skin cannot be concealed. Wrinkles, fine lines, skin on the sides of the jowls—once these symptoms have finally made their appearance on the face, that’s almost like the beginning of the end.
What Is Saggy Skin?
If you take a closer look at a baby’s skin, you will notice that it is plump and soft. Try pinching a baby’s chubby cheeks and you will notice that there is certain “bounce” to it. This is because younger skin is still able to produce collagen and elastin. These two components of the skin contribute to the skin’s supportive connective tissue. As we grow older, the body’s ability to produce both collagen and elastin weakens along with our facial muscles. Gravity is the main culprit here. Its pull is what makes our skin droop. In addition, other environmental factors like sun exposure can also add to the decline of our skin’s firmness.
What Happens When Our Skin Sags?
Saggy skin alters the shape of our face. For example, one patient came to me complaining about how her “double chin” made her look fat. In reality, this “double chin” is the sagging skin that is protruding under her chin. It is also known as “turkey neck.”
Another patient used to have an oval face shape during her younger years. As she aged, the sagging of the skin on the sides of her jowls suddenly became more noticeable. From an oval shape, her face began to resemble more of a square. She found the shape unflattering as it made her features more masculine.
In addition, saggy skin changes the face’s expression. Because the skin droops downward, the creases of certain parts of the face follow suit—an upside-down arch. This makes the face appear sad and exhausted. Certainly not flattering at all.
At What Age Does the Skin Begin to Sag?
There is no predetermined age at which the skin begins to sag. Since there are several factors that can contribute to the skin’s sagging (e.g. sun exposure, weight loss), symptoms can appear at any moment. However, when it comes to the production of collagen, it has been noted that the levels of collagen start to drop by 2% annually.
What Are the Treatments Available to Address Sagging Skin?
Most of my patients immediately request facelifts in order to bring back the firmness of their skin. This is an option, but note that the results of this procedure are temporary. The effects of a facelift usually last at a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 10 years.
But, do not fret. There are other ways to be able to combat sagging skin. Although treatments should be done before the symptoms even start to show. It is easier to prevent the skin to sag than to apply means to firm it.
One of the ways to prevent sagging skin is to keep a healthy lifestyle. Bad habits should be kicked off one’s daily routines, as well as extreme sun exposure. In addition to this, there are a variety of aesthetic procedures that can help in maintaining your supple skin. One highly recommended procedure is the Ultraformer HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound).
Ultraformer HIFU is a non-invasive face lifting procedure that firms and tightens the skin. It is safe to use for the face, neck, and body. It can treat a wide range of skin conditions such as:
- Creases in the skin
- Fine lines
- Loose and sagging skin
- Skin elasticity loss
- V-Line contouring
How Does Ultraformer Hifu Work to Treat Sagging Skin?
Ultraformer delivers HIFU energy through the layers of the skin. It penetrates through the following layers of the skin:
- Superficial Adipose Layer
SMAS is the same layer of the skin that is pulled by doctors to tighten during a facelift procedure. The energy that travels through the different layers then works to stimulate collagen production that enables to firm the skin with results that last longer.
What Is the Duration of an Ultraformer Hifu Session?
The duration of a singles session of Ultraformer HIFU largely depends on the size and area of the skin that is being treated. Normally, a session will take between 45 to 60 minutes to complete.
How Many Sessions Is Recommended for This Kind of Procedure?
Not more than 2 sessions are usually recommended for a majority of patients. The results usually last 6 months after a treatment and a follow-up session are booked for maintenance in an interval of 1 year. However, this will also depend on the severity of the skin condition that needs treatment. It is always best to consult with an expert on Ultraformer HIFU to know the exact number of sessions your skin requires.
How Long Is the Downtime Needed for Ultraformer Hifu?
This procedure does not need any downtime. Patients who have undergone Ultraformer HIFU can return to their daily routine right after one session.
Are There Risks and Side Effects to This Procedure?
Some patients have encountered bruising and loss of sensation on the areas that were exposed to HIFU. However, these are only temporary. During the treatment, a few patients have noted feeling some slight discomfort. The pain that is usually felt is tolerable, but this would also depend on the pain threshold of a patient. This also lasts only during the time when the procedure is being administered.
How Much Does One Session of Ultraformer Hifu Treatment Cost?
For one session of Ultraformer HIFU, which covers the entire face, the average cost at most is about $150.
When it comes to sagging skin, I’ll have to endorse the oft-heard cliché, “prevention is always better than cure.” If you wish to maintain your skin’s youthful appearance, it pays to take good care of your skin even before it begins to deteriorate. Always remember that aesthetic procedures are only one factor that can help you in keeping your skin healthy and firm.