Skin tightening is one of the most searched cosmetic terms on the web. As we age, gain weight, or post-pregnancy our collagen tends thin and stretch. Just like an elastic waistband, with enough stretch, it will eventually lose its elasticity. In the skin, the stretched collagen results in loose and saggy skin.
What Causes Loose and Sagging Skin?
Collagen and elastin, two proteins that are essential to the skin’s ability to stretch and retract, become depleted, and skin begins to droop and hang down. Stretched out skin also is a consequence of rapid weight loss and can occur after pregnancy. In addition, repeated sun exposure promotes the breakdown of collagen and will reduce the body’s ability to produce more collagen so the affected sun-damaged skill will become loose and unable to keep its toned shape.
Can My Skin Really Be Tightened?
The brief answer is YES. Your skin can be tightened. However, from a medical perspective, there are only three underlying techniques or treatments that lead to skin tightening. These treatments are:
- Collagen Remodeling
- Volume Restoration
- Surgical Skin Tightening
Collagen remodeling procedure addresses the loss, stretching, and disorganization that collagen develops as it becomes damaged. Typically, collagen remodeling involves exposing your skin to a substance or a device that stimulates the body’s own healing properties and causes your body to lay down new, shorter, and organized collagen; thereby, tightening your skin. See our blog on frequently asked questions on skin tightening and collagen remodeling Frequently Asked Questions About Skin Tightening
Volume restoration affects the skin indirectly by increasing the volume around your skin. The volume can be affected on your face by using injectables such as Radiesse Dermal Filler or Restylane: Facial Filler for Lower Face and Mouth Injectables will last generally six (6) to eight (8) months before reapplication is required to maintain the desired volume. A more permanent method is Fat Transfer also known as fat grafting to the face. This procedure removes fat from one area of your body and places the fat in your checks, and other wanted areas of the face. See our page on facial fat transfer Fat Autograft Muscle Injection (FAMI): Fat Transfer for the Face
Surgical Skin Tightening
Surgical skin tightening is the most direct method for skin tightening. Surgical facelift procedures give the best skin tightening. However, other issues regarding the surgical option should be considered before taking a surgical approach to skin tightening.
What Skin Tightening Treatments Does Innovations Medical Provide?
At Innovations Medical we use four main devices for Skin Tightening. All skin tightening procedures are performed at both our Dallas and Fort Worth practice locations. Two devices use Radiofrequency Technology to tighten the skin and two devices use Resurfacing Laser Technology to tighten the skin. Here is a list of the devices:
Radiofrequency Technology Devices:
Resurfacing Laser Technology Devices:
What Is Radiofrequency Skin Tightening?
Radiofrequency energy works by heating water inside the tissue of the treatment area. Legend Progressive Skin Tightening heats the tissue to 40-42º Celsius in a gradual and controlled manner while Thermage heats the water inside the tissue to 40º Celsius. Heating the tissue to these temperatures generates a number of beneficial effects on the skin. First, collagen molecules respond to the heat by shrinking or becoming shorter. This causes some immediate skin tightening in the treated area. The contracted and tighter collagen then kick starts the rebuilding process. Specialized cells from the body (known as growth factors) are called in to remove the shortened collagen and to respond to other changes caused by heating the tissue. Fibroblasts respond to the growth factors by laying down new collagen. Over time, new collagen and more collagen are produced that are shorter, thicker, and more elastic which leads to creating a must better support foundation for the skin. As the new collagen fibers mature, they twist together becoming stronger and tighter giving the final results of firmer, tighter skin and connective tissue. Benefits continue to increase for several months and the results can last for several years depending on natural aging skin, controlling sun exposure, controlling weight gain and loss, and stopping smoking.
Check out our blog on Radiofrequency skin tightening: Loose Skin Tightening
What Is Fractional Resurfacing for Skin Tightening?
At Innovations Medical we use two different resurfacing lasers that provide skin tightening. Fraxel Re:store and Dual Treatment are resurfacing lasers that are designed to stimulate collagen growth below the skin surface. Fraxel Re:store and Dual Treatment are slightly stronger than resurfacing lasers like Clear & Brilliant Treatment as Fraxel lasers penetrate deeper within the skin layers. Resurfacing lasers target aging and sun-damaged skin. The laser penetrates the thickness of the skin with many microscopic laser beams producing tiny spots or holes in the skin and removing the old, damaged skin cells. The body’s natural healing process then comes and replaces these fractional areas with fresh, healthy, new skin. This process is done over and over again as your body tries to heal all these tiny microscopic areas.
See our blogs on the best ways to tighten loose skin:
- Face: How to Tighten Sagging Facial Skin
- Neck: How to Tighten Loose Neck Skin
- Arms: How to Tighten Loose, Saggy Skin on Arms
- Stomach: How to Tighten Loose Stomach Skin