One of the most common causes of skin laxity is aging. As we get older, the skin loses some of its natural volume, as well as its ability to retain moisture. Sun damage, genetics, illness, chronic stress, and even gravity can take their toll, causing skin to sag and become less resilient. Plus, the body produces less collagen and elastin, two important elements that help skin look and feel firmer. Loose skin can also develop following significant weight loss. When we gain a lot of weight, the skin must stretch to accommodate the additional tissue. Once that weight is lost, the skin may not be able to “bounce back” adequately, leaving loose folds and creases. Even pregnancy can cause loose skin to form, especially in the belly.
Lasers use heat energy to target tissues in the deeper layers of skin where collagen forms. The energy is emitted through a special handpiece and penetrates the skin without the need for incisions. As the tissue is heated, the collagen fibers shrink, tightening skin so it becomes firmer. In addition, the laser energy can be used to create “controlled damage” in the deeper layers of skin, stimulating the development of collagen and elastin as part of the natural healing process. As new fibers form, they replace damaged tissue to help skin look and feel healthier and more resilient.
Depending on the amount of laxity that's being treated, some patients will see adequate results with a single treatment. Other patients will require a series of treatments to maximize benefits. During the consultation visit, patients will be carefully evaluated to determine the most appropriate course of therapy based on the patient's needs and objectives.
Yes, injectable dermal fillers also can help skin look and feel firmer by replacing volume lost during the aging process. For instance, using fillers in the cheek region can gently lift the tissues of the lower face to reduce laxity and help smooth out wrinkles and lines.
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