How we can tighten a person's sagging skin is one of the most common questions we get here at Maine Laser Skin Care, especially in the 40+ age group. Unfortunately, tissue sagging is one of the most prominent features of our faces as we get older, and nobody likes it!
Prior to the development of newer technologies over the past 20 years, surgical facelifts were the only treatments available. However, over the past two decades, there have been major advances in our understanding of the causes of sagging that typifies the aging face.
With the understanding of the causes, more targeted treatments have been developed and perfected. Here are some of them:
Fillers: One problem with the aging face is the loss of tissue volume in cheek areas, which results in the pulling down of lower face tissue by gravity over time. Using hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm Voluma to the upper cheek is now the primary method of restoring volume and recreating the lifting effect.
Newer methods of using a cannula have helped significantly reduce bruising and provide comfort to the patient with a very high degree of safety. Through manipulation of the cannula under the skin surface, we can place fillers where your natural collagen previously resided and enhance your cheekbone structure.
Correction of volume deeply in the right locations in the midface will gently lift the soft tissue of the lower face. Our goal is to restore volume while having the restoration look natural.
Microneedling: An older technology that has been updated and refined for skin tightening is microneedling. The principle is that by creating hundreds and thousands of microscopic holes in the skin, we are inducing your body's natural healing powers to repair these holes. In the process of this induced tissue repair, collagen production is stimulated and the skin is tightened.
Microneedling with sterile-tipped micropen devices has advanced the safety and efficacy of this method of treatment, and is light years better than old fashioned dermal rollers. We can also use hyaluronic acid or platelet rich plasma to enhance the collagen stimulation and improve healing time.
For even more tightening, we at Maine Laser Skin Care use radiofrequency microneedling with a device called Secret RF. When the microneedles are beneath the skin, a pulse of radiofrequency energy is emitted from the tips of the needles.
The result is multiple layers of collagen stimulation and skin tightening or, as we frequently call it, Microneedling on Steroids (but we don't use real steroids, for the record). The Secret RF works particularly well with more loose skin and especially on areas like the neck as well.
Fractional Laser Resurfacing: Although lasers for skin treatments have been around since the 1980s, fractional laser resurfacing was not introduced until 2004. Similar in concept to microneedling, fractional lasers, with the best known brand being Fraxel, cause microscopic laser-induced wounds in the skin or microscopic treatment zones (MTZ).
The skin around the MTZs that is spared speeds the healing process and decreases the downtime associated with other types of intense laser treatments. Although the skin can be red and swollen for several days and up to a week after treatment, the collagen stimulation of this treatment and its effect on skin tightening can be remarkable.
Fractional Laser Resurfacing is truly the Gold standard and treatment of choice for those with very damaged skin from excessive sun exposure over years and deep scarring such with acne and trauma. However, because every person is unique, each individual's face and skin can present unique challenges.
Some people will benefit from one of the therapies above, while others may require combinations of treatments. Most commonly, a person may need fillers to restore volume and then later a form of microneedling or fractionated laser to tighten the skin surface.
If you have questions about whether you might benefit from skin tightening and rejuvenation, please call either our Scarborough office at (207) 303-0125, or our Augusta location at (207) 873-2158. We can book you a free and individualized consultation, or schedule you for a treatment if you're ready to commit.