Aging, pregnancy, weight gain (or loss), hormones, genetics, medical conditions, lifestyle factors, and sun exposure can all contribute to drooping skin. Treatments for tightening the skin, however, are more difficult to identify. Reversing the skin’s natural processes can be challenging, but there are several truly effective skin tightening solutions at Donaldson Plastic Surgery that you should know about.
We’re here to answer two questions:
Whether a treatment will be effective or not varies from person-to-person, depending on two things: the level of skin laxity (mild, moderate, or severe) and the overall elasticity of the skin. For example, an individual in their 20s or 30s with mild or moderate loose skin will have relatively higher skin elasticity and, therefore, will be more likely to see loose skin improve over time with regular non-invasive treatments.
Moderate to severe skin laxity is more common among individuals in their 50s or 60s. This population is more likely to have relatively lower skin elasticity, so their skin may be less responsive to non-surgical treatments. In this case, surgical skin tightening may be a more effective path to correct your concerns.
No matter your concerns or what level of loose skin you have, we have the tools to help you address it. Our team of experienced aesthetic specialists is here to help you identify what level of treatment is right for you to tighten loose skin of the face, neck, and body — all the way from result-driven products to our surgical skin tightening procedures.
Our Medical Aestheticians Tatjana and Nikki recommend a combination of at-home care and professional Medspa treatments to correct mild to moderate loose skin of the face, neck, and body. Listed below is a powerful collection of medical-grade skincare products that you can use to improve skin elasticity, visibly improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and combat signs of aging.
All of these products, including the facial and body rollers, are available for purchase by phone or in person.
Non-invasive skin tightening treatments like Ultherapy are more targeted and go deeper to address the underlying causes of mild to moderate loose skin. Ultherapy is a non-surgical skin tightening and lifting treatment that uses ultrasonic energy to send waves deep within the skin that stimulate collagen production. Because it works on a deeper level than other treatments, Ultherapy is a great preventative treatment for individuals seeing the beginnings of aging skin, rather than a fix to severe sagging or wrinkling. It is primarily intended to lift and tighten the skin of the brow, chin, jowls, neck, and upper chest, but can also be used to target other specific areas of concern.
Halo Laser Skin Resurfacing is a hybrid fractional laser treatment that addresses a number of visible skin concerns and offers skin tightening benefits from inducing collagen production in the healing process. For patients with mild to moderate skin laxity, Halo can result in more youthful, tighter-looking skin. Although the Halo laser is not primarily for skin tightening, patients usually see and feel a skin tightening effect. Wrinkles and fine lines are addressed with Halo, as well as other signs of aging, problematic skin texture, scarring, and sun damage. Other benefits of Halo include minimal downtime and a noticeable improvement of skin a just a couple of days. You can schedule Halo with Adrienne, Paige, Stacie, or Angie.
Renuvion (also known as J Plasma) is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses a combination of radiofrequency energy and helium gas to virtually tighten the skin of the face, neck, and body. A wand emitting the stream of energy is gently passed underneath (in some cases overtop) the dermal layer to cause contraction of the skin. Results can be seen immediately, but dramatically improve over time. See what one patient has to say about her chin liposuction and Renuvion results with Dr. Sieffert!
Botox and fillers are not “skin tightening treatments”, but they do offer benefits that address signs of mild to moderate skin laxity, which is why we include them here.
Aging skin can cause wrinkles, folds, and droopiness to form, which can be corrected using minimally-invasive injectables like Botox and dermal fillers for the face. Botox works by softening the appearance fine lines and wrinkles in the skin by relaxing the muscle underneath that causes the crease to form. Fillers restore volume under the skin to an area where volume has been lost and skin has begun to droop or fold as a result (ex. the jawline, or nasolabial folds and marionette lines). Neither injectable treatment is used to reverse skin laxity, but they can help to improve common concerns associated with it.
To successfully treat more significant loose skin, surgery is usually the best option.
With surgical skin tightening procedures, excess skin is removed surgically and the remaining skin is re-draped tighter than before. This option is the gold-standard is for patients who have moderate to severe skin laxity as a result of aging or weight loss but can be ideal for mild to moderate skin laxity as well.
Here are some of our most effective surgical solutions performed by Dr. Donaldson & Dr. Sieffert.
A tummy tuck is a procedure in which excess skin and fat are surgically removed from the abdomen (and the underlying muscles tightened) to improve its contours. Stretched skin in this area will not always retract on its own, making surgery the only option to return the abdomen to its original form.
Anyone who has undergone pregnancy or weight loss, or who just simply struggles with excess skin of the belly, can benefit from this kind of surgical tightening. Scarring for a tummy tuck is minimal and easily concealed with undergarments or bathing suits, and our tummy tuck patients are thrilled with their results. Their only regret is they wished they had done is sooner!
A body lift, or circumferential body contouring, is a procedure in which excess skin of the entire abdominal front, back, and sides is removed for a tighter trunk. Usually performed on individuals with severe skin laxity of the body, this procedure is common amongst individuals who have undergone significant weight loss and are left with excess skin as a result. A body lift can also encompass surgical tightening of multiple areas including the arms, chest, upper and lower back, buttocks, and thighs — the surgery is always customized to address the patient’s concerns.
Arm lifts and thigh lifts are procedures in which sagging excess skin of the upper arms and thighs is removed, often solving cosmetic concerns of the colloquial “bat wings” and sagging skin of the inner thighs and above the knee. They can be performed individually or together, depending on a patient’s wishes. These two areas are very likely to loosen with age, so the majority of arm and thigh lift candidates simply wish to see their extremities restored to a more youthful-looking state. Scarring is likely to be visible in these areas, so please discuss your concerns with your surgeon prior to surgery.
Facelifts and neck lifts are also common amongst individuals with concerns of drooping skin. As exterior representations of how we present ourselves to the world, the areas of the face and neck are often ones of prime importance — but, unfortunately, they can be some of the first areas to show the effects of aging. In a facelift and/or neck lift, excess skin is excised by your surgeon and the skin is laid tauter than it was before. Specific areas like the lower or upper face can be targeted, as in the case of a brow lift. Scarring is very discrete and easily concealed.
Upper and lower blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, are surgical procedures in which excess skin of the upper and lower lid is carefully removed, and the remaining skin joined back together for younger, fresher-looking eyes. If you have what some might describe as overly-hooded eyes, or suffer from large bags underneath, you are likely a good candidate for an eyelid lift. Sometimes fat pads in the lower eyelid may also be removed to reduce puffiness. The procedure is straightforward and scarring is virtually invisible.
As a full-service plastic surgery practice, we are always uniquely equipped to offer each patient a customizable treatment plan, completely attuned to you. Our two board-certified plastic surgeons & our team of highly-trained non-surgical and aesthetic experts work closely together to recommend the right treatments that will help you reach your goals, and we take great care to vet the technology we use to offer the safest and most effective treatments available. We are intensely focused on delivering realistic recommendations and achieving beautiful outcomes.
If you’re curious to learn more, please submit your contact information below. Our friendly team of aesthetic coordinators will reach out to answer your questions and help you schedule your personalized consultation!
Updated on October 14th, 2020 by Dr. Michelle Sieffert
Cooler weather, leaves changing color, pumpkin spice lattes back in your favorite coffee shop — there’s only one explanation. It must be fall! That means it’s time for you to swap your summer T-shirts for some cozy sweaters, and time for us to roll out the lasers.
Yes, we technically have our lasers on hand all year round, but fall is undeniably the best time to use them. For the next few months, we’re going to be ramping up our Halo, BBL and laser hair reduction treatments.
You may have heard us refer to “Laser Season” here at Donaldson Plastic Surgery and wondered, “Why is there a specific time of year for laser skin treatments?” Laser season refers to fall and winter, which are the times of year we suggest getting Halo, BBL, and hair reduction procedures.
Using the Sciton laser platform, we have the ability to treat rosacea, broken blood vessels, capillary hemangiomas, small flesh colored moles, some pigmented moles, fine lines and superficial wrinkles, skin dullness and texture, and acne scarring. Over time, the repeated use of lasers also slows the process of aging by improving the collagen content of your skin and causing your cells to act more like they did in youth. If you haven’t met me, I’m a huge advocate of laser skin treatments, and will probably get a laser a year (at least) for the rest of my life. However, there truly are good and bad times to get treated.
Laser treated skin is more sensitive than normal skin, and this increase in sensitivity lasts up to three months after a procedure. This means after any laser you are at higher risk for sunburns, the return and worsening of sun spots, and experiencing a higher intensity of the UV damage that causes skin cancer. As a result, I ask for a 3-month sun hiatus after any laser treatment. This is much more easily done during the fall and winter months when the weather is bad, the sun is further away and often hidden behind clouds, and you’re less likely to be outdoors.
If you’ve been wishing for glowing skin or more time between shaving, this is the time to book. Here are 3 reasons why.
Who doesn’t love lounging by the pool, vacationing in tropical places or spending a warm day in the park with their family? Soaking up that warm summer sun always feels good in the moment … but it can take a toll on your skin.
We’re talking UV-induced dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The best way to avoid sun damage is to avoid it altogether — applying SPF, wearing a floppy hat and staying indoors during peak sun hours. But even if you did all of that, you likely didn’t escape summer completely unscathed.
Our Halo and BBL laser treatments specifically target the effects of sun damage. So if you got a little too much sun this summer and want to hit the reset button, these lasers are the perfect solution.
The other reason fall (and winter, really) is such a great time to undergo laser treatments is that the cooler weather keeps us bundled in our sweaters and jeans or indoors altogether. You see, the sun can cause all kinds of trouble for recently-lasered skin.
During the spring and summer, with the weather in the Midwest is beautiful, it’s sunny more often, and it’s hard to stay indoors and avoid sun! Even if you’re religiously wearing hats and sunscreens, your sun exposure is still higher than during the winter months.
Treatment of tanned or sunburned skin puts you at an increased risk of blistering, while post-treatment sun exposure can leave you with permanent skin discoloration and even worse sun damage than you had before. This is why laser treatments are best scheduled during times of the year when we get less sun.
Lasers aren’t a one-and-done kind of treatment. To get optimal results, you’ll need to undergo a series of treatments and that takes time to do! You don’t want to start laser hair reduction in April and then not have your legs ready for that summer vacation, do you?
Here’s what the timeline looks like:
This is just a starting point. Depending on your needs and the results you’re looking for, you could need additional treatments beyond these recommendations. Starting your treatments in the fall and winter gives you plenty of time to complete your series before those coveted warm months return. It’s also a good idea to schedule a maintenance visit every year or so to maintain your results.
I am interested in achieving great outcomes for every person who comes through our office, and once you obtain those outcomes it’s my job to help you maintain them! I would be remiss to let someone get a laser treatment to remove their sun spots, then have those sun spots return with a vengeance shortly thereafter! Therefore, I don’t recommend pursuing laser treatments during spring and summer…I say just wait until laser season!
If you’ve been curious about trying laser treatments, give us a call to set up a consultation. During your appointment, we’ll perform an assessment to ensure that you are a good candidate for the laser you’re interested in and determine your best course of treatment.