How much do you know about skin tightening? Read our ultimate guide to learn everything that you nee
The Ultimate Guide to Skin Tightening
How much do you know about skin tightening? Read our ultimate guide to learn everything that you need to know about this beauty treatment.
Did you know that you don't need to go under the knife anymore to tighten your skin? Nowadays, there are many treatments available that support your skin regeneration and firmness.
But which one is right for you? Let's take a closer look at skin tightening and understand the process to make sure you make the right decisions.
Understanding How Skin Works
Part of the key to understanding skin tightening procedures is to know the causes. And, it also helps you to know how the skin works on a biological level. So let's delve deeper and take a look.
How Does Your Skin Work?
Your body has two types of cells that work together to keep it healthy. Epidermal cells cover your entire body, while dermal cells make up most of your skin. The epidermis contains three layers: stratum corneum, viable epidermis, and basal layer.
These layers protect our bodies from external damage. They do so by acting as an effective barrier. This barrier prevents viruses, chemicals, and other harmful substances from making it worse.
They do this through several different mechanisms. One of these is a protective shield called the “acid mantle” and producing sebum oil to lubricate our skin. Sebum production increases during times when we're stressed or anxious.
It's also why people with acne have more breakouts. They may not even realize their stress levels are high enough to cause such problems.
What Causes Wrinkles?
As we age, our bodies lose collagen in certain parts of the body. That leads to a loss of elasticity and results in wrinkling. And, in most cases, wrinkles themselves are the byproduct of gravity pulling your skin down.
Some examples of wrinkle-prone areas include the forehead, around the eyes, under the chin, and neckline. But it can also include other areas, especially hands and feet.
Further, as we grow older, less blood flows to the face, causing it to become thinner than other regions of the body. As this happens, the facial muscles weaken, resulting in more laxity in the skin.
How Do You Know if Your Wrinkles are From Aging or Genetics?
You can tell whether your wrinkles are genetic or aging because there are two types of wrinkles—genetic and chronological. Chronological wrinkles occur as early as childhood, while genetic ones start appearing later in life.
Also, when someone has had plastic surgery, their wrinkle pattern may change a lot. So even though they might not show any signs of aging yet, they still need to see an expert about getting more permanent solutions like fillers and laser treatments.
What Causes Loose Skin?
Loose skin occurs when cells called fibroblasts produce too much protein. Meanwhile, they don't produce enough Elastin, either. Elastin helps keep skin firm and plump; without it, skin becomes thin and saggy.
Collagen provides structure and strength to the dermis layer of the skin. When both proteins become overabundant, this creates excess tissue. This tissue pulls downward, causing wrinkles.
In the case of weight gain and loss, removed fat deposits may contribute to lax skin. As well as this, childbirth, menopause, or hormone replacement therapy all contribute to loose skin.
Skin also loses its ability to keep moisture as we get older. We all shed dead skin cells every day, but as we age, our rate slows down. That's why dryness often accompanies loose skin.
When Should I See A Specialist For My Loose Skin?
It depends on how severe your problem is. Milder forms of loose skin usually don't need medical attention unless they worsen. Yet, if you notice blisters or shedding, they can indicate something's wrong.
Thus, something else besides normal cell turnover is happening. Then you should seek help right away. If in doubt, see a professional for treatment options.
How Does Skin Tightening Work?
Skin tightening is the process used to reverse any damage caused by the sun or overeating. Yet, there are a variety of methods of skin tightening. So which one you choose depends on the severity of your circumstances.
To understand these differences, let's look at the science behind skin tightening.
What's the Science Behind Skin Tightening?
Skin tightening treatments work by stimulating collagen production in the skin. Collagen helps keep our skin firm and smooth. So, when it starts breaking down as we age, that can lead to sagging or wrinkling.
The good news is that there are several different types of treatment available today. These treatments can target this specific problem area.
The skin tightening procedure comprises of three main steps:
Chances are you're familiar with anesthesia from other surgeries. It numbs the treated areas and makes them less sensitive during the procedure.
Infusion of Botulinum Toxin Type-A
Type-A gets infused into the targeted muscles. This toxin blocks nerve signals from reaching those muscle fibers.
In doing so, it prevents them from contracting. As a result, the underlying tissues relax and tighten.
It involves the application of radiofrequency energy to stimulate new collagen growth. Radiofrequency devices heat the surrounding skin, encouraging the body to make more collagen.
How Do You Know Which Treatment Is Right For Me?
There are many ways to treat loose skin. Some people prefer non-surgical procedures.
These include injectables, while others opt for surgical techniques. But before choosing a particular method, here are some things to consider:
There are plenty of expensive treatments out there, but not all deliver what you're hoping to find. Find a reputable clinic where you feel comfortable and confident.
That said, make sure you allow a decent budget. Like any treatments involving your body, you should never go for the cheapest option, which usually signifies poor quality.
Certain lifestyles might limit certain choices. For example, pregnant women shouldn’t use botox because their bodies aren’t producing enough estrogen.
And anyone who has had surgery within six months before starting any type of treatment should avoid using dermal fillers.
If you have questions about whether you qualify for a particular treatment option, make sure you speak to a professional before deciding on which procedure you want to undertake.
Skin Tightening Treatments
If you're looking to tighten your skin, plenty of treatments are available to you, depending on what you need. And, these sit under two categories; surgical and non-surgical skin tightening.
So let's take a look at the pros and cons of each and work out what's best for your needs.
Non-Surgical Treatments are often the first port of call for skin tightening. They include laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, IPL, and other similar methods. These treatments usually involve minimal discomfort and offer immediate results.
That said, they don't last forever. For many people, non-surgical treatments last anywhere between 6 weeks and three months.
So suppose you need something longer-lasting, like a permanent skin tightening. Then the chances are that you'll most likely need to go ahead and get cosmetic surgery done instead!
Within non-surgical skin tightening, there are many options from which to choose. That in itself can be a daunting process. So let's take a look at some examples and how they relate to your needs.
Microdermabrasion involves using a handheld instrument called a derma roller. The derma roller removes dead cells from the upper layers of the skin.
A vacuum pulls out debris and dust particles along with the dead skin cells. Afterward, the treated skin looks brighter and more even-toned than untreated skin.
Peeling agents like glycolic acid and lactic acid exfoliate the top layers of the skin. This exfoliation process helps with revealing fresh, glowing skin underneath. Chemical peels may present alone or combined with one of these methods above.
Injectable botulinum toxin gets injected under the skin to relax muscles. These are the same muscles responsible for frowning, wrinkling, and crow's feet. Botox can smooth away forehead furrows, soften jowls, and rid facial creases.
The treatment takes about 15 minutes per area. Thus, it requires many sessions over several weeks to achieve the greatest benefits.
Laser Treatment for Skin Tightness
A laser device emits light energy into the skin. The device targets certain wavelengths that stimulate collagen growth. In doing so, it stimulates new cell formation.
Laser devices come in many shapes and sizes, but all use similar technology. They emit pulses of infrared light through tiny holes in the tip of the wand. These pulses penetrate the epidermal layers of the skin.
Here, they trigger cellular activity as the body repairs damaged tissues, new collagen forms around those areas. Over time, this leads to firmer, younger-looking skin.
Fractional CO2 and Erbium YAG Laser
This type of laser uses beams of concentrated light energy to treat targeted areas of the skin. It targets only small amounts of skin with each pass. Thus, it leaves surrounding healthy skin untouched.
Fractionation allows the laser to deliver precise doses of energy. It can do so while reducing side effects such as redness, swelling, bruising, and scarring.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
This method delivers intense bursts of pulsating light energy straight onto the skin surface. IPL machines proved effective in treating acne scars, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Each burst lasts long enough to heat the top few microns of skin.
Then, the skin cools off before delivering another pulse. This repeated thermal cycle causes microscopic injury to the outermost layer of skin. But that's a good thing because it triggers an inflammatory response that results in increased collagen synthesis.
These devices send radio waves deep beneath the skin's surface. RF energy penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. In turn, that creates microthermal lesions that stimulate collagen production.
The procedure is much less invasive. So it's usually performed under local anesthesia. Yet, some patients may experience mild discomfort after the treatment.
What is Ultherapy?
Ultherapy is the Gold Standard in non-invasive surgical skin tightening. It is the only non-invasive surgery that is both FDA and Health Canada approved, unlike many other non-surgical procedures on this list.
It's a form of ultrasound that stimulates collagen over two to three months. That means there's no downtime in the healing process, merely regular treatment over time. Thus, it's very convenient for anyone who can't get time off work, for example.
The reason it's better than laser therapy is that sound can reach deeper skin layers than light. That makes it more productive than any other non-invasive surgery at stimulating collagen.
Surgical Procedures for Skin Tightening
Suppose the patient needs something more excessive. Then skin tightening via surgical procedures is the next step. The most common of these is a rhytidectomy.
Otherwise known as a facelift, this involves removing excess fat from the face and neck. And, any loose skin also gets removed in the process. A surgeon will also tighten underlying muscle tissue using sutures or staples.
Further, they might remove extra skin on the chin, jawline, cheeks, ears, nose, or lips. Rhytidectomies often get done under general anesthesia, although sedatives are okay if desired.
Recovery times vary by patient. Yet, you should expect to spend several days at home recovering.
Home Remedies and Self-Care
Even if you need cosmetic surgery to help tighten your skin, everyone can still adopt these top tips for keeping your skin smooth, hydrated and tight to prevent further wrinkling for longer.
Use a Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C can help reduce fine lines and improve appearance. It also stimulates new cell growth, which makes your skin look younger. To use vitamin c serum, apply it on clean, dry skin twice daily. Follow with moisturizer.
Try an Alpha Hydroxy Acid-Based Product
These products contain alpha-hydroxy acids. These exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate cellular turnover.
They work best on oily/combination skins but will remove surface layers of dry skin as well. Apply them once every two weeks.
Drink More Water
Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated and prevents dehydration. It reduces the amount of collagen production that maintains a youthful-looking complexion. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses per day.
Eat Foods That Contain Vitamins B And E
Both vitamins boost circulation and promote healthy skin. Also, eat foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, dark leafy greens, or carrots. These will all help your skin create and retain collagen for as long as possible.
Take Care Of Your Hair
Excessive hairstyling, chemical straighteners, or blow-drying can all cause loose skin. That's most true on the scalp itself. The result is dull, lifeless-looking hair.
If possible, avoid these methods altogether. Instead, brush your hair often using natural bristle brushes. Avoid heat styling tools whenever possible.
Staying active improves blood flow throughout the body, including the facial muscles. As a result, you'll have smoother, firmer skin.
You don't always need to go jogging or do aerobics classes. Take brisk walks around the neighborhood or park.
Chronic stress causes inflammation within the body, resulting in premature aging. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises get encouraged. Also, you could enjoy music, books, watching movies, and playing games.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting 7 hours of restful sleep each night helps keep our bodies young and vibrant. Lack of sleep leads to increased levels of cortisol—high cortisol results in wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Don’t Smoke Cigarettes.
Smoking cigarettes damages the vast majority of organs in your body. But most of all, it can make your skin loosen. Further, smoking increases the risk of cancer by causing DNA mutations that lead to abnormal gene expression.
Keep Sunscreen On Hand At All Times
Exposure to sunlight accelerates the process of photoaging. Thus, wear sunscreen when outdoors. Not only does it mean fewer wrinkles, but you'll also prevent yourself from getting skin cancer at the same time.
How to Find a Qualified Skin Tightening Specialist
Now you know everything you need to about the different procedures in place. It's time to look at how to find the right person to undertake the work you need.
Your body is on the line here, so you must do your research and due diligence. That way, you can make sure you've found the right person to tighten up your skin.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a qualified skin tightening specialist:
Take time to do your research and look into the level of experience they have. Even if the doctors are well-qualified, suppose they are changing specialism or moving from another practice. Do your research and take note of any previous track record.
Did they complete an accredited residency program? Do their credentials match with those listed on their website? And, does their practice adhere to strict ethical standards?
Training and Education
Along similar lines, consider their training and education. Has the surgeon completed formal education programs like medical school, plastic surgery fellowship? Have they taken continuing education courses related to aesthetic medicine?
Licensing and Certification
Licensing and certification refer to whether the physician holds a license. And, it also looks at whether they have permission to perform cosmetic surgeries in the state. What level of certification do they hold?
The ABCPS credential indicates that the doctor meets certain educational requirements. For example, American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. And they can complete a rigorous examination administered by the ABPS.
Suppose the doctor doesn't meet these qualifications. Then they may only offer services under a limited scope of practice.
Some doctors will accept insurance plans while others won't. Make sure you understand exactly what kind of coverage the provider accepts before signing anything. You should be able to see this information displayed online.
Look into reviews left by previous clients. Ask friends who have had similar treatments done to share their experiences.
Also, ask questions about the experience itself. Was the procedure performed at speed? Were complications experienced during recovery?
A good way to determine cost-effectiveness is to compare prices between providers. Many times, cheaper isn't always better. Yet, sometimes price does matter.
In other cases, quality can trump affordability. So don't go with the cheapest option available. Instead, choose someone based on the best value for money.
Will the doctor be able to provide treatment as soon as possible after booking? Can you get appointments scheduled around your schedule?
When looking for a skin tightening specialist, availability is key. Don't settle for anyone who says, "I'm booked solid."
Be wary of those not willing to communicate well about procedures. They might say things like "We're all set" without explaining further details.
Or they could tell you how much it's going to cost upfront instead of letting you know once you've made a decision. These types of communication issues can lead to problems down the road.
Find out if the doctor offers postoperative care support such as follow-ups, phone consultations, or email correspondence. Does the office staff make themselves accessible when needed?
Do they respond at speed to emails sent via the website? Are there any guarantees offered about results?
Loosen Up by Tightening Up Today!
When choosing a professional for skin tightening, look at each factor with care. There are many variables involved, so take time to research them in detail. That said, you want to find a professional that focuses both on quality and the personal touch.
But the good news is that if you're near Ajax, Ontario, we've done the hard work for you. So get in touch with us today for a 15-minute consultation to see how we can make your skin look beautiful once more!