Over time, it’s not uncommon for skin to undergo some drastic changes. Taking the brunt of both external and internal factors, our skin has a tendency to shift and change in time with the natural aging process. As the body ages, the production of both collagen and elastin decreases. The result of these levels dropping is often the development of loose skin that shows up on the face and other areas of the body as fine lines, wrinkles or sagging pouches. Areas of loose skin can also be a result of significant weight loss. While an individual may work hard to lose body fat, the disappearance of these fat cells can create a void where the skin has been stretched. A similar effect can be seen around the abdomen for women soon after childbirth. While a healthy diet and exercise can help increase muscle tone, this, unfortunately, does little to improve the overall elasticity of the skin.
Fortunately, the field of cosmetic technology has seen incredible improvements and innovative techniques over the past several years. For patients looking to tighten skin and create an overall more youthful appearance, this means there are now a vast number of options available that don’t require invasive surgeries or significant downtime following a procedure. When it comes to the many skin tightening procedures on the market, it’s important to understand your options.
While ultrasound technology has long been proven to be effective at monitoring fetal status during pregnancy, it has most recently been seen as a highly effective and safe technique for tightening certain areas of skin as well. Ultrasound waves can quickly and painlessly be administered and directed towards the lower levels of the skin and promote the production of both collagen and elastin over time. Patients who undergo ultrasound skin tightening treatments are free to return to normal, everyday activities immediately following a session and at most, report slight discomfort or redness at the treatment area that can easily be resolved with over the counter pain medication. The ideal patient for ultrasound skin tightening treatments would be an individual looking to treat areas around the neck, chin, and brows.
When it comes to tightening larger areas of the body such as lower arms, abdomen, thighs and beyond, radio frequency techniques prove highly successful for patients. This technique includes a unique level of versatility that allows patients to choose between non-invasive and minimally invasive procedures depending on the desired results. While procedures like Forma provide a non-invasive approach to tightening skin using heat-induced contractions, options such as BodyTite allow an attending physician to gently remove fat cells while simultaneously tightening skin. Patients are often thrilled to hear that even minimally invasive procedures such as BodyTite require nothing more than local anesthetic to achieve successful results. No matter what route a patient chooses, radio frequency skin tightening procedures are shown to significantly boost collagen levels over the course of several sessions.
For patients who are looking for significant skin tightening treatments and are not opposed to more invasive treatment options, traditional surgical solutions are still an option. Dramatic results can be achieved for patients who elect to undergo procedures such as tummy tucks and arm lifts. While successful aesthetic change can be expected, patients who go this route will want to understand that these procedures generally come with a more extensive recovery period with an increased potential for scarring.
With so many skin tightening options available to patients, it’s more important than ever that prospective patients take the time to participate in a thorough consultation with their attending physician. A consultation provides the essential time it takes for a physician to review a patient’s medical background, cover the options available and answer any and all questions an individual may have prior to setting up a personalized treatment plan. While medical factors may decide the best plan of action for a patient, it’s equally important that lines of communication are open between a patient and a physician. Ever cosmetic procedure comes with an emotional impact and goals on both fronts should be clearly stated prior to undergoing treatment.
In general, non-invasive procedures tend to make less of a financial impact on patients as compared to surgical options. However, as with all cosmetic treatments cost will vary from patient to patient depending on the size and severity of the area being treated in combination with the number of treatments required to achieve the desired results.
When you’re considering skin tightening procedures of any kind, be sure to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Wright at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center. Our team takes a comprehensive approach to patient care and provides a vast portfolio of options to ensure that every patient enjoys a personalized, safe and successful experience.