What Causes Saggy Skin?

Published on April 28, 2021
By Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Acadiana

Sagging skin may not pose much of a problem during our younger years, but as we go through life, it’s something that will inevitably affect all of us at some point. Whether it’s upper arms or thighs, a saggy stomach, or jowls forming around our jaw, living with saggy skin can make one feel self-conscious. Fortunately, there are options that can give your skin and your self-esteem a much-needed lift. 



What Causes Saggy Skin?


Unfortunately, there are some factors that make someone more likely to experience sagging skin.

Age. As we get older, our bodies start to produce less of two important substances known as collagen and elastin. These help to keep skin soft, supple, and elastic. However, as we get older and the production of these slows down, our skin becomes less elastic. This means that gravity and things like weight loss are more likely to result in sagging.


Genetics. Did you know that your genes will influence the firmness of your skin as you get older? Unfortunately, just like stretch marks, some people are naturally more likely to suffer from sagging skin purely because it’s in their DNA.


Weight loss. Unsurprisingly, the bigger you are the more your skin has to stretch to accommodate your body. When you then lose weight, unless your skin is very elastic it may not necessarily shrink back to its original form. Significant weight loss is one of the most common reasons for someone to experience sagging skin. 


Pregnancy. Similarly, pregnancy also causes the skin on the stomach to stretch much beyond its usual capabilities. Many women develop stretch marks where the skin is so strained that it becomes damaged by the stress it is under. Sadly, the majority of women find that their bodies simply don’t ‘snap back' into their pre-pregnancy shape, and many are left with sagging skin that causes them to feel self-conscious about their appearance. 


Smoking and sun damage. Our skin is very delicate, and there are many external factors that can influence its condition. Smoking has been proven to accelerate the natural aging process, making it harder for skin to retain the same level of elasticity as before. Meanwhile, sun exposure can damage your skin, drying it out and affecting its ability to remain firm and supple. 



Treatments for Sagging Skin


Fortunately, there is a wide range of treatments that can help to address sagging skin, both on the face and on the body. These can usually be divided into two categories – surgical and non-surgical treatments. 


Non-surgical treatments for sagging facial skin 


Also known as injectables due to the way in which they are administered, some of the most popular non-surgical treatments for sagging facial skin include:


  • Botox. These are neurotoxins that work by temporarily paralyzing the muscles in the face so that the overlying skin remains flat and smooth. 

  • Dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, work by adding volume to the face, smoothing the skin, and reducing sagging. 



Non-surgical treatments are temporary, affordable, and can usually be completed in under an hour.



Surgical treatments for sagging skin


If you have sagging skin on your body that you want to address, you will almost certainly need to consider a surgical solution. Fortunately, there are lots of options available, including:

  • Tummy tuck 

  • Neck lift

  • Arm lift

  • Liposuction 


If saggy skin is bothering you and you’d like to find out if cosmetic surgery can help, please get in touch with our friendly plastic surgery team in Lafayette, LA.