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Causes of Skin Sagging in the Face

There are three elements to facial aging that, when combined, make us look older and more tired. Those three elements are volume loss (fat loss), changes in skin texture such as age spots and acne scarring, and skin droopiness. We will be discussing skin droopiness and how to correct it with cosmetic surgery in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia here on the blog for the next few weeks.

Before approaching droopiness with solutions, its important to understand the causes. Skin begins to sag as we age because of a number of reasons:

  • Loss of collagen and elastin, the tissues that keep the skin plump and firm. These tissues deteriorate as we age, making the skin less tight and more likely to start sagging.
  • The facial muscles become weaker as we get older, so they are less able to maintain the tight appearance of our youth.
  • Gravity! The pull of gravity will eventually cause the fat pads in the cheeks to move downward, as well as the skin of the face, especially around the jawline where jowls form, under the eyes, and in the eyelids.
  • Exposure to sunlight, which speeds up the process
  • Smoking
  • Dramatic weight loss, which can also be accompanied by skin sagging on other areas of the body like the arms, legs, and abdomen.

Sites of Skin Droopiness/Sagging

The most common places where skin droopiness becomes problematic are: the forehead, which can develop folds that make it look permanently furrowed; the eyelids, which can droop over the eyes and make it difficult to see; the neck; and the jawline. Droopiness also causes marionette lines, folds that run from the mouth to the jaw, and nasolabial folds, which run from the nose to the corners of the mouth.

 

So, what can you do about skin droopiness or sagging on the face that is making you look older than you would like? There are several solutions, and we will be discussing each in depth over the next few weeks. There are both surgical solutions (such as facelift surgery or mini-lift) and non-surgical solutions (like a laser facial resurfacing).

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or our on-site aesthetician, please call at (703) 574-2588. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!