What Causes Skin Laxity? By Nimit D on August 7, 2014

A woman with smooth, youthful skinIt's natural for the skin to lose firmness over time, making us look and feel old. Fortunately, the facelift procedure can help restore a youthful appearance, tightening loose skin and improving firmness. Sagging skin is a common trait of aging, but what causes skin to lose its firmness and become lax? Ottawa plastic surgeon Peter Brownrigg offers this overview on the causes of skin laxity and treatment options to improve skin firmness.

The Causes of Skin Laxity

There are many causes of skin laxity, some of which can be controlled. Other causes, like aging, are unavoidable, but understanding the controllable causes can help you take steps to reduce skin laxity.

  • Age: Aging is the main cause of skin laxity. Aging cannot be stopped but sagging skin and wrinkling can be mitigated with plastic surgery, dermal fillers, and taking care of your skin.
  • Reduced Collagen Production: Collagen is vital to skin firmness and elasticity. As we age, the body produces less collagen, which leads to sagging, lax skin.
  • Thinning Skin: Another component of sagging skin is the fact that, as we age, the outer dermal layer begins to thin. Thinning skin is more prone to drooping.
  • Reduced Moisture Retention: Aging skin has a more difficult time retaining moisture. Moisture is important to keeping skin hydrated and plump.
  • Diet: Diet can affect skin firmness. The skin is an organ and needs to be cared for like any other part of the body. A healthy diet with the right balance of vitamins and protein is important to skin elasticity. Drinking plenty of water is also essential to keeping the skin hydrated and healthy. A diet full of junk food, soft drinks, and fats can strip the skin of nutrients, aging skin beyond its years.
  • Sun Exposure: Sun exposure is another major component in causing the skin laxity. Sun exposure can break down collagen, causing premature wrinkles and sagging skin.
  • Genetics: Genetics can also cause the skin to become lax. Unfortunately, we can't change our genetic makeup, but we can take steps to treat sagging skin.

Treating Sagging Skin

Despite taking steps to reduce skin laxity, sagging skin is an inevitable part of aging. You can help improve skin firmness and reduce skin laxity by maintaining a healthy diet and wearing sunscreen. The following are some tips to reduce sagging skin. 

  • Wear Sunscreen and Limit Sun Exposure: Because the sun can breakdown collagen, a key component to firm skin, reducing sun exposure and wearing sun screen daily can help reduce skin laxity and wrinkles.
  • Stay Hydrated and Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water gives your body the nutrients and hydration it needs to replenish cells. This helps keeps the skin firm and plump.
  • Exfoliate the Skin: Exfoliating the skin can help skin circulation, remove dead skin cells, and encourage the cells to replenish themselves.
  • Plastic Surgery: Plastic surgery treatments, like facelifts and brow lifts, can restore the firmness of the skin by removing excess sagging tissue. 
  • Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers can instantly improve the appearance of wrinkled, lax skin without the need for surgery or recovery time.

Schedule a Consultation

Find out more about treating sagging skin. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Brownrigg today!

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Dr. Brownrigg

Dr. Peter Brownrigg

Dr. Brownrigg has focused on facial plastic surgery since 1984. He is affiliated with a range of prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Canadian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Has acted as the Canadian Region Vice President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Has acted as the treasurer and president of the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  • Ontario Medical Association

For more information about the services we offer, contact our office online or call (613) 724-1214 today.

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Dr. Brownrigg has been focusing exclusively on facial plastic surgery since 1984!