As we age many people go through changes in weight that result in stretching of skin during periods of weight gain. When the weight is lost the skin can be left slightly lax and wrinkled. This effect is exaggerated with age as there is a loss of collagen and especially elastin. Collagen provides skin with its tensile strength. Elastin provides skin with its elasticity. Loss of elastin means skin does not snap back as it used in earlier years.
What areas of the body are prone to loose skin?
The effects of loose wrinkled skin are particularly prominent around the tummy, neck and back of the arms. The majority of women who have had children will know exactly what it means to have loose wrinkled skin over their tummies. Also those who have successfully lost large amounts of weight often feel disillusioned with loose skin that is left behind.
What can be done about loose skin?
Tightening skin has always been difficult to achieve. After having had a child or after losing large amounts of weight skin around the tummy and flanks remains loose and wrinkled. Skin naturally contracts to some extent over time but this can be limited. As we age the extent of natural contraction is limited further by a lack of elastin. Indeed it doesn’t seem to matter how many sit ups one does as the skin just remains the same. In extreme situations where there are large amounts of excess skin over the tummy and especially at the back of the arms the only option is to get a tummy tuck or indeed a brachioplasty in the arms. These procedures are invasive surgical treatments that leave patients with large scars that can often be unsightly and distressing. The situation is made worse in those who suffer with poor healing or are prone to hypertrophic and keloid scars. Natural ageing also often results in the unwanted ‘turkey neck’ with loose skin around the neck that quickly gives away anyone’s age.
What treatments are currently offered to treat loose skin?
Previously many patients with mild to moderate loose skin have been offered laser lipo or VASER to provide some skin tightening. The effects of both are limited and indeed VASER is not considered to have any significant skin tightening effect at all. Some have advocated the use of PDO threads inserted into the skin and just under the skin in the hope that as it is absorbed it will result in new collagen and elastin deposition and will result in some skin tightening effects. This can normally take around 3 months and will not last for more than 18 to 24 months. New plasma pen devices have also been used as a nonsurgical alternative for skin tightening by scoring the surface of skin in regions of laxity. As this heals there is some contraction of the loose skin but can result in scarring and the effects are limited.
What is J-Plasma and J-Plazty?
J-Plasma, also known as RenuvionTM, is a new revolutionary device that uses helium to provide cool plasma. Dr Jack Zamora, a Cosmetic Surgeon from the US, pioneered the J-Plazty procedure as an innovative and revolutionary technique for skin tightening. Using the J-Plasma device it is possible to treat the underside of the skin using minimally invasive liposuction techniques to achieve incredible skin tightening not possible with other techniques and thereby avoiding radical surgery in cases of mild to moderate loose skin.