Hi! I’m Dr Loo Keng Shien.
Here’s Episode 9 of the Patient Mailbox series, where we collect handpicked questions submitted by patients suffering from various skin diseases and condition, and personally answer them with our best efforts. I hope to help any one of you who face challenges from similar situations.
Editor’s Note: Dr Loo Keng Shien is a Consultant Aesthetic Physician with a special interest in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine. She has highly certified qualifications from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, and in Practical Dermatology from Cardiff University. She currently practices at Peter Ch’ng Clinic in Desa Park City.
Hi Dr Loo,
I’m Melanie. I’m pretty worried because I’m only 29 this year, but I have already noticed my facial skin sagging – especially my cheeks that seem to be drooping down onto my lips. This makes my laugh lines on the two sides of my mouth really visible, too.
To make things worse, my friends around me all still seem to look pretty youthful and bubbly even though some of them are older than me. Needless to say, I always look the oldest in my group of friends!
Is it normal for someone my age to have a sagging face so soon?
How can I get my face to have a youthful look again? I need help!
“Is it normal for someone my age to have a sagging face so soon?”
Everyone ages differently, which is why we see people of the same age look differently in terms of age appearance. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, including genetics, skin damage from excessive sunlight exposure, lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol consumption, and a lack of maintenance for skin care.
This means that you can start to have sagging skin in your 50s, your 40s, or even your 20s if you do not take care of your skin properly!
To illustrate, here’s an example of a patient with facial sagging skin around the age of 60:
Sagging skin is also caused by the lack of medical treatments to stimulate collagen synthesis, because aging of our skin occurs when there is a lost of collagen beneath it. And when the loss of collagen is greater than the stimulation of new ones, our skin loses its tightness and youthfulness, resulting in loose sagging skin.
Of course, sagging skin can be treated with medical procedures and also anti-aging steps and efforts. Here’s the same patient who had sagging skin in the example above, after treatment:
Therefore, it is important not only to treat our loose skin, but also to slow down the aging process.
Contrary to popular belief, anti-aging starts from home, not from the clinic or doctor’s office. So it’s time to stop saying “I’ll start taking care of my skin after I see the doctor”, because it is an everyday routine!
This includes practising a healthy lifestyle and taking care of our skin, and practising sun protection whenever we’re outdoors.
Excessive sun exposure is one of the most common factors of skin aging, and one of the most detrimental elements that can cause sagging skin.
Without proper sun protection, sunlight damage not only affects our skin surface, but beneath it, the process of new collagen production, which is key to maintining tight and youthful skin, is also affected.
Sunlight damage on the skin surface also exposes you to the risk of other skin conditions like pigmentation and large pores.
A popular treatment that can help in anti-aging is laser genesis treatment. Laser genesis can help stimulate collagen production, is quick, and has no downtime!
Treating sagging skin
“How can I get my face to have a youthful look again?”
To treat loose or sagging skin and return the tightness of our skin, there are several safe and effective medical aesthetic treatments that can be done to counter this sign of aging skin.
Usually, hyaluronic acid filler is the preferred choice in treating sagging skin. It can be used to fill in the spaces in the skin where fat had been lost (the cause of the skin to sag) and volumise the skin to make it tight.
Fillers can be used on the cheeks, temporal area, tear troughs, or the forehead. They also offer an immediate effect.
However, there may be unverified filler products in the market used by uncertified individuals for anti-aging treatments.
This does not only affect the effectiveness of the treatment, but also puts you at risk of any side effects due to mishandling of procedures and the use of unverified products!
So always make sure you get your aesthetic treatments from verified doctors and professionals!
BOTOX injections are popularly known for their effect in anti-aging, and has been around for quite some time.
BOTOX can relax the muscles of our skin, helping to reduce expression wrinkles. This produces a tighter skin appearance and a more youthful appearance for the face.
Results from BOTOX can be seen from day 3 – 10 after the treatment.
Threadlift is the non-surgical option of facelift. This is the procedure to lift the sagging skin on our face up and tighten the skin, using surgical suture threads.
The results from a threadlift are almost immediate.
Threadlift is a delicate procedure and should only be done by verified medical professionals.
Collagen stimulating procedures
Since collagen is the important key in keeping our skin tight and and youthful, treatments to stimulate collagen are also effective as anti-aging solutions.
These include HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) treatments like Ultherapy, laser genesis treatments, and radio frequency treatments. These treatments can stimulate collagen production from within our skin, and help in tightening the skin to get rid of sagging skin.
Ultherapy is a medical treatment that uses HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound)to detect areas where sagging skin is present and lift the skin to tighten it without any invasive surgery.
Ultherapy is FDA (Foods and Drugs Administration) approved, and is one of the safest and most effective treatments to lift the skin on your face, neck, or under your chin without any surgery or downtime.
Using HIFU also means that this treatment allows the doctor to focus on the facial and skin area that requires the treatment, so that the critical facial area with sagging skin can be tightened and lifted precisely.
It is, however, important to note that Ulthera, the machine used for Ultherapy, is a highly sophisticated and unique machine, and should only be operated by certified doctors to avoid any treatment misconduct.
*Editor’s note: Ultherapy is one of the safest and most effective treatments for sagging skin on the face, and you can get it at Peter Ch’ng Clinic with our new Ulthera machine, specially dedicated for this treatment. To know more, call us at +6011-22882299, WhatsApp us here, or book an appointment with Dr Loo here!
Always remember – prevention is better than cure. Anti-aging starts at home and before you have any aging signs on your skin.
Start with lifestyle modifications with healthy diets and skin care routine. And never forget good sun protection!
Most treatments nowadays come without downtime, so safe and effective treatments for sagging skin are now more accessible than before.
However, overdoing any changes to our skin and face is not always good, and safety may be compromised, especially with the increasingly notorious “self-injectable” fillers selling online and on social media.
Remember – natural is key. So always look for a doctor with credentials and recognition from the Ministry of Health for a safe treatment.
You may find cheaper treatment offers by doctors without proper credentials, but this may lead to serious complications.
Also, as there are different treatments available, the selection of treatment depends on the area of concern, the frequency of treatment, the cost of treatment, and the need of immediate improvement or as an anti-aging process.
So the best course of action is to always get a doctor’s advice so that we know what treatment can provide the safest and most effective solution to our sagging skin problems.
*Editor’s note: Loose or sagging skin on the face CAN be treated and gotten rid of. To know more about these treatments to get rid of sagging skin, call us at +6011-22882299, WhatsApp us here, or book an appointment with Dr Loo here!
Stay tuned next week as we take a look at the signs that your facial skin is aging.
Dr Loo Keng Shien is a Consultant Aesthetic Physician with a special interest in Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine. She has highly certified qualifications from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, and in Practical Dermatology from Cardiff University. She currently practices at Peter Ch’ng Clinic in Desa Park City.
Read more about Dr Loo Here.