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What Is Sagging Skin - Know Why Your Skin Is Getting Loose

Don't Let Loose Skin Loosen Your Confidence

October 23, 2021 0 comments
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If you have been trying to shed weight, you probably already know what is sagging skin.  Sagging skin on the body is often associated with weight loss and sometimes the reduction of collagen and elastin production. 

Anyone can get sagging skin. It is, however, more likely to occur in people as they age. But there is more to sagging skin than just aging. 

Sagging skin comes with different physical, health, and emotional challenges. We discuss the issue of sagging skin in detail. We hope to enlighten you and possibly give you insights on how to tighten loose skin. 

Shall we get right in? 

 What is Sagging Skin?

A biohacker pulling her sagging skin

Have your internet searches been things in the lines of:

  • What does saggy skin mean? 
  • Or how can I firm sagging skin? 

We have got you covered in detail below. 

Sagging skin is the skin that appears to be hanging with no definition. This is often because of a lack of muscle underneath it. Sagging skin can be minor, moderate or significant. The idea behind it is that the skin no longer looks tight against the body. 

The primary factors that ensure the skin is tight are collagen and elastin. However, with the aging process, the production of the two starts declining. And with this, skin sagging starts to occur, making you look older than you are.

Knowing the meaning of saggy skin is not just it. 

We dig deeper below.

What Are The Symptoms of Saggy Skin?

Try this simple saggy skin test:

gently pinch on the body part that you suspect to be having sagging skin. Hold the pinch for 5-10 seconds. You can then release. If the skin snaps back quickly, you have firm skin. If the skin loses its ability to snap back quickly, it is saggy. (1)

Sagging skin is often accompanied by other symptoms. Watch out for these:

  • untimely wrinkles and fine lines, especially on the face, 
  • loss of original skin color which sometimes leads to increasingly pale and pigmented skin;
  • increased skin sensitivity, 
  • droopy skin,
  • reduced skin volume, 
  • lost skin youthfulness. 

Common Areas Where You Might See Sagging Skin

Sagging skin around blue eyes

Loose skin can appear anywhere on the body. However, it is sometimes more pronounced on other body parts. This may be due to different internal factors and external exposures. It may also be due to reduced collagen production on that specific body part. We discuss some of the common body parts you will most likely notice skin sagging. 

Face 

Sagging face is a common cosmetic condition that comes naturally as people age. In most cases, sagging skin on the face appears on the cheeks. Saggy cheeks often sell out the number of years you have lived.

Besides, saggy skin can be noticed by the fine lines and wrinkles that begin to appear on the forehead. It starts to appear like there is excess skin on the forehead. 

Your face is often the most exposed and manipulated body part. For instance, many people almost ever have their faces exposed to the scorching sun. 

Eyelids

Your eyelids are another body part that can sell the signs of sagging skin.  

Sagging upper eyelids occur as we age. The droopy eyelids occur due to the weakening of the levator muscle tendon. We blink 15-20 minutes per minute. It is only normal to overstretch and overwork the muscles as we age. So, droopy eyelids are not something unnatural. It is a result of the stretch that comes with age. 

You may as well notice that hooded eyelids occur with age. This slowly starts to change the appearance and even the shape of your eyes. 

Jowls 

Almost everyone develops jowls as they age. 

The word “jowls” refers to the sagging skin below your jawline and chin. Jowls develop because the skin becomes less elastic and thinner over time. This is due to loss of the elastin and collagen proteins. As collagen and elastin are lost, the cheek skin around your mouth loses its tightness and firmness. Once this happens, gravity causes it to sag towards either side of your mouth or chin.  (2)

Jowls are less pronounced in people with thicker skin, more collagen production and more fat. 

Chin

A double chin is the most common sign of sagging skin on the chin. The double chin may develop as an excess of fats that accumulate in the region. 

You may have been told to put your chin up, but sometimes a double chin can hold you back. It is a common cause of self-esteem issues. It is, however, not necessarily a sign of unhealthy living as it is often stereotyped. 

Age is another reason double chin occurs. The skin loses its elasticity and gradually starts drooping. 

It isn’t easy to prevent the onset of a double chin. However, it is possible to reduce it once it occurs. 

Neck 

Loose neck skin at 40 is something common. As your age increases, you may notice that your long, lean, and evenly pigmented neck may start to sag. You may have heard or even used the term “turkey neck”.  It is what we are talking about. 

The skin around the neck starts to have wrinkles. It then begins weakening and loses its elasticity. 

Arms

A biohacker shows sagging skin around arms

“bat wings, or ‘bingo wings’ terms used to popularly yet unglamorous refer to flabby, loose skin on arms. It is more pronounced on the upper arms.

Most people get loose skin on their arms after a massive weight loss or fluctuations in weight. Another common cause of sagging skin on the arms is the aging process. Sometimes, external factors such as gravity may result in sagging skin on the upper arms. 

Legs 

Sagging skin on legs is a horror story, especially when summer is approaching. One thing about loose skin on legs is that it won’t just get tight even after an extended period of trying different over-the-counter treatment options. 

Sagging skin on legs sometimes goes hand in hand with a significant amount of fat pushing against the loose skin. 

Thighs

The thighs are another region that suffers from skin sagging. Inner thigh sagging is often a result of:

  • weight loss,
  • muscle loss,
  • aging. 

Sagging skin on the inner thighs is not usually a concern to many people. However, once you get there, you may have to work harder to get your skin to bounce back as it did before. 

Stomach 

You are a new mom. You are happy to have your new bundle of joy. However, you cannot stand the sight when you look in the mirror. Sagging skin on your stomach is stressing you out. 

The loose skin and the appearance of stretch marks on the stomach are some of the causes of postpartum stress and depression. 

Besides, after you shed that belly fat, chances are you may have excess skin sagging on your stomach. Furthermore, it is expected, skin ages and the stomach skin is not left behind. 

What Causes Saggy Skin?

You have been keen on the skincare routine. You have followed all the advice from your dermatologist, done all the facial exercises, and even tried skin tightening options. And if that’s not enough, you have been ardent with your hyaluronic acid. But still, you cannot see many results. Your facial muscles keep defying you. (3)

In such a situation, your question will be:  why has my skin gone saggy? 

The causes of saggy skin can be anything from internal factors to external factors. And yes, some are avoidable, but some are not. The effects of unavoidable causes can, however, be controlled or reduced. 

We discuss in detail the causes of sagging skin below. 

How Aging Causes Sagging Skin

Evolution of skin from natural to saggy skin in an aging biohacker

Aging is inevitable. You cannot do much to reverse the biological clock. And when the signs of aging, such as sagging skin, begin to creep in, many people resort to cosmetic procedures or surgical procedures. 

As you age, there will be a gradual deterioration of collagen and elastin production in the dermis. Collagen is broken down in the skin faster with old age. And, it is not replenished as quickly as it is getting broken down. 

To replenish their collagen production in the elastin fibers, many people opt for cosmetic procedures to rebuild or replace collagen. 

How Weight Loss Causes Sagging Skin

Saggy skin on belly of a biohacker

Did you know that carrying excess weight for an extended period strains your collagen and elastin fibers? The extra weight gradually damages the elastin and collagen fibers. And when you lose weight, it becomes difficult for the skin to snap back. 

When you lose weight, there will be skin hanging around the body. Generally, the greater the weight loss, the more pronounced the loose skin. 

How Pregnancy Causes Sagging Skin

A pregnant biohacker shares sagging skin post delivery

After pregnancy, you will notice that you have loose skin on your stomach. However, sometimes it may also occur on the thighs and upper arms. 

Are you wondering what causes sagging skin after pregnancy? After the first few months of pregnancy, your skin begins to stretch. The stretch is to accommodate the growing fetus and the amniotic fluid during pregnancy. Therefore, after birth, the stretched skin remains stretched and appears like loose skin. 

How Illness causes Sagging Skin 

There are a few illnesses that are characterized by saggy skin. One of the most common medical conditions that cause saggy skin includes cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. This disease is also known as granulomatous slack skin. 

People with this illness experience a gradual slackening of skin on the knees and elbows.  

Note: saggy skin as a result of granulomatous slack skin does not typically respond well to treatments. 

How Sun Exposure Causes Sagging Skin

biohacker shows sagging skin after sun exposure

One of the harmful effects of sun exposure is saggy skin. Long periods under the sun gradually damage elastin fibers. The elastin fibers begin to break down. With this, the skin begins to stretch and sag. The skin will eventually lose its ability to bounce back after stretching. 

Furthermore, sun exposure gradually leads to premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles. 

When we are told to always have our sunscreen on, it is because it protects us from such skin damage from the sun. 

How Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Causes Sagging Skin

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes skin disorders. It is a rare hereditary condition that affects the connective tissues. 

People with this condition have a defect in collagen production. The result is, therefore, doughy and saggy skin. These signs are often more noticeable on the face. 

How Sugar Causes Sagging Skin

One of the many effects of sugar on the skin is saggy skin. Is your diet full of refined carbs and artificial sugars? If yes,you risk suffering from untimely deep wrinkles and sagging skin. Excess sugars stick on your collagen fibers. This, in turn, makes the fibers weak and stiff. The result of this cycle is accelerated aging on the face and the entire body. 

The problem is by the time you notice your skin is sagging, you will already have done significant damage on elastin and collagen fibers. So yeah, watch what you eat. 

How Smoking Causes Sagging Skin

A biohacker shares correlation between smoking and saggy skin

“Does smoking make your skin sag?” This is a common worry, especially among people who smoke. 

And the answer is yes, it does. So, the next question in this scenario would be, how are smoking and loose skin related? Well, tobacco contains over 4,000 chemicals. And, many of these destroy elastin and collagen fibers. This, therefore, destroys the skin’s elasticity and strength. 

Furthermore, smoking or just being around secondhand smoke depletes the building blocks of the skin. This results in loose skin.

  Does smoking make your face droop? Yes, it does. Smoking does not affect just the lungs. In fact, people who have quit smoking have noticed the following changes not so long after:

  • improved skin tone and texture, 
  • reduced sagging of skin, 
  • reduced fine lines and wrinkles, 

How Weight Loss Surgery Causes Sagging Skin

 You probably have seen one of your favorite famous people shed a significant amount of weight, but their skin remained perfectly firm. No loose skin after weight loss at all. And you will realize how private they are on their weight loss journey. We end up suspecting weight loss surgery. 

However, weight loss surgery is still not 100% safe in preventing sagging skin. People who have had weight loss surgery produce less new collagen. Furthermore, the collagen composition is not as strong as that produced by young and healthy skin. 

Furthermore, weight loss surgery helps you shed excess fat. But it does not help you gain muscle mass. It, therefore, leaves you with excess skin, with no fats and no muscle mass. Many people start worrying about skin tightening after their surgery. 

Problems Related to Sagging Skin

Sagging skin is a condition many people would trade anything to get over. But it is not always as easy. Seeing your body changing from a perfectly contoured and firm body to saggy skin can be difficult. The changes have both emotional and physical effects on people. 

Here are some of the problems that arise from having sagging skin. 

Skin Irritation and Breakdown 

A lot of times, skin sagging does not come with pain. However, sometimes, you may experience irritation. Sometimes, saggy skin causes itching at night.

Besides, saggy skin ends up creating folds. Sweat gets trapped in the folds. Furthermore, rashes and yeast infections can develop in the folds. Many people who went for a body contouring surgery reported to have experienced itchiness and irritation. 

Poor Body Image

Saggy skin causes poor body image issues. Self-esteem issues and embarrassment arise from having loose skin. On the surface, it seems like a cosmetic and physical issue. But many people are struggling with handling the emotional part of it. And it is very much usual to go through the emotional roller coaster. It is not a simple thing to see your body transform. 

Final Thoughts 

There we go for what is sagging skin. At this point, it is clear to you that everyone will experience skin sagging. It is normal with aging skin. However, it may start happening even before you hit your 50s. And we all do not want to get there. The hack is clear, to have our collagen and elastin production at its highest.

On the other hand, you may have to go through a saggy skin stage to get your health at its best. For instance, you cannot put away weight loss for fear of having loose skin after. The trick is to learn how to prevent loose skin as you lose weight

In conclusion, saggy skin is not a medical condition, but it is still an issue for many people. It can be frustrating and disturbing. You can always discuss with your dermatologist the best ways to reverse loose skin.

Sources

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/skin/saggy-skin

2. https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/firm-sagging-skin

3. https://www.milojevic.hr/en/Conditions/Sagging-Skin/

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