Aging can be a difficult process for our skin and our self-confidence. It comes with wrinkles, lines, folds and dreaded saggy skin. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your skin and want to address your changing appearance, call Aurora OB-GYN in San Antonio, TX. Learn about our innovative skin tightening treatments and how long does skin tightening last.
What Causes the Signs of Aging?
When we’re young, we think our smooth skin and supple appearance will last forever. Around age 30, we can see the beginning signs of aging, and after 50, they can become severe.
The Anatomy of Your Skin
Your skin has three layers:
- The top layer or epidermis
- The middle layer or dermis
- The deep subcutaneous layer or hypodermis
Our epidermis plays a few roles in our skin health. First, it’s waterproof. This layer forms a barrier to our bodies, protecting us from the outside world. This also means that it is constantly bombarded with pollutants, dirt, makeup and UV rays.
This layer creates our skin tone because it contains special cells called melanocytes. These cells produce melanin: the more melanin we create, the darker our skin tone. Melanin is also produced to protect us from the sun.
The dermis contains our hair follicles, sweat glands and tough connective tissue. This layer is much tougher and resilient when we’re young. It’s filled with collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
All the layers of our skin keep it healthy, but the dermis keeps our skin strong, firm and taut. When we’re young, this layer contains tightly packed together skin cells, and it shows in our complexion.
This layer contains more connective tissue and fat layers and pads. When you smile and your cheeks turn into apples, that results from the fat pads in this layer being firmly in place. This layer is also responsible for our face looking proportional through an even layer of fat that keeps our temporal and cheekbone areas from looking bony.
The Role of Collagen
When we’re young, we have an abundance of the protein collagen. This fibrous protein is the building block for our skin and holds all our skin cells together in the dermis. Collagen keeps our skin strong by creating a solid foundation for the epidermis. Because our collagen has formed a smooth surface, our complexion is smooth and wrinkle-free.
Collagen keeps our fat pads in place, so our face remains proportionate and healthy-looking. This protein encourages cell regeneration, so our skin clings tightly to our bone structure and is taut. Strong collagen means elastin and hyaluronic acid are abundant, too.
Elastin is another protein that keeps our skin flexible or elastic. It does the same for all of our organs and is the reason they can flex in and out of their original shape but always snap back.
We can pull and stretch our young skin and it will always return to its place. Even though gravity is a constant pull, elastin works with collagen to keep our skin’s original shape and tight form.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar that keeps our skin hydrated and all of our connective tissue lubricated. It is the reason our eyes don’t dry out and our ligaments don’t rub together. In the skin, it keeps it looking dewy and supple.
When you push your finger on young skin, the skin will give resistance and bounce back because it’s so hydrated. Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 times its weight in water and even attracts moisture to our skin cells.
Collagen and the Aging Process
As we age, our collagen production steadily declines at the rate of about 1% per year. As it breaks down, our dermis weakens in places, creating crevices and potholes. Our cells aren’t packed as tightly together, and the epidermis drops into those fallen areas creating wrinkles, lines and folds.
That weakening of the skin’s foundation will cause the epidermis to lose its grip on the structure of our face and body and start to sag. Our loss of elastin means the skin can’t snap back to its original shape and the lack of hyaluronic acid means we lose the supple look and feel of our young skin.
Contributing Factors to Collagen Breakdown
It’s not just the passage of time that leads to a breakdown of collagen, although it would happen from that alone. What we do and expose our skin to will cause the decline of collagen to speed up. Contributing factors to collagen loss include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Long-term unmanaged stress
- Lack of sleep
- A diet high in sugar and processed food
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of a skincare routine
The single biggest factor in the breakdown of collagen is the sun. The UV rays of the sun penetrate the epidermis and damage collagen. As we produce less, what we have can’t regenerate as quickly because it’s been impaired. This can make the skin sag earlier than it would without sun damage.
Skin Tightening Treatment
When you see sagging skin, you don’t have to resign yourself to it. Luckily, there is a very effective treatment to tighten skin in those areas where it’s gone lax—Protégé Elite.
What Is Protégé Elite?
Protégé Elite is an FDA-approved skin tightening and wrinkle reduction treatment that restores a more youthful appearance and contour. It works by using monopolar radiofrequency to gently warm the dermis. It raises the skin’s internal temperature to between 107.6-111.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this temperature the structure of collagen changes. Warmed collagen strands shrink and thicken, causing them to up the production of even more collagen to fill the space and repair itself.
5 Amazing Facts About Protégé Elite Skin Tightening Treatment
There’s a lot to love about this treatment, from its effectiveness to its versatility. Be sure to ask your doctor about this transformative treatment and all it can do for you.
1. It Addresses the Biggest Areas of Concern
When it comes to sagging skin, there are a few areas we dread more than others because they are the most visible and can bring our self-confidence down more quickly. The Protégé Elite can be used on the most dismaying areas of sagging skin and wrinkles:
By focusing on these areas, you’ll see wrinkles soften and diminish as skin tightens to the structure of the face and neck. This can effectively improve the appearance of:
- Sagging neck
- Drooping eyebrows
- Fallen cheeks
Other Areas on Your Body
This treatment has been shown to be effective on minor skin laxity on areas of the body like your:
Check with your doctor to see if this is the right treatment for all areas where you have skin laxity concerns. If you have moderate or severe skin laxity, there may be other skin tightening treatments suited for those areas of the body.
2. It’s Comfortable and Non-Invasive With No Downtime
It used to be that if you wanted a significant improvement in skin laxity, you needed to invest money, discomfort, and downtime in invasive surgical procedures. There is zero downtime associated with Protégé Elite. This skin tightening treatment can be done in the office, and you can go back to your normal routine immediately after your appointment.
What to Expect
When you and your doctor determine this is the right treatment for your areas of concern, you’ll discuss what your treatment will entail and what results you can expect.
When you arrive for treatment, you’ll get comfortable in a treatment chair. A cooling gel will be applied to the skin on the treatment area to both ensure your comfort and allow for easier movement of the energy wand. You’ll have a grounding pad placed behind you so the energy stays at the appropriate spot in the skin.
The wand will be moved across the skin in a gentle circular motion. That’s when the energy turns to a gentle heat and collagen production is triggered.
3. The Results Are Amazing
Some clients will see minor results immediately, and these come from that instant shrinking and thickening of existing collagen. Real results show up in two to three months as collagen fibers rebuild skin from the inside out.
As these fibers increase both in quantity and strength, they will slowly pull skin closer to its original shape and closer to the face. This will leave you, over time, with more a more youthful contour and shape.
4. Almost Everyone Is a Candidate
If you’re a healthy adult, chances are you’re a good candidate. This is successfully performed on people of all ages with amazing results. Only your skincare specialist can determine if this is the right treatment for you.
To decide if this is the treatment that you want for your areas of concern, you and your doctor will go over your health history. They will do a physical examination of the area to be treated to better understand the condition of your skin. You will both discuss your expected results and make sure you have a realistic expectation of those results.
If you have a pacemaker, permanent metal implants or silicone implants, discuss treatment with your doctor, as you may have to explore other treatment options.
5. Results Last a Long Time
Results with Protégé Elite last up to two years without touch-up treatments. Some clients will get the results they want after just one to two treatments while others will opt for more sessions to achieve their optimal results.
If you choose multiple sessions, you’ll wait between 2-3 weeks between treatments. Once you achieve the results you want, talk to your doctor about the best follow-up routine. You might be able to maintain seamless results if you come back once every few years. Ask your skincare specialist about other treatments and topical products to use in between treatments to keep your Protégé Elite results looking great.
Clients love the results they achieve with Protégé Elite, and they love the compliments they get. Results are so gradual and natural that nobody will ask you about the “work” you’ve had done but about what you do to stay looking so young.
If you have a big event in your future like a wedding, vacation or reunion, talk to your skincare specialist about the right timing for treatment. You’ll want to give the treatment enough time to produce new collagen so you can really wow everyone and yourself.
Call for Results Today
If you’re ready to restore your youthful contours and the tighter skin you used to have, call Aurora OB-GYN in San Antonio, TX and schedule your consultation today. We believe when women recapture their natural beauty it can restore confidence and lead to a better overall sense of wellbeing. We look forward to helping you with all your wellness and aesthetic goals.