Types of Skin Firming Treatment
For the most dramatic skin-firming improvements, you'll need to visit a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
One way to firm sagging skin is to fill it in so that it looks plump and strong. Instead of trying to grow new collagen, you can have your dermatologist inject it into the sagging area to firm it up. Or, you can ask your doctor to perform a "fat graft." The doctor takes fat from another area of your body and injects it into the sagging area [source: NZDS]. More recently, hyaluronic acid injections have also become very popular and effective fillers [source: Lyon].
Laser treatments have also gained popularity. Two specific types of lasers -- the carbon dioxide and the erbium: YAG -- belong to the category known as ablative lasers [source: AAD]. These lasers burn through the epidermis and into the dermis, encouraging new tissue growth. While effective, this option requires a lot of after care. More recently, fractionated ablative lasers have been developed. These lasers can be used specifically on just the damaged parts of the skin. This procedure also allows you to recover more quickly than with a traditional laser. Another class of lasers, called non-ablative, is becoming increasingly popular. These lasers boost collagen growth by working under the epidermal layer. The bonus? They don't require a long recovery time [source: AAD].
Of all the options available, surgery typically works best for severely sagging skin. Whether you're getting a facelift, body contouring or some other surgical procedure, your recovery time can vary based on what you're having done.
If you're not excited about visiting the doctor's office, move on to the next section to learn about some techniques and products that you can use on your own.