When it comes to ageing, women tend to give importance to their face, hair and skin. However, breasts too tend to age as we grow older. A recent study reported that breast tissue ages around three years faster than any other part of the body. While one can’t halt the process there are some alternatives. Specialised décolletage creams, massages, facials and even clinical treatments.
AGEING IS INEVITABLE
Dr Anup Dhir, senior consultant and skin surgeon, Apollo Hospital explains sagging or drooping of breasts is a natural, inevitable process that happens to all women at some point, except to those with fairly small breasts. “The most notable sagging happens with the process called breast involution (where the milk-making system inside the breast shrinks because it is not needed anymore), but breasts can start drooping a little at any age, because they do not have muscles in them. When the gravity pulls the breasts down, those ligaments and the skin can stretch, and so the breast then droops. This also depends on the elasticity of your skin and of your ligaments, as determined by your genes and diet, and also on the normal ageing processes,” he says, adding, “When breasts bounce during active sports, such as tennis, those ligaments can also be stretched or even torn. A good sports bra can minimise that effect.
Another common cause for sagging is when a woman loses weight. If possible, do not wear bras all the time. The idea is that when you wear bras, the muscle tissue that supports the breasts may not develop as well. One other thing you can try is to help the elasticity of your skin and ligaments nutritionally, by increasing intake of vitamins like C, minerals, and nutrients that can help the skin and ligaments be in top health. Also, work on your posture, buy bras regularly, (an average woman’s bra will last three to six months under typical use before losing support) and also launder them correctly.”
TREATMENTS CAN HELP
The structure and shape of the breast keeps on changing as one ages says Dr Shefali Trasi-Nerurkar, MD Dermatology, Trasi’s Clinic. “The main reason is due to changes and fluctuation of reproductive hormones due to which the breasts begin to lose firmness and fullness. Various facials and breast massages are available which are helpful. New treatments include cleansing, light scrub, exfoliation and toning of the skin. The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles which are present below the breast tissue are massaged and excess lymph fluid is drained to make the breasts firm. Even breast firming creams can be used to tighten the breast tissue,” she says. Other non-surgical treatments include Thermage, Radiofrequency skin firming devices and Breast augmentation suction devices like micro current therapy and low level light therapy.
CREAMS CAN BE SUPERFICIAL
Dr Viral Desai, aesthetic and cosmetic plastic, laser, reconstructive surgeon, DHI India & CPLSS says some of the most common signs of breasts ageing are loosening of breast tissue, sagging of breasts, drooping of nipples and loosening of skin. “Typically the effects start after the age of 30 and they increase after pregnancy and lactation. I feel creams and massages are superficial in their effect. Instead, one can go for Collagen remodelling treatments and Thread-lift for the breasts. However, these treatments are not as effective for the breast as they are for the face, since the volume and composition of the breast is different. Typically, one could expect the results to last for about six months.”
TIGHTEN THE SKIN
Dr Manoj Khanna, renowned aesthetic and cosmetic surgeon, Enhance clinics, feels ageing of breasts usually occurs when they are not given adequate support. “Breasts should be round in shape, firm to feel, with nipples pointing outward. If a woman takes good care of herself, this shouldn’t occur till the age of 45-50. The modern bras with their elastic straps loosen over time, the vertical strap should be tight enough to hold the chest properly,” he says. While there’s no treatment for elasticity of skin, a skin tightening treatment can help. “Breast lift surgery can improve the shape, position of nipple and firmness. It has no side effects and the process is completed in a few hours. However, this cannot stop the ageing process,” he warns.