Are you bothered by loose, saggy skin around your knees? Just like the skin on our face, the skin on our legs experiences a loss of collagen and elasticity as we age, leading to a slack and droopy appearance. In addition to aging, sun exposure, volume loss, and constant stretching from the weight-bearing area of the knees can all contribute to the development of loose skin, explains Sugar Land, TX plastic surgeon Ankur Mehta, MD. Keeping your skin moisturized and protected from the sun is a great place to start, but you can also try out various tips and tricks to improve the appearance of your knees. Read on to discover the best ways to firm up saggy knees and restore your confidence.
Create New Collagen
According to Miami dermatologist Joely Kaufman, MD, the key is to combat crepey skin through topical application of ingredients that stimulate collagen and elastin growth, such as retinol. While moisture also plays a role, it’s important to use hydrating body products that contain these collagen-stimulating ingredients for maximum benefits. Applying a cream with retinol, peptides, and other collagen-stimulating ingredients to your knees and surrounding areas every night can help prompt your body to create new collagen for firmer, smoother skin. Keep reading to discover expert tips on how to firm up saggy knees and improve the appearance of your skin.
“I like to alternate a retinol body lotion with a topical exfoliating lotion for problem areas,” says Dr. Kaufman. “This helps skin by hydrating it, boosting collagen and exfoliating the stratum corneum, so the legs don’t look like they have ‘fish scales.’” Our top skin-firming pick for below the neck: Alastin TransFORM Body Treatment ($195).
Tighten + Lift
If you’re struggling to see results from topical treatments for saggy knees, Dr. Kaufman says you may need to visit a doctor for a stronger, in-office solution. “Loose skin above the knees is be difficult to treat, but treatments such as the Infini device (microneedling with radio frequency), focused ultrasound, and radio-frequency machines can provide some improvement. However, there is unfortunately no magic cure for crepey skin.”
Ultrasound treatments like Ultherapy can also work to tighten the area, with some patients seeing results after just one session. Reno, NV plastic surgeon Tiffany D. McCormack, MD recommends Renuvion skin tightening for the area, often combined with liposuction or CoolSculpting “for better definition.”
For more severe cases of saggy knees, some doctors are turning to innovative treatment combinations. Chicago plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD, couples radio-frequency treatments with filler to build up the skin beneath the surface for a more dramatic effect. Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias uses radio-frequency microneedling such as VirtueRF, combined with a hyperdiluted biostimulatory filler like Radiesse or Sculptra. Spokane, WA dermatologist Wm. Philip Werschler, MD’s go-to treatment for the tricky area involves Ultherapy with the addition of a stimulatory filler such as hyperdiluted Radiesse or Sculptra.
If noninvasive treatments don’t work for extreme cases of saggy knees, surgical solutions may be necessary. Dr. Mehta suggests a thigh lift to surgically tighten the skin on the thighs, which can also help to tighten some of the skin around the knees. In more severe cases, direct excision of the excess skin on the knee may be an option, “but it’s important to carefully consider this procedure as it can leave a visible scar on the knee,” says the doctor.