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What Causes Your Breasts to Sag?

When you look in the mirror and notice that your breasts have started to droop, it may seem as though this is an inevitable part of aging that can’t be prevented. The truth is, while sagging breasts are a natural part of the aging process, there are several things that you can do to slow it down.

First, it is important to understand some basics about the anatomy of the breasts. In addition, Dr. Mark Deuber explains some easy steps that you can take to keep your breasts looking youthful for as long as possible.

Breast Skin Elasticity

Your skin’s ability to return to its original shape after being stretched is referred to as its elasticity. Think of it as similar to a rubber band. You can stretch the band out, and when you let go, it should return to its original shape and size.

This elasticity is due to the properties of collagen, a protein that your body forms to fill out your skin over your skeletal framework. Essentially, it keeps your skin looking firm and full. Your breast skin contains collagen; the breasts themselves consist of fat cells and mammary glands.

The natural aging process will cause the collagen fibers to break down and lose elasticity, much like what happens when a rubber band becomes overstretched and snaps. The amount of collagen loss with aging is somewhat due to heredity, as well as other factors discussed here.

Dramatic Weight Change

Relatively small changes in weight (less than 20 pounds) will not make much difference in the size and shape of the breasts. However, dramatic weight changes will cause the size of the breasts to rapidly increase and decrease, which is likely to make the collagen fibers of the breast skin break down relatively quickly.

The key to avoiding breast sagging due to changes in weight is to aim for gradual weight loss over time, rather than crash dieting, which ultimately has less chance of succeeding.

Smoking

We all know about the hazards of smoking for the respiratory system. However, many people may not realize the damage that cigarette smoke can do to delicate facial, neck, and breast skin.

Tobacco smoke can dry out the skin, causing it to have a worn, leathery appearance. This can also accelerate the aging process by reducing blood supply to the skin, which also breaks down collagen fibers.

If you do not currently smoke, you have made the right decision to avoid contributing to damaging your breast skin and leading to sagging. If you do smoke, Dr. Deuber strongly urges you to consider quitting for multiple health benefits, including improving the quality of your skin.

Excessive Sun Exposure

As much as you may love to sunbathe on a warm day, all that time in the sun may actually contribute to drooping breasts. Both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are known to break down collagen fibers in the skin.

If you are outside in the sun for more than 15 minutes, Dr. Deuber recommends using a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). Apply it on any exposed parts of your chest.

If you go swimming, reapply the sun screen when you come out of the water. Some sunscreens come with a moisturizer, which provides another layer of protection for the skin on your chest.

While it is true that there is bound to be some sagging of the breast skin as part of the natural aging process, there are some precautions you can take to minimize its effects.

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