Aging affects the breasts just like the rest of the body. Skin stretches over time and the breasts start to sag, while sun exposure causes age spots and wrinkles on the decolletage. Women commonly spend time and effort fighting facial aging, but often neglect to care for their breasts properly, resulting in premature breast aging, says Dr. Price.
"The skin of the breasts needs daily care just like the face does," says Dr. Price. "It is also vitally important to wear a properly fitting brassiere to support the breasts, especially while exercising."
Dr. Price shares these simple steps women can take to keep their breasts looking as youthful as possible:
- Get a professional bra fitting. A well-fitting bra can help maintain the youthful shape of the breasts. If a woman maintains a stable weight, she should have a professional fitting at least once a year to be sure her breasts are properly supported; more frequent fittings are recommended if a woman has experienced significant weight loss or gain, been pregnant, or had a cosmetic breast procedure, such as a breast augmentation or a breast lift.
- Wear a good sports bra. When caring for the breasts, it is especially important to have adequate support during exercise, especially high impact activities such as running. The breasts are made of soft tissue connected to the chest wall by ligaments, and over time these ligaments can stretch, causing sagging. Physical activity is important for overall health -- and exercise is thought to help lower breast cancer risk -- but wearing a supportive bra during exercise is crucial to maintaining a youthful breast profile.
- Moisturize and protect the breasts and decolletage. Just as women are taught to use moisturizer and sunscreen on their faces to keep them looking young and healthy, they should follow the same practices for the breasts and decolletage. Creams and lotions designed for night use generally have the right balance of ingredients to help protect the delicate skin in this area. Women should also regularly apply sunscreen to exposed parts of the chest to guard against sun damage.
- Practice good posture. Poor posture can exacerbate drooping breasts, while sitting up straight has a couple of benefits: it creates a more youthful profile and makes the breasts appear bigger than if a woman were slouching. Incorporating exercises to strengthen the chest, shoulders and back into an exercise routine can make it easier to maintain good posture throughout the day.
- Maintain a stable weight. Weight gain causes the skin of the breasts to stretch, and it may or may not shrink to its original size after a weight loss. Yo-yo dieting should be avoided to keep the breasts at their optimum state.
Although the aging process is inevitable, following these 5 tips can help maintain the elevation of the breasts and keep the skin of the breasts healthy.
When to consider a breast enhancement procedure
If the breasts show unwanted effects of aging, weight loss or gain, or pregnancy, there are a variety of cosmetic procedures that can improve their appearance. Sagging breasts can be lifted and reshaped with a breast lift or reduction, and a breast augmentation can help restore fullness to breasts that have lost volume.
Dr. Price recommends that a woman interested in making such improvements consult with a plastic surgeon experienced in cosmetic breast procedures who can suggest options for aesthetic improvement.
Center for Plastic Surgery