How to Firm Again and Treat your Aging Breast

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Last updated 02/23/2021

Although breast that sag is common with age some women may find it a cause of more anxiety. Actually, breast sagging (ptosis) is a common condition treated by plastic surgeons. This can be a costly method but there are other alternatives.

When we are less active, we store more fat in the breast as that layer just under our skin. On the other hand at a mature age we may burn this fat depending on whether we are meeting our calorie needs. This depends on the specific woman’s body if and when these changes occur. We are all different.

Women who have a lower percentage of fat in their breast (dense) usually don’t show a major change in breast size with moderate weight loss. But in the case with gaining weight the size could change.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis.

Expected Breast Changes

As we get older our estrogen level drops causing the loss of gland tissue in the breast. We may notice a change in the structure. This is a part of the natural aging process. Unfortunately, our breasts start to lose that firmness and fullness.

In addition to the skin elasticity the appearance of the breast may be smaller and drop lower than before. This may also cause a change in the nipples as well.

Also age brings a higher risk of developing growths like, fibroids, cyst and tumors. Most of the time, these are noncancerous and very common. These conditions may develop at any age. This is a good reason to do your self-breast exam to note any changes. Follow up with your doctor on any new lumps.

Types of Lumps Found in Breast

Fibroids are benign growths containing fibrous connective tissue.

Cyst are round, tender lumps filled with fluid. A complex cyst could have solid as well as fluid.

Ductal or lobular hyperplasia happen with the cells lining the milk ducts growing quickly.

Fibroadenomas are benign tumors containing glandular and connective tissue. According to the American Cancer Society these mainly affect females in their 20s and 30s.

Intraductal papillomas are benign tumors developing in the milk ducts. These usually cause a bloody discharge from the nipples.

Adenosis develops enlarged lobules in the breast. Sometimes they can contain calcium deposits that can look like cancer on a mammogram.

What Causes Breast Changes?

Estrogen level. Estrogen (female reproductive hormone) is responsible in stimulating the growth of breast tissue, having low levels due to age is the natural decline of this hormone. This decline in estrogen makes the skin and connective tissue in the breast less hydrated occurring in loss of elasticity.

The mammary glands shrink. These spaces could fill with fat making the appearance softer and less firm. There may also be stretched and sagging skin.

It’s common to change cup size as you age. As the aging process goes on dense breast tissue may be replaced with more fatty tissue.

Other symptoms of low estrogen:

  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Tender breast
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Bone loss
couple looking at device photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Menopause “the change”.  Most breast changes due to age happen around the time of menopause.

This is the natural occurrence in a woman’s life when ovulation and menstruation stop. Normally the change takes place between ages 45 and 55. Menopause is officially acknowledged when you haven’t had a period for twelve months in a row.

Other causes if you have had a surgery to remove your ovaries this loss in hormones can change your breast at any time.

Common Breast Changes

  • Stretch marks or wrinkles on skin
  • Nipples that point down
  • Stretched or flattened appearance
  • Space widens between breast
  • Lumps develop due to fibrocystic changes or breast cancer (celebrities breast cancer).

To treat stretch marks there are topical products to help minimize the appearance. Laser treatments are also available.

Abnormal Breast Changes

These should be checked with your doctor.

  • Puckering
  • Redness
  • Breast skin that has thickened
  • Nipple protruding in
  • Discharge from nipple
  • Painful breast
  • Hard lumps
  • One breast looks very different compared to the other
woman practicing yoga in garden photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Treating and Managing Breast Changes

Manage a healthy weight. If you can keep weight at a healthy consistent level (I am struggling with this) for you this may keep breast from sagging and give a firmer appearance.

Look for bra support. Especially during workouts this can reduce breast motion. Find a sports bra with enough support (molded cups) this can prevent stretching and sagging.

Wear a properly fitted bra when not exercising. Have you heard that most women are wearing the wrong bra size?

Smoking is bad. By smoking you increase the aging process and it shows on the face as well. Smoking destroys the elastin, a protein that helps skin remain supple.

Work on those pectoral muscles. Include yoga poses, pushups or weights in your workout that target the pectoralis major muscles. The actual breast contains no muscle but by strengthening these, can give breast a natural lift.

Supplements. According to Ayurveda, fenugreek is the herb to use for help in firming our sagging breast. It includes enriched vitamins and antioxidants that combat free radical damage encouraging tightness and smoothing skin around breast.

This can be included in a thick paste or a mask.

 

Many changes are just normal with age. If you’re really bothered by the appearance of your breast you may want to consider cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery can replace the fullness of the breast and improve the placement of the nipples. There is the cost to think about and if insurance will cover this.

Airsculpt is a procedure that removes your fat from the abdomen by a specialized cannula combined with laser energy and then transfers your own fat into your breasts; if you want (others refer to this as a type of liposuction). It is expensive.

You can discuss your options with your doctor to find the best choice for you.

We can’t prevent the normal process of aging, this includes our breast. We could try harder to embrace our uniqueness.

If we are getting enough regular sleep, eating healthy, and doing a regular exercise routine (even walking) the aging process shouldn’t be so bad.

Are sagging breast a concern for you? If so, what have you done?

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Header Photo woman practicing yoga in garden photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.
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