Sagging Breast: Grades, Causes, Prevention, Remedies
About Sagging Breast:
Sagging breast is a common issue faced by women especially with aging. It is a consequence of natural aging. Sagging Breast is also known as ptosis of the breast under medical terminology. It can occur due to natural reasons or poor lifestyle choices. It is caused by loss of elasticity in the breast tissue giving it a sagging or drooping appearance. Sagging breast affects the individual physically as well as emotionally. Sagging breasts are not considered as physically appealing which in turn can lead to emotional stress, lack of confidence and depression.
The severity and extent of sagging breast is evaluated based on the position of the nipple with respect to the inframammary crease (i.e. the crease where the lower side of the breasts contacts the chest wall). Sagging of breasts begins with loss of fatty tissue leading to reduction in the size and fullness of the breasts. There is a noticeable shift in the position of the areola towards the lower portion of the breast. Estrogen is important for maintaining the structure of the ligaments and connective tissues in a woman’s breast, which in turn helps in maintaining the shape and structure of the breasts. With aging the estrogen levels falls which causes the breast to sag.
Grades of Sagging Breast
Based on the position of the nipples, a ptosis scale is used to estimate the extent of sagging. The most commonly used ptosis scale is known as the Regnault ptosis scale.
- Grade I (Mild ptosis): In Grade 1 sagging breast, the nipple is at the same level as the inframammary crease.
- Grade II (Moderate ptosis): In sagging breast of grade 2, the nipple is positioned below the inframammary crease and the tissue of the lower breast hangs below the level of the nipple.
- Grade III (Advanced ptosis): This is the advanced grade of sagging breast, the nipple is located below the inframammary crease at the level of maximum breast projection.
- Grade III (Severe ptosis): Here the position of the nipple is much below the inframammary crease at the level of maximum breast projection.
Causes of Sagging Breasts
Sagging breast is generally noted in women above the age of 40 years. There are a large number of factors that influence the development of breast sagging.
Pathologically speaking, sagging of breasts is caused by loss of elasticity in the breast tissue. One of the most common cause of breast sagging is cigarette smoking. This is because, smoking can cause break down of a protein called as elastin (which is responsible for maintaining elasticity of tissues) leading to sagging breasts. Pregnancy can also lead to sagging breasts. This is more pronounced after multiple pregnancies. Weight gain during pregnancy may cause stretching of breast ligaments leading to sagging of breasts. Breast feeding does not cause sagging breast. Gravity is another cause of sagging breasts especially in women with large breasts. Rapid weight loss or weight gain (approx. 50 lbs or more) often causes sagging of breasts. Other possible causes of sagging breasts include genetic inheritance, menopause, poor nutrition, over tanning, wearing ill- fitting bra, excessive intake of alcohol and other carbonated beverages, diseases such as tuberculosis and breast cancer.
Prevention of Sagging Breasts
It is advised to quit smoking and follow a healthy lifestyle to prevent the possibilities of developing sagging breasts. Passive smoking can also contribute to sagging of breasts and thus should be avoided. Crash dieting and rapid weight loss should be avoided to prevent the development of sagging breast. Weight loss program should include healthy weight loss plan with low calorie diet and exercising under supervision. It is important to wear a fitted sports bra while exercising and while indulging in activities such as dancing. It is also very important to wear bra which supports the breasts adequately. Ill-fitting and old bras should be avoided. It is also advised to stay adequately hydrated to slow down the aging process. Besides these, following a healthy diet is also important. Foods rich in vitamin C and sulphur bearing protein such as hemp seeds and eggs should be included in diet to promote healthy breasts.
Remedies to Firm Up Sagging Breasts
Exercising to Prevent Sagging Breasts: Breasts does not contain muscular tissues and are made up of soft, glandular tissue. Keeping this in mind, it is important to strengthen the muscles beneath the breasts. Exercises should be done to tone the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles. Some of the exercises that are considered beneficial to firm up sagging breasts include: Dumbbell Lateral Raise, Chest Fly, Push-ups.
Massages: Regular massages with natural ingredients such as pomegranate seed oil, Aloe Vera gel, cacao butter, olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, essential oil etc. can help in firming the sagging breast. Massages help in improving the blood flow in the breasts and it also helps in repairing the damaged cells in the breast. Massaging with ice can also help in improving the breast condition.
Masks to Prevent Sagging Breasts: There are large numbers of breasts masks that are commercially available which help in management of sagging breasts. Home-made mask made of yogurt, vitamin E oil and eggs can also help in toning the breast muscles.