What Is Sagging Facial Skin?
Over a certain age, we know what sagging facial skin is because we see it every time we look in the mirror. Do you see a crease that starts from the corner of the mouth and extends down to the jaw line? This line is called an oral commissure groove, drool line, or marionette line. As we age we sometimes look like we are sad when we are not. In some people, these lines can become very deep. The line extends down to the jaw where there often is a depression we call the pre-jowl depression. This depression sits right in front of the jowl (an extension of fat and soft tissue from the cheek that has fallen over the jaw line).
What Causes Sagging Facial Skin?
Sagging skin is an inevitable byproduct of aging and gravity.
How To Prevent Sagging Facial Skin
We can’t really prevent the aging process and we can’t change our genetic influences, so we’re left with a healthy diet and reducing sun exposure. Of course, as you may have noticed, those who are significantly overweight have full, round faces, and they don’t have the hanging jowls or loose skin so common to very thin people. This is the case because facial fat fills out the face much like air in a balloon. However, in no way are we suggesting that we all gain weight! The risks of obesity and fat around the midsection and the behind far exceed any benefit that comes from reducing sagging skin. I only mention this because women on starvation or very restrictive diets may begin seeing sagging skin in their cheeks and neck earlier than others. In other words, any extreme doesn’t help slow aging or improve overall health.
Topical And/Or Oral Treatments
We don’t have effective topical or oral treatments to prevent reduced elasticity in the skin. Eventually skin sagging happens to all of us. However, a good diet rich in antioxidants (see Chapter 2), using sunscreen, and not smoking will help prevent an acceleration of the aging process. Gimmicky facial toners and exercises really are a waste of money.
Procedures And Other Treatments
If the jowl lifts and disappears when the cheek skin is pulled to the side, then this area will respond to facial lifting surgical procedures. (See Appendix A, Plastic Surgery.) Many in their forties, fifties and older begin asking about facial tightening treatments, and surgical facelifting procedures certainly provide the best and most reliable results. The techniques used today are very good and many surgeons perform minimally invasive facelifting procedures that will allow you great results and a quick recovery. Sagging facial skin also can be treated with fillers such asRadiesse, Restylane/Perlane and Juvederm/Juvederm Ultraplus. These filler agents are much like pumping a balloon with air and fill up the deflated face, which provide the appearance of youth. The face also appears lifted.
Today many people avoid or postpone surgical procedures by using fillers often, and the results are very good.
While most nonsurgical facelift procedures using lasers and lightbased devices improve the skin’s tone, the procedures rarely significantly lift the skin.
Although some of these nonsurgical procedures have received considerable attention, none have brought predictably good results. In other words, we can’t guarantee a good result; while some people get a great result, others see no difference at all. If you decide to undergo one of these no–downtime, nonsurgical facelift procedures, you may be one of the fortunate ones for whom the results are great. But most people find the result subtle and barely noticeable—and disappointing.
Finally, we expect that over the next five to ten years, we’ll learn more about the best ways to harness heat and energy emitted from these nonsurgical facelift devices such as RF/Thermage and thread lift.
We are in the relatively early stages of using these devices to lift the skin and in the near future it’s likely we’ll see a nonsurgical method that predictably and reliably tightens the skin. However, it’s unlikely that the results will ever really come close to what we see with a surgical facial lifting procedure.
Dark Circles Treatment Recovery Care
We are continuously dedicated to giving our patients the attention they deserve during their period of recovery. Our sagging facial skin patients will have complimentary access to our fully stocked touch-up bar to restore their make-up prior to returning to work. It is important that we make your jowls treatment recovery time as convenient as possible. For more information about jowls treatment recovery, head over to our recovery care page.
Contact the Chicago Center for Facial Plastic Surgery about treatment for sagging facial skin.