How to Treat Sagging Jowls
Wouldn’t it be great if technology advanced to the point of zero aging and our skin could defy gravity? Then you’d never have to deal with that loose skin below your chin and along your jawline.
Ah, perhaps someday. But for now, if you’re seeking an effective way to treat sagging jowls, technology does not have the cure. (Though it certainly serves as a good assist.)
So then what’s a person to do? Let’s first address why the droop happens in the first place.
What Are Sagging Jowls?
When we’re younger, our skin produces a surplus of collagen and elastin to keep it smooth and supple. Young skin also has the capacity to retain water and stay hydrated.
Then we age. And as we do so, the skin begins to lose elasticity and its ability to retain water. This causes the skin to thin and stretch as gravity continues to do its downward pull. And before you know it, you’re looking in the mirror and noticing jowls where there were previously none.
It can be unsettling. Especially when you manually pull back those jowls to reveal your former more youthful face. (Yeah. We’ve all done it.)
How to Treat Sagging Jowls
Fortunately, you’re not relegated to a future that includes those jowls. There are actually several treatments to get rid of them. It all depends on your specific stage of drooping.
For example, if you have what a plastic surgeon deems as severe jowls, he or she will probably recommend surgical intervention. On the other hand, if you’re exhibiting just the early stage of jowl formation, you may benefit from non-surgical procedures. We’ll take a look at the most common treatments.
Mini or Full Facelift
The mini or full facelift are the preferred methods for those with moderate to excessive sagging. In most cases, patients are in their 50s or older; though depending on genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors, sagging jowls can happen at a younger age as well.
In the case of a full facelift, the patient is put under anesthesia. Incisions are made around the ears (concealed behind the tragus) and then extend into the hairline and behind the ear. Excess skin is removed, lax muscles are tightened, and then the skin is re-draped over the face and neck. This procedure is ideal for someone who has laxity across the face, jawline, and neck.
Meanwhile, a mini facelift is done under local anesthesia and focuses mostly on just the face and jawline. The technique utilizes shorter incisions typically just around the ear (and not extending into the hairline) and less extensive dissection under the skin. A mini facelift requires less recovery time.
Whether your sagging jowls would fare better with a mini or a full facelift is something your plastic surgeon will discuss with you.
Non-surgical treatments for sagging jowls could be enough for those only in the earliest stages of jowl formation or even as a preventative. And among the non-surgical options, dermal fillers are among the most effective.
Injected into the soft tissue of the skin of the cheeks and around the jawline, fillers restore lost volume and can counteract the formation of jowls. Fillers can instantly plump the area of injection and stimulate new collagen growth to promote a youthful appearance more long term.
There is a vast array of dermal filler treatments available for jowls, including hyaluronic acid (HA), calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), poly-L-lactic Acid, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), and autologous fat injections. But all you need to know is that you’ll see noticeable improvement for 1-2 years after the treatments.
As non-surgical options go, lasers are not as utilized in treating sagging jowls as dermal fillers. Even so, if you’re at the very early stages of jowl formation, or you simply want to tighten up the area around the jawline, neck, and cheeks, your doctor may recommend a HALO laser treatment to boost collagen and elastin production, or a BBL SkinTyte to heat and tighten the collagen.
So what is HALO? It’s the first fractionated laser that uses ablative and non-ablative technology simultaneously. To simplify, an ablative laser targets very small pathways in the skin while leaving the area around it untouched. It’s the same concept as aerating a lawn.
While all of that is happening, the non-ablative laser drills little thermal holes into the skin. The skin recognizes these as injuries, which in turn triggers collagen and elastin production. And with more collagen and elastin comes smoother and younger-looking skin.
Say Goodbye to Sagging Jowls
Perhaps someday technology will manage to give us our own fountain of youth. Then again, maybe not.
Whatever the case, you can treat sagging jowls now to restore a more vibrant and youthful appearance. Contact us to consult with one of our highly-skilled plastic surgeons about your best options.
And bid those jowls adieu.