Jowls are basically collections of excess, inelastic skin that tend to develop around the lower jawline. The formation of jowls is extremely common in both women and men, and is usually a byproduct of the aging process as skin progressively loses elastin and collagen over time. Collagen and elastin are what keeps the skin firm, and their natural depletion can ultimately lead to sagging skin in the lower cheeks. Additionally, factors such as heredity, weight fluctuation, and excessive exposure to the sun may also contribute to the descension of skin and fat along the cheeks, leading to the development of jowls. Fortunately, there are a few different options available for patients who would like to diminish signs of jowls and achieve a more defined jawline and a more youthful appearance.
For most individuals, a surgical facelift is often the best way to get rid of jowls and improve jawline contours. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Eric Okamoto, MD, may recommend facelift surgery in cases where the jowls are particularly severe and prominent. This procedure eliminates excess skin and tightens musculature in the lower region of the face. The remaining skin is then smoothed to reduce common signs of age and enhance jawline definition. In addition to addressing jowls and other signs of age along the lower facial area, facelift surgery can also improve sagging skin in the neck and enhance neck contours.
For those who have milder signs of jowls and would like to explore non-surgical alternatives to a facelift, injectable dermal fillers may be an ideal solution. While dermal fillers will not last as long or provide results as significant as a facelift, they can be effective for some patients in that they are able to “camouflage” the appearance of jowls to a certain extent by adding volume to specific facial areas. Some individuals may even benefit from a customized “non-surgical facelift,” which can include a combination of cosmetic injectables and other minimally-invasive treatments to provide comprehensive facial rejuvenation. Non-surgical remedies for jowls may not be advisable for patients who have moderate to severe signs of the condition; however, some patients may be good candidates for those alternatives, depending on their unique needs and goals.
Dr. Okamoto can meet with you for an initial consultation to talk with you about your concerns and determine whether facelift surgery or another procedure is the best option. If you would like additional information, or if you are ready to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.