Jun 21 2016

Reduce the Appearance of Jowls: Causes and Treatments

Treatment for Jowls - Mystic, CT

A woman with a smooth, contoured jaw lineWith age comes wisdom and, unfortunately, loose, sagging skin. One of the biggest trouble spots for aging adults is hanging skin from the lower cheeks and chin, known as jowls. Fortunately, there are a variety of cosmetic treatments available to reduce the appearance of sagging jowls and improve skin firmness. Non-surgical skin tightening treatments are a great option for enhancing and rejuvenating the appearance without the need for surgery or a long recovery. To find out which treatment for jowls is right for you, schedule a consultation with Mystic, CT dermatologist Daniella Duke.

What Causes Jowls?

Jowls are most commonly caused by the aging process. As the skin ages, collagen and connective tissue begin to break down, leading to loss of skin elasticity and firmness. As collagen and the connective tissue continue to break down, the skin begins to slacken and sag. This results in the formation of hanging jowls and other signs of aging.

In addition to the aging process, jowls may also occur as a result of significant weight loss. When weight is lost quickly, the skin may not be able to adjust to the change in volume, resulting in loose, hanging skin. If a significant amount of weight is lost in the facial area, the skin may be too stretched to shrink back down to conform to the new facial contours, leading to sagging jowls. 

Treatments to Improve the Appearance of Sagging Jowls

There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments available to improve the appearance of sagging jowls. Those with mild to moderate sagging of the jowls may benefit from the non-surgical skin tightening treatments offered by Dr. Duke, including JuvaShape or VShape Accent. These non-invasive treatments tighten the skin with focused radiofrequency energy. This radiofrequency energy gently penetrates the layers of the skin to target the deep dermal layers, stimulating new collagen growth. Most find treatment painless and find it feels like a warm massage.

After treatment with JuvaShape or VShape Accent, the skin will naturally increase collagen production, leading to improved skin elasticity, texture, and firmness. Because surgery is not required, patients can return to their normal activities immediately after treatment.

With repeated treatments, generally six treatment sessions, the appearance of jowls will be significantly reduced. Patients will also experience improved skin texture and firmness. Occasional follow-up treatments can help maintain results.

For those with significant jowls and loose skin, surgical intervention may be the best option. Lower facelift surgery is highly effective at eliminating excess facial skin in the lower third of the face, targeting loose jowls, to create a rejuvenated, contoured appearance. Lower facelift surgery is an invasive treatment and requires time for recovery. Most patients are recovered enough to return to work and light activity two weeks after surgery. A full recovery will depend on personal healing times and the technique used for facelift surgery and may take several weeks to over a month. If you decide that facelift is right for you, we can refer you to a plastic surgeon.

Fat Reduction Jowl Treatment

Some patients are more concerned about the way a fullness under the chin, or "submental fullness", makes there neck look. Patients sometimes call that issue their "jowls" or "turkey neck". That issue can be treated with Cool Sculpting, a non-surgical procedure to reduce excess fat. Coolsculpting works by selectively cooling the fat, causing the fat cells to die off slowly over a few months. There is no downtime with this procedure; the treatment takes one or two hours; and usually one or two sessions are needed. In this way, treating the submental fat can reduce the appearance of what some patients call "jowls".

Is Jowl Treatment Right for You?

Both men and women can benefit from treatment for jowls and other facial rejuvenation procedures. For more information about which treatments are right for your needs, we welcome you to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Duke.

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Coastal Dermatology: Daniella Duke, MD

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