What are Jowls?
The term jowl refers to the lower part of a person’s cheek, especially when there is fleshy, sagging, droopy skin in the area. This is a very common condition that occurs with aging, and results from a combination of skin laxity and volume loss. Underlying changes in the skin, such as less collagen production and weakened collagen fibers, are major contributing factors to jowl formation. Beginning in a person’s late twenties, the body starts to lose volume in the form of fat, muscle and bone. The cheeks and cheekbones are the support structure of the face and as we lose volume, our cheeks flatten and our skin sags.
Combined with the lack of collagen, the facial skin has less foundation on which to rest and less elasticity to tighten itself. As time goes on, visible changes start to occur in the form of lines, wrinkles, cheek droop, eye hooding, sagging neck and jowl formation.
What’s the Best Way to Treat Jowls?
When it comes to aging, prevention is always the best method of treatment. At Westside Aesthetics, we believe in a comprehensive and preventative approach. A healthy lifestyle and daily sunscreen use are imperative to maintain youthful skin. Habits such as smoking, tanning, excessive alcohol consumption and not staying hydrated will cause premature aging and jowl formation. It’s never too late to make better lifestyle choices.
For those with early stages of jowl formation, skin tightening treatments such as Fraxel, Ultherapy or PRP can provide incredible results. Fraxel, or fractional laser skin resurfacing, is a safe and gentle alternative to traditional laser resurfacing. Not only does it help tighten the skin by stimulating collagen, but it also helps with acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation issues and large pores.
Ultherapy uses the latest FDA approved technology for skin tightening. Also known as Ulthera in Los Angeles, Ultherapy uses ultrasound waves to heat skin tissue at multiple depths, which triggers a natural regenerative response that stimulates collagen production and tightens the skin. PRP treatment (which stands for Platelet Rich Plasma) is a new technique that can help with many issues including jowl formation. PRP combined with microneedling has been shown to cause the release of additional growth factors which stimulate the treated area to produce collagen and other components of skin. This results in a tightening and overall youthful glow to the skin.
For those with moderate jowls in Los Angeles, great results can often be achieved by a multi-step approach. Injecting dermal filler such as Voluma or Radiesse in the cheeks and cheekbones re-establishes some of the lost support structure of the face and lifts the sagging tissue. Injection of fillers to the area just in front of the droopy jowl can also contour and redefine the jaw line. When combined with any of the treatments listed above, this can take years off the face.
For moderate to severe jowl formation, there are now less invasive options than surgery. Procedures such as the Precision Laser Lift offer solutions without the risk and downtime of a surgical jowl lift. The Laser Facelift works by utilizing finely calibrated laser energy to precisely target the connective tissue and fat just under the skin of the face. This laser energy melts that fat, reducing the appearance of a double chin and jowls. The melted fat is then removed with a small, safe suction device. A Precision TX Laser Lift is minimally invasive with very little downtime. Advancements in technology continue to offer more and more options for people suffering from jowls in Los Angeles.
In circumstances where preventative measures are not taken and a patient is suffering from severe jowls, surgery may be the only option. For these candidates, a lower facelift will provide significant improvement, with results lasting up to 10 years. As with any invasive surgical procedure, a lower facelift can be costly, involves pain and significant downtime. For this reason, we always encourage our patients to utilize preventative and non surgical measures for as long as possible.
What to Expect From Your Jowl Treatment
At Westside Aesthetics, Dr. Alexander Rivkin offers complimentary consultations for anyone concerned with jowls. During the consultation, Dr. Rivkin will thoroughly examine your face and determine which treatment is best for you. If he feels that surgery is the only option, he will refer you to a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in this procedure.
Results will vary and depend on the procedure and severity of jowls. Most modern laser treatments require minimal downtime and significant improvement is often noticed within a couple months, as new collagen forms in the skin. With the Fraxel laser, several treatments are normally suggested for best results. With injectable fillers, results are immediate and there is no downtime. During your initial consultation, we will go over all the details in great length, so you know exactly what to expect and discover what is the best way to treat jowls for your particular situation.
To learn more about Dr. Rivkin’s non-surgical jowl lift or to schedule a free consultation in Los Angeles, contact us by phone or email today.