April 14, 2017


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What Are Jowls & How Can They be Treated?

As we age, we develop loose areas along the jawline that look like pouches and are known as jowls.Jowls typically occur alongside other changes to the lower face such as jawline laxity, facial folds and lax skin. Jowls are a natural part of the aging process and contribute to a less structured, tight or smooth looking jawline. Patients will notice jowls as early as their mid 30s, in the form of a slight softening near the lower corner of the mouth area. By the time we are 50, most of us have obvious jowls. While disheartening, there are options for improving the appearance of jowls.

Treatments for Jowls and Jawline Laxity

There are many options for improving jowls and a quality consultation with a facial specialist is key. At 8 West Clinic in Vancouver, BC we specialize in the complete spectrum of surgical and non surgical treatments for addressing jowls and lower face laxity. Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Buonassisi has been in practice for 15 years and has extensive experience performing facial rejuvenation surgery. Our team of skin specialists have nearly 15 years experience performing a significant number of laser and skin tightening treatments. Request a consultation today to find out more about which options may be available to you.

How Jowls Form

Jowls are often thought to be fatty deposits, when in fact they are pouches of skin and tissue that hang off the lower face and are suspended to a jaw ligament. Jowls can start to develop as early as mid 30s for some patients, and are typical visible in most of us by the time we reach our 50s. Genetics certainly play a role, and patients with recessive chins and small jaws will notice jowls earlier. Starting at around age 35, we start to lose fat and bone volume in both the mid and lower facial areas. This means that our faces start to shrink. At the same time, we lose collagen in our skin which makes it less capable than before at retaining a tight and taught firmness. Overall, our faces start to shrink and sag, and gravity pulls the extra skin downwards where it becomes apparent on the jawline and jowl area, in the neck area and in the upper and lower eyelids. You can find out more about facial volume loss and skin laxity and sagging skin.

Treatment Options for Jowls and Sagging Jawlines

A thorough assessment of the patients's face is essential for properly diagnosing the cause of jowls. The patient's age, skin quality and overall health need to be taken into consideration. Often times patients achieve the best results by combining treatments since each of them improves a different condition. For example, facelift surgery lifts and repositions facial features and tightens the lower face, however does not replace facial volume. Patients who opt for surgery will often have dermal fillers add volume back to the cheek and mid face area, and skin tightening treatments which plump up the skin in general and increase collagen production. Possible treatment options for jowls and lower face laxity include:

  • Lower facelift surgery: the gold standard for tightening the lower face & jawline, when Dr. Buonassisi performs a facelift he carefully places incisions in the hairline where they can't be seen, re-positions facial features and trims away extra skin. Modern day facelifts look natural and the recovery period can be shorter or longer depending on the extent of the procedure.
  • Skin tightening: with this non surgical option, a series of SkinTyte treatments are used to stimulate collagen production.
  • Coolsculpting: If the jowl is actually a fatty deposit, it  may be possible to freeze the fat away using Coolsculpting - a non surgical FDA approved fat reduction treatment.
  • Skin resurfacing: laser skin resurfacing is totally customizable to the patients needs. Superficial resurfacing will improve the overall tone and texture of the skin, while deep resurfacing will tighten the entire skin envelope and remove lines and wrinkles.
  • Dermal fillers: anyone in their 30s and up will benefit from having lost volume replaced. Dermal fillers are used to treat facial volume loss by re-contouring the lower part of the face, smoothing out lumps and bumps and camouflaging jowl pouches.
  • Age prevention: Forever Young BBL™ treatments are a ground breaking broad band light therapy that Stanford University studies have been shown to suppress the genes that cause aging and make the skin look and behave much younger and delaying skin ageing.

Meet Our Amazing Team! Request a complementary skin consultation today. We look forward to meeting you.

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