How Weight Loss Affects Your Face
It’s a great feeling when you finally see the numbers on the scale drop when you are trying to lose weight. An even better feeling is when you can finally fit back into that little black dress from several years ago and look just as fabulous as you did back then. It’s the perfect reward for all of your efforts to change your eating habits and exercise more.
Unfortunately, while you may be thrilled with the appearance of the rest of your body after weight loss, your face may be a different story. You may be left with sagging facial features that do not look attractive. What causes this, and how can you address this issue? Below, our surgeons at Jefferson Plastic Surgery explain how your weight loss can change your facial appearance.
General Response of Skin to Weight Loss
You have likely noticed that your skin may have not conformed to your new body contours after weight loss. This is particularly noticeable in areas such as the breasts, abdomen, and thighs.
You may be left with stretch marks, which are a result of the breakdown of the collagen fibers that are meant to keep your skin full, firm, and elastic. Collagen is a protein in your body that forms a fibrous network to help fill out your skin over your skeletal framework. If those fibers are stretched out to the point of breaking, due to weight gain, they may not be able to “bounce back” once that weight is lost. This results in sagging excess skin.
Properties of Facial Skin
In order to understand how your facial skin responds to changes in your weight, it is important to first understand what makes your facial skin unique, as compared to the rest of your body. The facial skin is much more elastic than other parts of your body because it has more collagen fibers. This means that if you lose a minor to moderate amount of weight, you may not see much change in your facial appearance because the collagen fibers in your face have not been overstretched past their point of elasticity. However, dramatic weight loss may be reflected in your facial appearance, despite the fact that your face may not show your weight loss as much as other parts of your body.
Facial Skin after Dramatic Weight Loss
If you have lost a dramatic amount of weight, the most obvious signs on your face will likely be sagging in the lower half. Common issues can include the appearance of jowls, hollowed cheeks, and a sagging chin and neck.
You may even notice the reappearance of lines and wrinkles around the forehead, brows, lips, and outside corners of the eyes. In essence, any areas of your face that was previously filled out by collagen fibers may now show the effects of your dramatic weight loss.
Addressing Facial Issues
There are two ways in which our surgeons can improve your facial appearance. Dermal fillers can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, brows, lips, and lower nose.
A partial or full facelift can correct for sagging skin. If you decide to go with a partial facelift, our surgeons would generally recommend one that focuses on the bottom half or bottom third of the face. This will address those structures of the face, such as the jaw line, chin, neck and cheeks, which are more likely to show the effects of weight loss.