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JOWLS: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Understanding the condition and ultimately finding out 'How to get rid of Jowls'.

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JOWLS: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

The term “jowls” describes sagging, loose skin below the jawline, which most people develop with age.

WHAT CAUSES JOWLS?

Aside from ageing, a number of other factors can also contribute to having jowls. Both sun-damage and smoking can accelerate the ageing process, resulting in a loss of the skin's elasticity and collagen. Genetics can also play a part in the development of jowls; those with a genetic predisposition will be more likely to develop them. It has also been suggested that sleeping on your front or side consistently may cause jowls to form over time.

JOWLS SYMPTOMS

As we age, it is natural for facial sagging to occur around the chin and jawline. Jowls give the appearance that the normal jawline position has dropped and definition of the face is lost. It is not necessarily a sign of being overweight and does not indicate underlying health problems. People with jowls may experience crepey, wrinkled skin, sometimes referred to as ‘turkey neck’; or they may have another layer of skin that drops below their jaw, more like a double chin.

HOW CAN I REDUCE OR PREVENT SAGGING JOWLS?

The appearance of jowls can be naturally helped by taking these small preventive measures:

  • Protect your skin against damage from the sun by applying an SPF daily
  • Don’t smoke
  • Use anti-ageing skincare products which include clinically proven peptides to stimulate the natural collagen production within the skin, improving firmness and reducing lines and wrinkles
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle and a well-balanced diet
  • Seek advice from a dermatologist about professional skin treatments designed to target jowls.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can you have surgery for jowls?

It is possible for some people to have the fat removed from their chin and jawline surgically through a type of liposuction procedure. This is an invasive treatment and carries the risk of nerve damage and scarring. It is also possible to reduce the appearance of jowls with a surgical neck lift or face lift. Again, this is an invasive procedure with considerable risks and downtime. A cosmetic surgeon will be able to tell you whether surgery is a viable option for your particular case.

Can facial exercises reduce jowls?

There are conflicting arguments around the benefits of facial exercises for the appearance of jowls. Some skin experts suggest the repeated exaggerated movement used in facial exercises might exacerbate wrinkles on other parts of the face, such as on the forehead and around the eyes. However, one exercise which is often recommended for targeting jowls is the ‘chin-up’: 

  1. Close your mouth and push your lower jaw out
  2. Lift your lower lip upwards
  3. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds (you should be able to feel a stretching sensation under your chin)
  4. Repeat for three sets of 15.

OTHER TREATMENTS FOR JOWLS

There are a number of professional skin aesthetic treatments available to treat jowls and sagging skin on and around the face. Some are designed to add structure and definition to the jawline (dermal fillers, Sculptra™ and thread lifts), whereas others focus on rejuvenating the skin for an overall firmer look (skin peels, laser resurfacing and microneedling):

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers involve injecting a medically developed solution under the skin with a fine needle to enhance facial features and plump and fill sagging areas of skin. Administered correctly by a medical practitioner, they can subtly smooth, contour and tone the jowls, helping to define your features.

Sculptra™

Sculptra™ is a type of dermal filler which is administered through a series of small injections at varying levels of thickness. Sculptra™ contains Poly-L-Lactic Acid, which replaces lost collagen to help maintain the skin's elasticity. It fills out the depressed areas of the face that have lost volume through ageing and is particularly successful at treating jowls

Thread Lifts

A thread lift is a rejuvenating treatment which uses specialised surgical threads to lift sagging skin, giving a tighter, more youthful appearance. The threads are made from polylactic acid, a naturally occurring substance that has been used in medicine for over 25 years. The threads gradually stimulate collagen production to restore facial volume and smooth out deep lines and wrinkles.

Skin Peels

Skin peels work by harnessing the power of naturally occurring acids and active ingredients to deeply exfoliate the skin. The treatment stimulates new cell growth and collagen production, helping to reveal fresher, clearer, firmer skin.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is one of the most advanced skin rejuvenation treatments available. It uses a specially crafted beam of thermal energy which ‘injures’ the old skin, causing the body to react with a wound-healing response to create new, tighter skin that has smaller pores and fewer wrinkles and blemishes.

Microneedling

Like laser resurfacing, microneedling works by stimulating a healing response in the skin. Tiny microneedles pierce the surface, kickstarting cell renewal and collagen production, for firmer, younger-looking skin.

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