Jowls are characterised by the sagging heavy skin that appears around the jawline and lower cheeks.
As we age, the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin will contribute to its loss of elasticity and subsequently the skin will start to sag.
Where a decrease in the tightness of the skin around the jawline occurs, this area is no longer able to support the weight of the natural fat deposits in our lower face and therefore they will start to pull downward and may hang a little lower than the jaw.
Genetics will play a large role in whether or not we are susceptible to the development of jowls, and to what degree. Our facial structure will also have an impact as to how apparent the condition may be.
Jowls may begin to show their first signs in our 30’s, as the natural collagen and elastin production begins to decline. Collagen and elastin are important proteins within the skin that create and retain both a youthful plumpness and tightness. It is important to understand that the deterioration of these proteins will occur in everybody and there are things we can do to help to manage the progression of this.
Avoiding excessive exposure to UV rays (which further break down these proteins), smoking (which reduces blood flow to the skin) and weight fluctuations (which damage the skin’s laxity) are all lifestyle factors that we can avoid in order to help our skin to stay youthful for longer. Hydration is also key to keeping the integrity of the skin’s structure strong and intact for as long as possible.
When recognised early, jowls can be easily managed through skin tightening techniques using radio frequency to stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin giving it better support to reduce the onset of jowl formation. We can also use dermal fillers to plump the area and restore volume as well as re-contouring the jawline thus disguising the appearance of jowls. Botulinum Toxin injections can sometimes be used to help relax the muscles around the neck, reducing the natural pulling downward of the facial skin.