What to do about baggy cheeks?
Dr. Dean Kane Q & A
Q. I have wrinkles and baggy skin on sides of my cheeks. I get botox every 3 months but it does well in between brows and crows feet but wrinkles in side cheeks are still there. what should I do?
A. Baggy cheeks maybe due to skin laxity and / or facial creases. Wrinkling occurs dynamically due to underlying muscles creasing the skin and / or passively as the skin loses elasticity and folds on itself.
Botox works to relax the muscle that creates skin wrinkles but not on passive folding. Fillers help by filling the crease and resisting the wrinkling.
Various options for non-invasive facial enhancements and skin texture improvements, minimally invasive alternatives and facelifts are available according to the skin laxity and areas of lift or tightening you wish or need.
Surgical lifts would be likened to pulling the bedspread and or top-sheet of your bed up to the head-board and removing the excess material.
Minimally invasive procedures such as fillers provide volume such as adjusting a pillow under the bedspread. Botox and Dysport act by pulling the top-sheet which drags the bedspread upwardly. If the bedspread (or skin) continues to fall to the foot of the bed despite fillers, Botox or Dysport you will need to consider a facelift.
Non-invasive options such as laser and light therapies, skin tightening products and technologies perform their tightening and smoothening of the skin similar to sending your bedspread to the dry cleaners. A more refreshed, even colored, glowing smoother and tighter spread covers the surface of the bed.
The most popular of the fillers, Restylane and Perlane , a jelly-like clear skin filler is used to fill lines, wrinkles and folds. Juvederm and its longer lasting “cousin”Juvederm Ultra Plus are similar skin fillers, used to soften and fill the nasolabial (“parentheses”) and marionette folds, the brow (“number 11”) lines and fill and lift the cheeks and lateral brow or chin.Voluma is the longest lasting, up to 2 year duration HA filler. Each one is used to expand or volumize the loss of tissue associated with expression, weathering or aging. All the fillers come with numbing anesthetic!.
Non-surgical facial contouring is possible with fillers such as Radiesse, a bone mineral for the nose or cheeks, jaw and chin as well.
Sculptra is the latest of the injectibles stimulation collagen at different levels of the skin adding volume but primarily firming and adding resistance to the formation of wrinkles, folds and descent.
Botox and Dysport too have been found to rebalance excessive facial expression, provide a non-surgical brow lift and lip lift and reshape the nose, as well as reducing wrinkles!
Dr. Obagi’s new, second generation ZO Skin Health programs may be added to personalized chemical peels, light and laser resurfacing and tightening and will, smoothen and even the color of your skin.
IPL and fractionated lasers such as CO2 and erbium and now RF (radiofrequency) are additions to smooth the texture of the skin, tighten and reduce red and brown uneven pigmentation.
If you can pinch more than an inch of skin along the jawline in front of your earlobe, you should consider a surgical option to redrape and remove extra skin.
You may consider: atraditional face and neck lift, short scar face and / or neck lift.
Face lift and / or neck lift or any of the other procedures and their combinations should be discussed following a proper examination by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs all of these options so you will not receive a biased approach because he or she is limited in their skills.
While long winded, I hope this has been helpful. All the best!