An unfortunate part of the natural aging process is the gradual loss of soft tissue volume. Collagen is a key factor in volume loss, which can be very prominent on the face. As skin ages the middle layer of skin (dermis) thins due to collagen loss. This reduces the skin’s ability to retain elasticity and moisture causing the skin to become:
Less elastic and taut
Thinner and less plump (volume loss)
One area of the face which is particularly bothersome, and one of the main facial aging issues that leads people to seek a facelift, is the pre-jowl region. When you lose volume in the face, especially along the cheeks and jawline area paired with volume loss around the mouth, the jowls (the lower part of the cheeks, if it is fleshy or drooping) become more prominent.
Pictured above: a patient showing pre-jowel correction using filler and a successful result.
What is the Pre-Jowel Region?
The pre-jowels form from redundant (excess) cheek skin and fat that accumulates until becoming a bulge on the jaw line. The fat that hangs over the side of your jaw line was originally higher on your lower cheek and, with aging, has sagged causing a “pre-jowl.” Pre-jowel is the highly treatable beginning stages of a full fledged “jowel” which, can only be effectively corrected with facelift or neck lift surgery.
Due to tight bony-cutaneous ligaments, the bunching of soft tissue gets held up at the jowl level, thus pronunciating a deeper pre-jowl region. The pre-jowl region is also associated with ascending curved wrinkles that wrap around the mouth causing “marionette lines” around the lips. Luckily, the use of filler in this region will help fill concavity, thus camouflaging prominent jowls and creating a smooth jaw line.
Correction of the jowls depends on each patient’s individual anatomy. If you do not wish to have a surgical procedure, then fillers are a great non-surgical option. Radiesse is an ideal filler material as it has the same consistency as the fibrous bone of the pre-jowl region and can last up to 15 months. You are welcome to first try a reversible filler, such as Juvederm or Restylane and if you are happy with the results, can try something longer lasting like Radiesse.
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