Faces age due to fat loss, skin changes - not gravity

10/05/04

Study presented at American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual scientific meeting

PHILADELPHIA – To the surprise of many people, the loss of fat and sun exposure play a bigger role than gravity in aging the face, according to a study presented today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2004 conference in Philadelphia.

"People make assumptions about how the face ages because when they pull up on their facial skin, they look better," said Val Lambros, MD, ASPS member and author of the study. "Actually the pull of gravity on facial tissues is not a significant component of facial aging. Instead, other factors, like the loss of facial fat and sun damage are more contributory in the complex process of aging."

In addition, the nature of facial skin changes over time becoming thinner, most notably around the eyelids. These changes are often accelerated by sun exposure, which damages the skin.

"Plastic surgeons rejuvenate the aging face by pulling up and tightening the tissue, but treatment also requires a balance between tightening tissue and replacing loss facial fat with wrinkle fillers," said Dr. Lambros. "The key is knowing how much of each to do."

Source: Eurekalert & others

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