Jowls are sagging skin on the lower part of the face and the jawline. They can make you look older than you are and can be difficult to get rid of. Sagging jowls are a common sign of ageing that tend to become more obvious with age. Many patients seek jowls treatment to tighten their facial skin and look more youthful.
A face lift is a surgical procedure that can reduce a sagging jowl and tighten the jowl area. There are also non-surgical treatments that can improve the appearance of sagging jowls. This includes jowl filler, which reduces the look of jowls sagging and skin laxity.
If you’re considering facial surgery, consult with a specialist plastic surgeon. This consultation will help you decide what jowl treatment is right for you.
What Are Jowls?
Jowls are the excess skin and fat around our jawline on the lower part of our face. Prominent jowls hang below the jawline, and they give us a ‘droopy’ appearance.
As we age, our facial skin falls down, making our faces look droopy. The first place this is noticeable is in our cheeks and lower face area. Our skin and fat fall forward and down, making us look like we have saggy cheeks and a saggy chin. Droopy cheeks and saggy jowls are common and nothing to worry about.
Jowls are a normal part of aging, and everyone will develop them at some point. But, there are things you can do to prevent jowls from getting worse. For example, you can minimise the following lifestyle and environmental impacts.
What Causes Sagging Jowls?
Collagen and Elastin Deficiency
As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in the skin. This is particularly clear in the cheeks and below the jawline.
Collagen is a natural protein that makes up the body’s connective tissue. It’s essential for the structure and function of the skin. Having low amounts of collagen can result in a lack of elasticity in the skin – ie. can cause sagging cheeks or face jowls.
Elastin is another type of connective tissue protein. Its purpose is to help your skin to return to normal after stretching. When elastin is deficient, your skin can no longer ‘bounce back’ from stretching – ie. sagging skin after weight loss.
Deficiencies in collagen and elastin are a big factor in saggy jowls. As we age, our bodies produce less of these proteins. This results in sagging skin around the face, mouth and chin. The effects of these deficiencies are then further exaggerated by gravity.
Lifestyle and Environmental Effects
Making certain facial expressions can exacerbate hanging jowls. For example, frequently puckering your lips, drinking through a straw or yawning can cause jowls over time. These actions can stretch the skin and result in sagging skin along the jaw and chin.
Weight Gain and Weight Loss
Weight gain and loss can also cause the appearance of jowls. When you gain weight, the skin around your face stretches to accommodate the new weight. This stretching can cause sagging in the skin, particularly around the jawline and chin. When you lose this weight, it can result in excess cheek jowls, facial jowls and loose skin under chin.
Smoking cigarettes can also lead to jowls. This is because smoking damages collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep your skin firm. Smoking leads to wrinkles and sagging skin, which can then worsen over time to form jowls.
Sun Exposure Effects
Excessive sun exposure can damage the skin and lead to hanging jowls. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can break down collagen and elastin, which can then lead to sagging skin.
To help prevent sagging jowls, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun. Always wear sunscreen, hats and clothing when outside.
Gravity is another big factor in jowl formation. As we age, gravity pulls down on our skin, causing it to sag. This sagging is more pronounced in areas that have less bone and muscle support, such as the cheeks and jawline.
Finally, jowls can be a result of genetics. If your parents or grandparents had large jowls, you may be more likely to develop them as well. And, if your family has thin skin or low collagen and elastin, you may be likelier to form jowls in your life.
Sagging Jowls Treatment
Treatment for sagging jowls ranges from non-surgical methods for a mild jowl lift to surgical jowl lifting procedures. The best procedure for you depends on your individual goals and desired outcome.
As an overview, treatments to lift jowls include:
- fillers in jowls
- filler in cheeks to lift jowls
- jowl tightening with lower face and neck lift surgery
- liposuction under the neck and chin area
Dr Doyle believes that the best treatment for sagging neck and jowls is facelift surgery. However, this advice is general and will need to be determined at the time of your consultation.
The goal of jowl removal surgery is to smooth and tighten the jowl area. Jowl surgery pulls the skin to a more youthful position and reduces hanging skin around the jaw. Jowl reduction procedures are effective at helping one appear more youthful and rejuvenated.
It’s important to know that while these surgeries can remove jowls, the results are not permanent. Because plastic surgery cannot prevent future signs of ageing. This means that with age and the above factors, jowls can redevelop over time. The following list includes the best treatment for sagging jowls from a plastic surgeon’s perspective:
Lower Face Lift
A face lift is a surgical procedure that tightens and smooths the skin of the lower face, including the jowls. It also addresses jowl lines and sagging in the mid-face or cheek area. Facelift helps to get rid of sagging jowls.
A neck lift is a surgical procedure that tightens and smooths the skin of the neck, including the jowls. This procedure is best combined with a facelift. A full face and neck lift is the best procedure for sagging jowls.
Neck and Chin Liposuction
Chin liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat from the neck and chin area, including the jowls. It can help to lift and contour the jawline, resulting in the reduction of jowls.
Non Invasive Treatments
Injectable fillers can add volume to the cheeks, which in turn can help to lift sagging jowls. Cheek filler is a non-invasive treatment option for sagging jowls.
Injectable fillers can be placed directly in the jowl area to add volume and lift sagging skin. This treatment is not suitable for everyone with jowls and is best decided at the time of consultation.
Dermal Fillers for Jowls
As stated above, injecting dermal fillers into the skin can help to plump up sagging skin and reduce the appearance of jowls. However, jowls fillers are not a permanent solution to fix sagging jowls. They provide temporary relief and wear off over 12-18 months.
While there are many jowl lifting treatments available, surgery is still considered the best option for sagging jowls.
Jowls Before and After
The following images show Dr Doyle’s patient sagging jowls before and after photos. These patients all had a full face and neck lift surgery to tighten the skin around the lower face, neck and jawline.
To find out more about full facelift surgery for jowls, booked a specialist consultation with Dr Mark Doyle. Call 5598 0988 or submit a confidential enquiry form.
How to Prevent Sagging Jowls?
It is difficult to prevent jowls however, there are a few things you can do to slow down the process:
- Use sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from sun damage.
- Quit smoking. Smoking accelerates skin ageing and damages collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants to protect your skin from damage.
- Avoid sagging jowl exercises, like yawning and puckering the lips, as they can make jowls worse over time.
- Try to keep a stable weight as sagging jowls after weight loss is common.
Jowls are an inevitable part of the ageing process. However, there are surgeries available to help lift and tighten sagging skin around the jawline. If you are concerned about sagging jowls, contact Dr Doyle for a specialist consultation.
Dr Doyle is the leading surgeon for face lift Gold Coast has to offer. He also serves face lift Brisbane clientele, who travel specifically to see him.
How to Lift Sagging Jowls?
A good way to lift sagging jowls is with dermal filler in the cheeks or jawline area. This can lift the appearance of jowls temporarily, but will not remove them completely.
How to Get Rid of Loose Skin Under Chin?
The best way to rid of loose skin under the chin is with a neck lift. This can tighten a saggy chin and contour the jawline. If you are concerned about excess fat under the chin, chin and neck liposuction may be a good option.
How to Get Rid of Fat Jowls?
Fat jowls can be treated with weight loss, liposuction and/or a surgical face lift. Liposuction removes excess fat from the neck and chin area, including the jowls. However, removing fat from this area can sometimes lead to more pronounced jowls. Complete reduction of jowls may require face and neck lift surgery.
How to Get Rid of Sagging Jowls?
A face and neck lift is the most effective method for reducing sagging jowls. This surgical treatment tightens and smooths the lower face’s skin, including the jowl region. A facelift also targets drooping in the mid-face or cheek area, which further lifts the jowls.
Ready to Learn More? Book a Consultation with Dr Doyle
If sagging jowls are a concern for you, Dr Doyle would love to help. He is a specialist facial plastic surgeon and an expert in natural-looking facelift results. To book a consultation, call 5598 0988 or submit a confidential enquiry form.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience. He specialises in face lift surgery in Gold Coast and Brisbane, and also offers a range of body and breast procedures.
Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Doctor and surgeon. He has completed all required training to be a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and is driven by an committed to providing excellent standards of care.
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*DISCLAIMER: All information on Dr Mark Doyle website is general and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.
Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS