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What are jowls? How can I get rid of them?

Let's start with some simple facts. A jowl is a discontinuity in the smooth line of the jaw, caused by drooping of the skin and cheek tissue. The best way of describing what is actually causing it is to think of a festooned Austrian blind. The material hangs down loosely between relatively taut parallel bands of blind tape.

The same principle applies in the human face. In this case, there are parallel deep facial ligaments (the blind tape) which support the skin and tissues of the face (the material). As part of the natural ageing process, the tissues progressively sag down in between the facial ligaments, giving rise to the typical appearance of a jowl.

 

What treatments are available?

Good question and as you have no doubt discovered, it is easy to find answers but much more difficult to find solutions.

Almost without exception, patients who come to see me have already tried some form of non-surgical treatment for their jowls, ranging from acupuncture to various science fiction treatments. Again, without exception, these treatments have been unsuccessful.

 

What about facial exercises - are they of any value?

People have been willing to accept without question that exercising the muscles of the face is of benefit in toning and reducing wrinkles. This is a myth.

Firstly, consider what happens if the muscles of the face do not work at all (and therefore cannot be exercised) - for example, in Parkinson's disease or after a stroke or botulinum toxin administration. The skin of the face is typically smooth and wrinkle- free.

Secondly, the facial muscles are all attached to the overlying skin. Exercising the muscles and strengthening them will only lead to them pulling more strongly on the skin, thereby tending to increase any wrinkling of the overlying skin.

 

What can actually be done to treat jowls?

Definitive treatment is surgical - in our view, the Advanced Mini Facelift is the definitive treatment of choice. The end result will be that your jowls will disappear to be replaced by a smoother, tighter and more youthful jawline. Ideal!

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