A slim, well-defined, V-shaped jawline gives a youthful, elegant look that many women desire. Unfortunately, genetics and the effects of aging can sometimes cause the jawline to be obscured. So, what can we do to enhance this area without major surgery or a lot of downtime? Well, it depends on the underlying cause.
1. Is it due to loose, sagging skin?Sagging skin is usually caused by normal aging, due to a lifetime of UV light exposure and declining hormone levels that cause collagen loss. Sagging skin under the jawline can also be caused by significant weight loss.
The best nonsurgical treatment for this area is PDO threads. These are placed under the skin, where they lift and tighten sagging skin. The results can last two years or more. PDO threads stimulate natural collagen that holds everything in place long after they dissolve.
PDO threads are also used to create a “snatched jawline”. This is a technique that tightens the skin under the jaw and defines the angle of the mandible, which is the jawbone angle below the ear.
Radiofrequency (RF) nano-needling can tighten the skin quite a bit as well and can be incorporated into overall skin tightening and resurfacing treatment that RF offers.
2. Is it caused by a smaller mandible (jawbone)?A smaller or recessed mandible is usually genetic, but can also be caused by tooth loss and dental problems. Aging also causes a gradual loss of bone mass in the mandible. This can be addressed with filler to increase the appearance of bony understructure.
One popular filler for this area is Radiesse because it stimulates collagen formation and lasts a long time (two years or more). It needs to be placed correctly, though, because it has to move like the jawbone and not like the overlying soft tissue.
Juvéderm Voluma is a good hyaluronic acid (HA) filler choice for this area because it is thicker and stiffer than most other fillers, and now, Juvéderm has released a new product called Volux, which is an HA filler specifically indicated for jawline enhancement.
Be sure to get your jawline filler treatment done by a practitioner with expert knowledge of the anatomy, both for safety (because the facial artery is in this area) and also for a natural, attractive result.
One caution with filler, however, is that we don’t want to make the jaw appear bigger. Women prefer a slimmer, V-shaped jawline, rather than having a chin like Jay Leno. An experienced practitioner can help you decide if filler is the correct solution for your jawline appearance or if another approach is more appropriate.
3. Is it due to prominent muscles? Some people have pronounced muscles around the jaw, especially a muscle called the masseter. This muscle is close to the angle of the mandible and can give a chipmunk-look when the muscles are very hypertrophied (enlarged).
Prominent jaw muscles can be genetic, but sometimes they are associated with bruxism (teeth grinding) and TMJ syndrome. The best treatment for this is Botox, which will not only slim the jawline, but can also help alleviate TMJ symptoms. Botox will need to be repeated every three months to maintain. The treatment is really quick and not painful.
4. Is it due to fat?Fat deposits around the jaw can hide the definition of the jawline. There are a couple of treatments that may help this problem (besides weight loss).
One is Kybella (deoxycholic acid), which is an injection that actually dissolves fat. This is best used for small areas, like a stubborn little waddle just under the chin or a double chin. The injection does smart a little bit, can be tender for a little while, and can even swell before it goes down. But it does work well for very small areas.
Another option is cryosurgery, such as CoolSculpting and SculpSure, which freezes the fat cells, causing them to crystallize and rupture. The body then gradually reabsorbs the fat and cellular material. Rarely, this treatment can actually cause hypertrophy (swelling) of the fat, necessitating surgery or other treatments to remediate it.
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