Cheek aging manifests itself in several ways. As we get older, our cheeks deflate and sag, wrinkles develop, and brown spots and dilated blood vessels appear.
Cheeks deflate and sag with age from the combination of a loss of underlying bone and fat, and from weakening of the skin. It may come as a surprise that bone and facial fat diminish with age. In recent years, however, scientific study has characterized how our skull changes with age.
Studies have also shown that the fat pads in our cheeks shrink as we get older. This makes us look hollow and removes the underlying support for our skin. With the underlying support gone, our skin has nowhere to go but down, so it sags.
To illustrate the point, think of a young child who has very full cheeks. You can hardly see the outline of a bone in a young child’s face. Now think of a very old person. You can often see the outline of the skull under the skin in an aged person.
Our skin weakens as we get older due both to the intrinsic process of aging and also from ultraviolet exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) exposure comes from the sun and from tanning beds. Repeated UV exposure makes skin weak by destroying collagen. Weak skin wrinkles and sags.
Protecting your skin from UV exposure is the single most important thing you can do to maintain its youthfulness. Using a good anti-aging cream regimen can also help. We can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by filling them with products like Juvederm and by using fractional resurfacing to laser them away. Thermage can tighten jowls, and cheek augmentation can replace the lost volume.
Repeated UV exposure also creates brown spots, dilates blood vessels, and can even lead to skin cancer. Brown spots and dilated blood vessels can be treated with bleaching creams, chemical peels, and IPL photofacials.
Having this knowledge allows us to identify what has aged, treat it, and prevent further aging. Each person is different, so it takes a customized approach to develop the best anti-aging regimen.