COVID 19: We are open for in-office and virtual visits. Read our safety precautions.

How Our Skull Changes With Age And Makes Us Look Older

Differences between old and young skulls

Young skull on left. Notice changes in size and shape of eyes and nose as we age.

In addition to changes in the appearance of our skin and volume of facial fat, our skulls change with time.  These changes contribute to our aged appearance.

Our skulls are just one of the things that change as we age.  There are many other changes that occur with aging.

Know this: Science has identified how our skulls change with age and several articles have been written on the subject.

The main areas that morph are our eye sockets (orbital rims) and cheekbones. These changes mostly affect the central part of our face.

As infants, the central part of our face is relatively compact. As we become young adults, more space develops in that middle part of our face. With maturity, however, changes in our orbital rims and cheekbones make our central face more compact again and closer to the proportions of infancy.

The picture above highlights the differences between the skulls of a young and older person. *

As our central face becomes more compact, the muscles, fat, and skin attached to the bones bunches together to a certain degree. What this translates to is illustrated by the following picture. This picture shows a great example of both a young and aged face with almost no overlying fat. You can clearly see the differences in the shapes of the underlying skeleton and how the skin of the older face wrinkles and folds because there is less bony support. **

The differences between and young and old face.

Despite almost no fat and relatively good skin in both, the younger patient still looks young because of the shape and proportion of his skull.

Knowing how our skull changes with age, we can combat the signs of aging by addressing the underlying problem.  Fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse, muscle relaxers including Botox, and various lasers give us the upper hand.  The more we learn about how all aspects of our face change with age, the better we can become at rejuvenating it.

Related articles:

Facial Aging: How the face ages

How to Choose the Best Anti-Aging Treatment for You


* Shaw RB Jr, Kahn DM. Aging of the midface bony elements: a three-dimensional computed tomographic study. Plast Reconstr Surg 2007: 119: 675–681.

** Vleggaar D, Fitzgerald R. Dermatologic implications of skeletal aging: a focus on supraperiosteal volumization for perioral rejuvenation. J Drugs Dermatol 2008: 7 (3): 209–220.

*** Fitzgerald R, Vleggar D. Facial volume restoration of the aging face with poly-l-lactic acid (pages 2–27). Dermatol Therapy 2011.

{ 2 comments… add one }

    Leave a Comment

    Dr. Osman's Media & Awards