Are you unhappy with the sagging appearance your cheeks have developed as you've aged? You may feel as though if your cheeks were simply more plump, you would appear about 10 years younger. While there are plumbing creams and lotions available in most pharmacies, these remedies don't do much for sagging cheeks. Here are four more effective options to consider.
1. Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers are solutions that your dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon can inject into your skin to increase its plumpness and fullness. Most contain components like hyaluronic acid and collagen, which are found naturally in skin but become depleted with age. Dermal fillers are a good choice if the sagging is mostly due to a loss of volume in your skin, rather than stretching. A dermatologist can look at your cheeks and tell you whether this is the case.
One benefit of dermal fillers is that they're very safe. Most people experience very few side effects. You might have some redness and soreness, but it will dissipate within a day or two. During the injection itself, you may feel a pinch or a little stinging. Some doctors apply a numbing gel before injecting your skin, and if your doctor does so, you may not even feel a thing. A downside to fillers is that they are temporary. Some formulas last a year; others last three or four months.
2. Fat Injections
If your dermatologist feels that your sagging is due to a loss of fat tissue beneath your skin, he or she may recommend fat injections to add volume to your cheeks. Your own fat will be removed from either your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and then injected into your cheeks. Since the tissue injected is all your own, there is no risk of rejection or an allergic reaction.
The downside to fat injections is that they require more recovery time. The injection site won't be too sore, but the site from which the fat is removed will be. Of course, fat injections are essentially permanent, so they are popular among those who don't want to bother with repeated dermal filler treatments every few months.
3. Cheek implants
If you want a permanent solution that offers a more dramatic look, then consider cheek implants. Your doctor can insert silicone implants, much like those used for breast implants, beneath the skin on your cheeks. This is obviously a more involved procedure than the injections discussed above. It will only be an option if you are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and surgery.
Most patients react to the implants well, but some do have negative reactions in which their bodies begin attacking the implants. You will need to take at least a week or two off from work and strenuous activity post-surgery.
If your sagging is mostly due to stretching of the skin, then your dermatologist may recommend a facelift. During this procedure, some skin is removed from the area around your ears. The skin is then pulled back and sutured, giving your whole face a lifted look. If you only need minor tightening, the surgeon may be able to do a scaled-down version of the procedure called a mini-facelift, which involves smaller incisions and can sometimes be performed under only local anesthetic.
Facelifts can yield dramatic results, but again, they do involve surgery, so they are really only a choice for healthy candidates.
To learn more about these options for correcting sagging cheeks, talk to your doctor. You do not have to go on living with unwanted sagging when there are so many simple and non-invasive treatment options, like dermal fillers.