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Are Fake Cheeks The New Norm

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, June 18, 2017

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’m in my 60’s and have hollow, sunken-in cheeks that make me look sad. I’d like to have fillers in my cheeks, but it just seems that so many older people have huge cheekbones that overpower the rest of their face. Is there some way to just get a fuller, natural-looking cheekbone where I still look like myself?

Answer: Injectable fillers, on their own, do not create fake, oversized cheeks. Surgeons and less experienced injectors do, however. As the focus has shifted from overfilling the lips and smile lines of the lower face to filling the cheekbones instead, we are seeing an increasing number of excessively filled, overly strong cheekbones which give the face just as unnatural of an appearance as an overfilled lower face.

There are several important factors to be considered when restoring a natural looking cheek contour. The surgeon should be keenly aware of the multiple facial subunits of the cheek and recognize which specific cheek subunits are losing volume. When too many cheek subunits are indiscriminately filled, there is a loss of definition to the cheek and the appearance of puffiness. Most often, the lateral malar subunit should be addressed first to restore youthful contours. The key to a good result lies in recognizing which subunits to fill and which subunits to stay away from.

An equally important factor that many injectors overlook is volume loss of the temple. While fuller cheeks with an upside down triangular facial proportion is most desirable, too many injectors create a diamond-shaped or pear-shaped face by over-injecting the cheeks, resulting in an unnatural appearance to the face. Recognizing and restoring volume loss in the temple is a key factor in giving youthful and natural upside-down triangular facial contours. While this may mean more money spent on additional filler for temple volume restoration, it can also make the difference between fake-looking cheeks and a natural, rejuvenated face.

A Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who not only understands the intricacies of facial anatomy but also is an expert injector is the most important factor in having a natural and rejuvenated appearance to your face. Careful consultation to identify your unique facial volumization needs is the first step.


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