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Loss of 'baby' versus 'mature' fat in the face

Posted: 1:51 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, 2014

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I never liked the baby fat in my face during my 20’s. I looked best in my 30’s and 40’s as it went away and my cheekbones looked higher and sexy. Now in my 60’s, I look more hollow and gaunt. I’m wishing I had the baby fat back. Is there is way to restore the youth to my face? I don’t want to look much younger but just good for my age.

Answer: There is a big difference between losing baby fat when we are very young and losing mature facial fat as we age. The loss of baby fat in younger years often lessens that round, pudgy facial appearance, giving a more defined, angular face that is attractive and sexy. On the other hand, as we continue into our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, we lose the mature fat that cushions our facial bones. This results in a hollow appearance of the cheeks, eye sockets and temples with increased visibility of our bony facial prominences. The loss of mature facial fat gives us a more “skeletal” appearance which is too angular and not sexy.

The ideal facial appearance includes a balance between losing our excess baby fat for greater facial definition while, at the same time, retaining enough of our mature fat for a softer, youthful appearance. In patients who lack this balance, injectable fillers can restore volume as well as enhance facial definition if properly injected in precise facial zones. The key to natural looking results with fillers is to focus on achieving overall facial balance rather than correcting isolated concerns on the face.

Filler treatment options include temporary fillers such as Radiesse, Sculptra and Juvederm. Long term fillers such as Bellafill®, however, while more costly upfront, are safe and more cost-effective long-term due to less frequent maintenance.

A thorough consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon is the first step in assessing your needs when it comes to facial volume and definition.


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