Treatments for Loose Jowls

November 12, 2014

It is a basic biological fact that skin loses its elasticity as it ages. This, along with excessive sun exposure, smoking, and other environmental factors can result in wrinkles and loose jowls. One of the most obvious places in which skin laxity will be noticeable is the area where the lower cheek meets the jaw. If the skin and underlying tissue and fat become loose, they may hang down over the jaw line, forming jowls around the mouth and chin.

Fortunately, There are a variety of options, including facelift and dermal filler injections, from which patients can choose to treat loose jowls. Dr. Crawford and Dr. McKnight-Baron both have extensive training and experience in a number of available procedures to tighten up the skin around the jaw line.

Causes for Sagging Jowls

Collagen is one of the most important proteins that the body naturally produces. It helps to cushion and lubricate the joints, as well as fill out the skin over the skeletal bones. As the body ages, it begins to lose collagen. The end result can be fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, sunken cheeks, and jowls around the jaw line.

Dr. Crawford and Dr. McKnight-Baron recommend that patients avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and excessive sun exposure, along with maintaining a healthy weight and diet, to reduce the risk of excessive jowl formation. There are numerous facial massage and exercises that are sometimes recommended to tighten up the skin around the jaw line. Unfortunately, there is little these exercises can do to firm up loose skin in that area. The same can also be said about facial creams and lotions that claim to have collagen in them. While they may help moisturize the skin, they cannot replace lost collagen.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers, such as Radiesse, Perlane, and Juvederm, add volume to the area beneath the skin. A dermal filler procedure is quite simple. The dermal filler is injected just under the outer layer of skin at specific, targeted areas on the face. This will fill out the skin around the lower cheeks and jaw line, thus reducing the appearance of jowls.

The procedure takes less than a half hour to perform, and recovery is quick. Most patients can resume normal activities within 24 to 48 hours. The most common risks from dermal filler injections are swelling and bruising, which can easily be treated with cold compresses and taking the herb Arnica montana. Results usually last anywhere from 12 to 18 months.


Patients who want a longer lasting, overall lifted effect to the jaw line can opt for a facelift procedure. This can be targeted just to the lower part of the face to address sagging jowls. A series of small incisions will be made behind each ear, just in front of the hairline. The skin and underlying tissue are then gently freed, tightened up, and excess is removed. This will provide a sleeker look to the lower cheeks and jaw line.

Recovery can take anywhere from four to six weeks, and patients may need to restrict some of their activities for at least two weeks following the procedure. Results from a facelift can last a number of years, with proper care paid to avoiding smoking and excessive sun exposure.

Some patients may only want a little touch up done to remove jowls, while others will want to have more extensive contouring. Regardless of which procedure patients select, Dr. Crawford and Dr. McKnight-Baron will provide long-lasting, beautiful results. 

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