As we get old, it’s not just our skin that sags, facial bones shift and droop with time, too.
Now scientists from the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA, have, for the first time, mapped these bony ageing changes in detail.
And they conclude that both medicines and ‘mechanical devices’ could allow surgeons not just to treat the symptoms, but to prevent these ‘facial skeleton changes’ from occurring in the first place.
Lead researcher Boris Paskhover, of the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, says the venture could open a ‘whole new paradigm in facial ageing prevention.’
He studied a group of fourteen patients, aged between 40 and 55.
Over the course of eight years the patients underwent repeated facial imaging that included the entire mid-face and cranium.
He says skeletal changes were found to occur in the exact regions where cosmetic surgery is popular – around the cheeks, eyebrows, eye socket and forehead.
Dr Paskhover also noted decreases in three important angles used to measure facial geometry, as the facial bones appears to shift and tilt forwards, creating a more aged look.
He adds: “These bony changes likely contribute to the appearance of many common mid-face ageing changes, such as prominent nasolabial folds, facial hollowing, loss of dentition, and the senile nose.
“Ultimately, defining a methodology to longitudinally document the 3-D patterns and timing of facial skeletal ageing changes will allow us to objectively test specific treatments aimed at slowing or reversing these bony ageing changes.
“The timing of when intervention can be helpful can also be defined.
“Treatments already in use for osteoporosis such as hormone modulators, bisphosphonates, or calcitonin may be effective for ageing.
“Mechanical devices used in orthopedics and orthodontics, as well as novel pharmaceutical approaches, may allow us not only to treat but also to prevent these facial skeletal changes from occurring, opening up a whole new paradigm in facial ageing prevention.”
Leading UK cosmetic surgeon Gary Ross, based in Manchester, welcomed the new research, saying it promised to open-up new avenues of possibility when it comes to facial rejuvenation surgery.
Mr Ross, who recently became the first plastic surgeon to be officially certified by the Royal College of Surgeons professional standards system, said: “Certainly, we are aware of the ageing of the facial skeleton, the apparent growth of cartilage and the descent and reduction in volume of the soft tissues.
“Although implants and enhancement of the areas overlying the bony skeleton have been the mainstay of facial ageing there may be newer innovative mechanical devices and pharmacological treatments targeted at bony rejuvenation therapies that are worth exploring further.
“Cosmetic orthodontics and manipulation of the bony skeleton is a rapidly expanding field in facial rejuvenation surgery.
“Having read this new paper. I would be particularly interested to look at facial ageing in patients already undergoing treatments for osteoporosis, such as hormone modulators, bisphosphonates, or calcitonin and compare facial ageing against those not undergoing treatments.
“This may give us some insight into whether these pharmacological treatments may open a new paradigm in facial ageing prevention.”
Patterns of Change in Facial Skeletal Aging.
Paskhover B, Durand D, Kamen E, Gordon NA.
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017 Aug 10.
The full article was published in the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4792038/Bone-lifts-future-cosmetic-treatments.html