Changes in Facial Bones Linked to Facial Aging
Wrinkles and sagging that appear on our face as we age aren’t just due to changes in our skin, according to a new study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal. These changes are also a result of age-related changes in our facial bones, the study found.
Researchers, led by Dr. Robert Shaw, Jr. of the University of Rochester Medical Center, analyzed computed tomographic scans that were performed for medical reasons of the facial bones for three age groups: young (age 20 to 40), middle-aged (41 to 64) and older (65 and up). For each age group, the scans of 20 women and 20 men were reviewed.
The measurements revealed differences in the facial bone structure between age groups. “The facial skeleton experiences morphologic change and an overall decrease in volume with increasing age,” the researchers wrote.
The study showed that the eye socket area became wider and longer in both men and women as they aged. Aging also caused reductions in bones in several areas of the face, including the:
- Upper jaw
- Lower jaw
While researchers observed the changes in both sexes, many of the changes happened earlier in women — between the young and middle age groups. On the other hand, in men most of the changes occurred between middle age and old age.
The researchers believe that by using techniques and materials for skeletal augmentation, plastic and cosmetic surgeons can have improved outcomes for facial rejuvenation. “Skeletal augmentation offers long-lasting rejuvenation of the facial skeleton and may be performed in conjunction with soft-tissue redraping,” they wrote.