Can hollowing cheeks from short-term smoking be reversed?

I'm 35 and generally had decent skin, not much wrinkling to speak of (11's mostly). Always had a long face but fuller cheeks. Recently it's hollowed out from the act of smoking (pulling smoke I believe) in a dramatic few months, as I only picked up the habit in 2013- but things changed dramatically between summer 2013 and December 2013. Im shocked, horrified and of course stopped smoking. Is this hollowing reversible ? and If I choose to go for fillers what would be my best options ?

Doctor Answers 7


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Hollowness in the cheeks can certainly be corrected by an experienced injector. Sculptra may be an option to help correct the hollowing in the cheeks. Sculptra is unique from other fillers in that it stimulates your body to produce its own collagen. The results are gradual and can be long lasting up to 2 years. Start slow with one vial of Sculptra and revisit with your doctor after 4 weeks to assess if additional vials are required for volume correction in the cheeks.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Voluma to volumize your cheeks

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Thank you for posting a photo. If you are looking for more volume to your mid-face, I suggest learning about Voluma. This is a new facial filler said to last two years and will instantly restore volume. Consult with your doctor to decide if this is the best option for you.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Smoking can hollow the cheeks and yellow the skin

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Smoking and sun baking are the two most unhealthy things you can do to your skin.  The "wasting" from cigarette smoking can be helped through Sculptra injections.  Sculptra has the unique ability to build collagen and enhance facial volume in a natural way.  It is most important to find someone skilled at cosmetic injections to have the best result.

Smoking can hollow the cheeks

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Yes, smoking can reduce facial volume and hollow the cheeks, in addition to other factors such as stress, weight loss, medical conditions, etc. The best first approach is to stop smoking, drink plenty of water, get adequate rest, and have a balanced diet. Hopefully, some of your volume will return. Next, one may consider facial fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra, etc) for short-term volume improvement. Fat injections can provide longer term natural results. Lastly, plastic surgery with cheek implants or a cheek lift will give you permanent results.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Hollowing in the cheeks

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Hollowing of the cheeks can be caused by multiple reasons. A full medical evaluation is warranted. Non permanent fillers like Sculptra can increase collagen production in this area. Fat grafting is a more permenant solution for this problem.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Hollow cheeks and it's treatment

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I am not sure if the hollowing of your cheeks is due to smoking. But whether it is related or not, there are many options for filling the cheeks out. You can use temporary fillers or more long lasting fillers. Your options with temporary fillers (lasting anywhere from 6 months-2 years) are Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Voluma, or Sculptra. Fat grafting is longer lasting. You can depend on at least 2-5 years, and sometimes the fat can last longer than that. But as of now fat is the best option for long lasting results. With all fillers you have to be careful not to overfill. Go to a Plastic Surgeon that you trust.
Good Luck
Saeed Marefat, MD

Saeed Marefat, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Can hollowing cheeks from short-term smoking be reversed? Yes.

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The lighting and positioning are very different in the two photos making a precise assessment difficult. However, Voluma has really been working well for cheek augmentation. The treatment can be tailored to the person's volume loss and underlying bone structure. Voluma lasts about two years. Another option would be cheek implants which are the only reliable, permanent option to reshape the cheeks. Congratulations on quitting smoking!

I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.