I Stretched my Face out by Rubbing It Do I Need a Face Lift?

I am 24 years old and I had a terrible habit about a year ago of rubbing my face vigorously, I dont know why I did this but when I looked in the mirror after a couple weeks of doing this I was shocked and thought to myself that my life was over. My face now is signficately sagging off my bones and I look horrible. I wont show my face anymore to pretty much anyone. My life is completely ruined and I've gotten to the point where I don't even want to live anymore because of this. 

Doctor Answers 11

No you don't need surgery.

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Hello Mr. Martinez,

Without seeing posted photos of your face, it is hard to comment on your complaints.  At 24, facelifting isn't really an option for most.  My concern is the amount of pain and desperation you seem to exhibit in your posting.  My honest recommendation is that you seek professional psychological evaluation to make sure your perspective on your face is appropriate.  Upwards of 20% of patients seeking cosmetic surgery have a problem known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder that skews how they see themselves in the mirror.  These patients undergo multiple plastic surgery procedures for a perceived defect that in all actuality does not exist.

Good luck with your self-discovery.

Dr. Shah


Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

I Stretched my Face out by Rubbing It Do I Need a Face Lift?

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It's very unlikely that at 24 years aold any degree of rubbing permanently stretched your facial skin.  Stop that behaviour and the skin should tighten up again.  No face Lift for anyone 24 years old.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Obsessive rubbing, Sagging skin, and Facelifts

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Your question suggest you have a number of issues that you need to address and I think you need to start by prioritizing your problems and addressing them in that order.  You have a habit of excessively rubbing your face and this is a symptom of COD (Chronic Obsessive Disease) which requires that care of a mental health professional.  Similarly, your displeasure about your facial appearance and the level of your unhappiness is a sign of problems far greater and deeper than the physical issues alone.  Again, you need to address this with a mental health professional.  There are many resources to obtain the care you need and I would suggest you start by contacting your county health department who can help guide you.  Plastics surgery at this time will not correct your unhappiness.  Please see a mental health professional ASAP.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Rubbing the Face and Facial Laxity

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I am alarmed by your statement that you "don't even want to live anymore because of this". Addressing this feeling first is of greater importance than any cosmetic surgery. I would recommend seeing your primary care physician and hold off with any cosmetic intervention (inc. surgery) at this point.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Can rubbing really stretch facial skin and cause facelift

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There is a relationship to 'face sleeping' and facial lines, though these will take many years to develop. It seems unlikely that rubbing the skin will cause laxity in your face and require a facelift by age 24. You are young and at your best, so get out and enjoy.
Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

If you get surgery, what will prevent you from doing this again?

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You need to see a psychiatrist to help you get to the problem.  You might benefit from medication to help stabilize your brain to control the urge to rub your face.  This is no different than people to pull out their hair or scratch themselves until their skin is raw.  There is absolutely no value in having surgery until it is clear that the urge to rub the face is controlled.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sagging face

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RELAX.  You should definitely see some plastic surgeons for consultation.  Your situation is unusual, but we plastic surgeons have great experience rejuvenating sagging faces.  It is difficult to comment specifically upon your problem without any photos.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Stretched face at 24

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It is very difficult to answer your question without seeing your pictures – but it is very unlikely that rubbing the face can make it stretch.  It is possible, especially if you have lost weight, that you face is looking less firm.  It seems that you should seek help from a general medical doctor

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Sagging face and facelift

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It is unlikely at the age of 24 that you would need a Facelift.  If you feel your face is sagging, consult with a Facial Plastic Surgeon and a plethora of surgical and non-surgical options can be discussed.  All the best.

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Surgical versus emotional/psychological changes

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The good news is that skin is designed to be touched, and rubbed, and part of life in general.  Regardless of what changes you think you have seen with your skin secondary to you rubbing it it will bounce back.  While you wait for your skin to do so I strongly recommend you discuss this with a counselor to evaluate your perception of your appearance.  Profound feelings of depression about how you look really requires some professional help about your perspective of yourself and self-image. There are a lot of resources online about this.  Try finding a therapist near you that has experience with body dysmorphic disorder.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

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.