I've had Restylane in my nasolabials, and my MD is suggesting more filler to plump out my jowls. I fear looking like a chipmunk. Are lasers effective at tightening up this region?
Will Pixel or Other Laser Tighten Up my Jowls?
Doctor Answers 7
Facial Skin Tightening
Thank you for your question. I would suggest Ultherapy for facial skin tightening. Ultherapy deposits focused ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s creation of new collagen. As a result, skin will actually begin to lift and tone over time. Collagen is a natural protein that gives skin its youthfulness by keeping it firmed, toned and elastic. Plus, the treatment is completely non-invasive and does not require downtime. I have seen excellent results with the treatment.
Injectable fillers may be better for jowls
While there are many indications for laser resurfacing, this does not appear to be one of them.
While laser can improve skin tone, texture, and fine lines, it cannot elevate the jowls and restore a youthful jawline in the same manner as a facelift.
Judging from your photo, you may be a good candidate for Restylane, Radiesse, or other injectable intradermal filler in the labiomental creases
(marionette lines). These can improve the appearance of the jowls by softening the shadowing that occurs with jowling.
If injections are performed skillfully, you will not look "puffy" or like a chipmunk.
Lasers for jowl tightening
Lasers are a big part of our practice. They are wonderful in the right areas. They tighten slightly. They do not, unfortunately, change the deep architecture of the facial tissues and redistribute the jowl tissue upward the way a skillfully performed facelift can.
Jowls form not only because of looseness of the neck skin, but because of drooping of the deep tissues and loss of volume. These are all problems that lasers just don't treat effectively.
If it is too early to have a facelift, many patients benefit from Juvederm or Restylane in the area just in front of the jowls (pre-jowl area). Even this solution is a camouflaging procedure. The best results will come from a nicely performed facelift.
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Conservative Fillers or Lift will address jowls
Lasers and other laser-like devices (Thermage, etc.) will likely disappoint you if you are looking for improvements in your jowl region. Injectable fillers can help to soften the transition from jowl to chin, where you have a subtle break. Your concern about looking too puffy is understandable. We usually don't try to achieve a 100% correction and often stage the treatment into 2 spaced 4 weeks apart.
As mentioned earlier, a facelift will give you the most significant and long-lasting improvements, but you have to be ready for it.
Restylane in your "pre-jowl depression" would help more
Lasers won't tighten this area to your satisfaction in my opinion. You have a small depressed empty area just in front of the jowl along the jawline. This area fills in nicely with Restylane and generates a smoother more youthful jawline. This can help you hold off on surgery such as a cheek and neck lift which is the only other way to make a significant improvement in that area.
Lasers are not miracle cures
You are obviously a beautiful woman that would have great results with a midface lift in an effort to replace those jowls back where they belong. I agree with you that too much filler will lead to that chipmunk look. Take the plunge and you will be happy that you did. A subtle lift can go a long way. Also, today's lifts can be performed through a minimal incision.