Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Theory Of Facial Aging Gets A Facelift

Date:
August 9, 2007
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
The longstanding idea that the entire human face ages uniformly is in need of a facelift, say researchers who have found that multiple, distinct compartments of fat in the face age at different rates. The findings challenge previously held theories regarding aging and may offer new ways to help turn back the clock.

Drs. Rod Rohrich (right) and Joel Pessa have discovered that the human face is made up of individual fat compartments that gain and lose fat at different times and different rates as people age. Facial aging is, in part, characterized by how these separate compartments change as we grow older.
Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center

The longstanding idea that the entire human face ages uniformly is in need of a facelift, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center who have found that multiple, distinct compartments of fat in the face age at different rates.

Related Articles


The findings, published in a recent issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, challenge previously held theories regarding aging and may offer new ways to help turn back the clock, UT Southwestern plastic surgeons say.

"For hundreds of years, everyone has believed that the fat on the face is one confluent mass, which eventually gets weighed down by gravity, creating sagging skin," said Dr. Joel Pessa, assistant professor of plastic surgery and the study's lead author. "In our studies, however, we were surprised to find that this is not the case; the face is made up of individual fat compartments that gain and lose fat at different times and different rates as we age."

The study involved injecting different types of dye into facial cavities of 30 cadavers. Despite at least 24 hours of settling time, the dye, rather than permeating the entire face, stayed in separate areas -- showing that individual facial compartments have boundaries between them that act like fences. These fences, which seem to be composed of fibrous tissue, allow the face to maintain its blood supply should it become injured.

Dr. Pessa said the face resembles a three-dimensional puzzle, with fat divided into distinct units around the forehead, eyes, cheeks and mouth. Facial aging is, in part, characterized by how these separate compartments change as we grow older.

A youthful face is characterized by a smooth transition between these compartments. As people age, contour changes occur between these regions due to volume losses and gains as well as repositioning of the compartments. Eventually, this can result in sagging or hollowed skin and wrinkles.

"This is a revolutionary way of viewing facial anatomy. It not only tells us how we age, it shows us why we age the way we do, and why every part of the face, from the eyelids to the cheeks, ages differently," said Dr. Rod Rohrich, chairman of plastic surgery and senior author of the study. "This will help plastic surgeons around the world not only understand how we can better rejuvenate the face, but how people age as a physiological process."

This breakthrough could have tremendous implications in helping plastic surgeons target facial "trouble" areas and use injectible fillers to add volume to individual sections of the face. It could also aid in developing new and improved cosmetic and reconstructive surgery techniques, Dr. Rohrich said.

"Understanding how fat is compartmentalized will allow us to be very accurate and precise in how we approach facial rejuvenation," Dr. Pessa said. "This gives us an algorithm, or scientific approach, to help ascertain what areas of the face may need extra fat to combat the aging process. It also is a major breakthrough in facial anatomy that will have major implications for future studies on aging and possibly hold clues to the study of other diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Theory Of Facial Aging Gets A Facelift." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806090314.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2007, August 9). Theory Of Facial Aging Gets A Facelift. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806090314.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Theory Of Facial Aging Gets A Facelift." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070806090314.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins