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Trying to PLUMP UP My Face
NJvegetarian posted:
I am a 41 year old male and always had good skin. I've been using moisturizer (some with sunscreen) since my early 20s. However, not very long ago, I gained over 100 pounds in a relatively short period of time, which lead to a host of negative health consequences (diabetes, sleep apnear, high cholesterold and triglycerides, and GERD). On 9/20/10, I had gastric bypass surgery and am now healthier than I've been in years (157 lbs at 5'10 1/2" tall). Although my skin is wrinkle free, I look much older now since I lost so much weight. I've lost muscle tissue for sure after such drastic weight loss. I can tell in my I'm trying to gain the muscle back. However, I feel like I've lost muscle in my face, too. Even before surgery when I was thin, I always had full cheeks. Then, when I gained weight, they became even fuller. However, after losing the weight so quickly, they seem gone. I don't have the "unhealthy" look that some people get when the lose weight rapidly. Instead, though, my face looks much less full then it always had when I was thin before. Are there facial exercises one can do to plump up the muscles of the face? And what are the medical cosmetic options?
Mary Ruth Buchness, MD responded:
Congratulations, NJvegetarian, on your successful weight loss! Probably the most effective treatment for loss of facial fullness is injection of poly-L-lactic acid, which is commercially available as Sculptra aesthetic. It is made of the same material that absorbable sutures are made, but in very small beads. When injected into the skin, the skin begins to make new collagen as a result of the beads of poly-l-lactic acid. The end result after 3 or more treatments is an increased fullness and an overall lifting of the sagging skin. If you don't want to go the injectable route, look into laser tightening procedures, like SkinTyte or Thermage.

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