Faces age due to fat loss, skin changes - not gravity

October 12, 2004

PHILADELPHIA - To the surprise of many people, the loss of fat and sun exposure play a bigger role than gravity in aging the face, according to a study presented today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2004 conference in Philadelphia.

"People make assumptions about how the face ages because when they pull up on their facial skin, they look better," said Val Lambros, MD, ASPS member and author of the study. "Actually the pull of gravity on facial tissues is not a significant component of facial aging. Instead, other factors, like the loss of facial fat and sun damage are more contributory in the complex process of aging."

In addition, the nature of facial skin changes over time becoming thinner, most notably around the eyelids. These changes are often accelerated by sun exposure, which damages the skin.

"Plastic surgeons rejuvenate the aging face by pulling up and tightening the tissue, but treatment also requires a balance between tightening tissue and replacing loss facial fat with wrinkle fillers," said Dr. Lambros. "The key is knowing how much of each to do."
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For referrals to plastic surgeons certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and to learn more about reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, call the ASPS at 888-4-PLASTIC (888-475-2784) or visit www.plasticsurgery.org.

ASPS is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world and the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. With nearly 5,000 members, more than any other plastic surgery organization, ASPS is the definitive voice of the plastic surgery specialty. Viewed throughout the world as the pinnacle of information for new techniques, advances and plastic surgery trends, the society represents 94 percent of all the board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. Ninety-four percent of all ASPS members perform cosmetic plastic surgery and 89 percent of all ASPS members perform reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS, founded in 1931, represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Note: "Facial Aging: What Really Happens as We Grow Old" lecture is being held, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 8 a.m. - 8:15 a.m., Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. Reporters can register to attend Plastic Surgery 2004 and arrange interviews with presenters by logging on to www.plasticsurgery.org/news_room/Annual-Meeting-Media-Information.cfm or by contacting ASPS Public Relations at (847) 228-9900 or in Philadelphia, October 9-13 at 215-418-5310.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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