Real, imagined, or simply in the future, jowling is often what a woman notices first, when thinking about aging. That once sleek and strong jawline has this little (or sometimes large) sag in the middle. I hear the well-used phrase “I never had this before!” while they are wildly grabbing at this newly noticed appendage. What is it??? How do I get rid of it??

Only a short time ago the only way to eliminate this unwanted nuisance was surgery. If the condition was mild, a little BOTOX® would help for a few months, but the results were unpredictable and short-lived. Today however, there is a better answer. Because the jowl is comprised of descending skin containing descending fat (on most people), the fat can be eliminated safely and effectively with just some injections. Enter: Kybella®.

Kybella is FDA approved for the elimination of submental fat (double chin stuff) that is the result of heredity or simply aging. Kybella is deoxycholic acid, the same stuff your body manufactures to break down dietary fat. The product goes after fat cells, causing their destruction. Your body then breaks down the remaining debris and removes it through the lymph system. It is thought that the ensuing inflammation causes some fibrosis which results in skin tightening.

Originally the treatment was not intended for use in the jowls due to possibility of temporary nerve damage, but as with all off-label indications, experiments were conducted and there is a truly a safe way to treat the jowl area. The resulting swelling (can be quite intense when treating the double chin) is infinitesimal compared to when it is used under the chin and the results are often visible in 3-4 weeks. If there is still some significant skin hang, a PDO thread can be inserted along the jawline to finish it off. Voila! No more jowls!

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