Men experienced more gradual decline of facial soft tissue than women

CHICAGO — Men experienced gradual soft-tissue loss in areas of the face over time, compared with a sharper decline in women aged 30 to 60 years, according to research presented at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery annual meeting.

“Men are representing a growing population of those seeking cosmetic procedures by a dermatologic surgeon,” Ashley Wysong, MD, procedural dermatology fellow at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, Calif., said. “Men now make up 11% of our neuromodulator patients and 8% of our soft-tissue filler patients [according to 2012 ASDS survey results].

Ashley Wysong, MD 

Ashley Wysong

“The purpose of this study was to use [magnetic resonance imaging] … and look at [soft-tissue] changes over time in groups of men and ultimately to help understand how these can adjust and change our approach to facial rejuvenation.”

There were 2,037 MRIs screened, with exclusions made for malignancy, soft tissue abnormalities, facial infection and image motion/artifact. Thirty men were included in the study and divided into age groups of young (average age, 27 years), middle (average age, 53 years) and old (average age, 76 years). Temporal, infraorbital and medial/lateral cheek areas were measured by a masked radiologist.

Mean thicknesses in the temporal areas were 12.5 mm (young group), 10.9 mm (middle) and 6.6 mm (old; P<.001). The infraorbital areas showed a decrease from 7.9 mm, young; to 5.5 mm, middle; and 4.7 mm, old age groups. The middle- and older-age groups experienced decreases of 1.5 mm and 2.7 mm in the medial cheeks (P<.001) and 0.9 mm and 1.6 mm in the lateral cheeks (P=.03), respectively.

These findings were compared with the study’s first phase, in which Wysong and colleagues examined soft-tissue loss in women and found that “there was really a sharp decline between the ages of 30 and 60 years, and then really leveled off.”

“Overall, it looks like men experience a steady pace of soft-tissue atrophy over time, really in contrast to our study in women,” Wysong said. “A lack of severe, abrupt hormonal changes in men is probably a good explanation for why we’re seeing this change in women.

“Men do experience a gradual soft-tissue loss in the temporal, infraorbital and medial lateral cheek areas,” Wysong concluded. “Ultimately, we hope that these findings will help in how we do soft-tissue rejuvenization and ultimately avoid overfeminization of the male face.”

Disclosure: Wysong reported no relevant financial disclosures.

For more information:

Wysong A. Quantifying of Soft-Tissue Loss in the Aging Male Face Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Presented at: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery 2013 Annual Meeting; Oct 3-6, Chicago.

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