Aging Changes in the Face
Normal changes in the face occur as an individual ages.
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As an individual ages, there are often quite noticeable changes in his or her face. Tone in the muscles of the face slowly decreases. The normal amount of fat underneath the skin also decreases with age. These changes can cause the skin of the face to look flabby or droopy. Skin around the chin may start to sag, causing a double chin. This is more common and obvious in people who are obese. Skin color also darkens, and the skin gets drier and develops wrinkles.
Because of a change in the cartilage, the nose lengthens, sometimes quite a bit. The ears lengthen slightly as well. The ear canal and wax glands become drier. Dried earwax may block the canal and cause hearing impairments.
Hair on the eyebrows and eyelashes may turn gray and thin or fall out. Delicate skin around the eyes grows loose and wrinkled. This is the cause of droopy eyelids and the lines called crow's feet at the edge of the eyes. The iris, the colored part of the eye, tends to lose some of its brilliance. The eyes may begin to look gray or light blue and are not as brightly colored as in younger years.
When teeth are lost, the lips look shrunken. The jaw loses muscle and fat, causing it to become thinner and less prominent. This makes the forehead, nose, and mouth appear more prominent.
Sun exposure can hasten many of the skin changes seen with age, especially wrinkles. People can wear hats, use sunscreens, and avoid sunbathing to help slow the wrinkling process.
Certain creams, ointments, and other treatments can help reduce the appearance of aging skin. However, these products have never been shown to stop the normal age-related changes that occur in the face. Several effective treatments are available to remove fine wrinkles, including medicines and outpatient surgery.