FAQ: Does buccal fat premature age you? Will the skin sag?
I love this question. The key here is the buccal fat is a deep fat pad. There are also superficial fat pads in the face. There are arteries, nerves, glands and muscles that all contribute to the “round face”.
Noting the layers that we can safely alter, it should be appreciated that subcutaneous fat pads are essential to a rejuvenated face with healthy looking skin that lacks wrinkles and sags. The compartmentalization associated with aging is largely due to atrophy and separation of these subcutaneous fat pads. The aged or gaunt look is not from a small buccal fat pad.
Subcutaneous fat atrophy and compartmentalization is countered with anti-aging and rejuvenating techniques by infiltrating dermal fillers and fat grafting into the subcutaneous layer from the external (transdermal) approach. The buccal fat pad is a deep fat pad, deep to the facial muscles, vessels and glands while it crosses the facial subunits that are created from subcutaneous fat atrophy. This is the main reason why buccal fat pad sculpting does not contribute significantly to the classic aging deformities that lead to compartmentalization. If it did, we would be filling the buccal space from the intraoral approach. Manipulation of the unique deeply located buccal fat pad allows us to create a tapered contour that starts anterior to the tragus of the ear, inferior to the zygomatic prominence and softly transitions lateral to the oral commissure much like the make-up artist of old and the photo editors of today.
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