In your internet travels, you may have stumbled across an article or articles about how we can scientifically determine what humans find attractive in a potential partner. If you have had the misfortune to stumble across such an article, you likely would have seen something along the lines of: “We are attracted to symmetry and health”. There have been numerous studies linking facial symmetry to traditional ideals of beauty. So for those of us with asymmetrical features, what can we do?
It is important to understand that asymmetrical facial features can vary widely in both appearance and the underlying cause. With this in mind, today we will discuss some common causes of asymmetrical facial features and some of the latest cosmetic procedures available to “correct” these imbalances.
**Note, as of the writing of this article, SCALE 2020 has not been postponed or canceled. We are carefully monitoring ongoing events including recommendations/guidance from the U.S. CDC and the World Health Organization.**
Causes of Facial Asymmetry
Before going into the many potential methods of treating facial imbalance, patients should first understand what is causing their asymmetrical facial features. Here are just a few of the many potential reasons why your face has asymmetrical features:
There is no question that many individuals with asymmetrical features were simply born that way. Most genetic imbalances are completely harmless and natural. Being born with an asymmetrical facial feature is not generally a sign of any underlying health condition. However, certain health issues like cleft palates can create an asymmetry.
Another common reason for facial imbalances is past physical trauma. Think Owen Wilson’s distinctly broken nose. Broken bones are certainly the biggest offenders, but soft tissue damage can also heal in a way that creates facial imbalances.
The Aging Process
Our bones stop growing once we reach adulthood, but the rest of our bodies can continue to change over time. In particular, cartilage continues to grow for as long as we live. This means that your nose and ears will change their size and shape over the years well into late adulthood. In conjunction with other factors, this can certainly lead to asymmetrical features.
Individuals who have suffered a stroke may continue to experience facial imbalances well after the event. Bell’s Palsy patients often have lingering facial asymmetries after suffering paralysis of facial nerves. Before seeking cosmetic treatments for the lingering symptoms of a stroke or Bell’s Palsy, patients should consider seeing their physician to ensure sure such a procedure is advisable.
Approximately 3 percent of newborns experience some form of congenital torticollis. Torticollis creates an imbalanced neck position, which can influence facial features as well. The symptoms of torticollis frequently resolve themselves as patients age, but this is not always the case.
Cosmetic Procedures for Asymmetrical Facial Features
The differences between asymmetrical facial features as a result of a stroke are significantly different from those caused by a broken nose or genetics. With that in mind, here are a few potential cosmetic treatments to correct facial imbalances:
Facial asymmetry reconstructive surgery: In some cases, patients might opt for a full reconstructive cosmetic surgical procedure. This may be the best option for individuals with extreme facial asymmetries or conditions that cannot easily be treated with one of the following options. Downsides include greater downtime (recovery time), higher cost, and greater risk to overall health.
Facial injectable fillers: Injectable dermal fillers are commonly used for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, from non-surgical rhinoplasties to anti-aging procedures. Facial fillers are great ways to even out facial imbalances caused by soft tissue differences. It should be noted that facial fillers can last up to a year, but are a temporary solution. This can be considered both a pro or a con depending on patient preference.
Facial implants: If the asymmetry stems from a skeletal or cartilage issue, facial implants may be a good option. Implants can be metal, plastic, silicone, gel, or other materials. Facial implants are more permanent alternatives to fillers that can solve common genetic and trauma-based imbalances.
Learn More About the Latest Cosmetic Procedure Trends at SCALE 2020
To learn more about beauty trends, beauty theory, non-invasive procedures, laser tech, and much more, join us from July 22-25, 2020 for our annual Music City Scale Conference! SCALE is the premier multidisciplinary meeting for aesthetic medicine, surgery and dermatology in the United States. Join other industry professionals to discuss industry trends, emerging technologies, and much more.
What started as a small gathering amongst colleagues 14 years ago has turned into the biggest party of the year within the field of aesthetic dermatology. Join us alongside hundreds of attendees and industry vendors to find out what you’ve been missing!
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