As we age, so does our skin. It becomes drier, develops fine lines and wrinkles, and loses elasticity. The skin can also experience a loss of volume in certain areas of the body. Hollow cheeks are the result of a loss of fatty subcutaneous tissue around the mouth and eyes. This causes the skin to thin out and sag, giving the face a sunken appearance. Changes in bone structure can also contribute to this condition. The development of sagging skin along the jawline called jowls, may be also noticeable. Hollowness of the cheeks is a natural sign of aging, however its development may be accelerated by factors such as over-exposure to the sun and smoking.

Common features of hollow cheeks include:

Sunken features: Sunken appearance of face, especially around the eyes and mouth

Sagging skin:Skin that appears loose around the cheek area

Dryness: Skin can become dry with age Volume Loss: Loss of subcutaneous tissue in the cheeks

As the skin ages, it loses its ability to produce collagen and elastin, which are necessary components for keeping the skin plump and firm. Over time, areas of the face such as the cheeks, will also suffer a loss of fatty subcutaneous tissue. These factors cause the skin to become thin and sag. There are also changes in underlying muscles and bony structures. Factors such as sun exposure and smoking can greatly speed up the aging process and cause fine lines and wrinkles to develop prematurely.

Good skin care and adequate protection against the sun are the first steps in treating hollow cheeks.The regular use of a quality moisturizer is the first basic step in keeping the skin adequately hydrated (Price is not a reflection of quality). Skin that is well cared for and hydrated appears noticeably smoother and even textured. Combined with daytime application of a sheer foundation, it will vastly improve your overall complexion. Implement a nighttime skin treatment just before bed to allow your skin to soak up the nourishing ingredients and help regenerate your skin’s appearance. Also, try incorporating daily sun protection with an SPF-rated moisturizer to reduce further sun damage to your skin.

You can prevent your skin from prematurely aging by protecting it against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Limit sun exposure: Reducing your time in the sun is perhaps the easiest way to avoid damage to your skin caused by UV rays. When outdoors, set a time limit and seek shade when necessary. Also keep in mind that UV radiation is the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Use Sunscreen: Sunscreens are an essential part of protection against the sun. Look for sunscreens that are labeled “Broad Spectrum”. They are often the most effective and offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure to apply generously and frequently.

Cover and protect: Wrap-around sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and clothing that covers your arms and legs, can offer extra protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Many over-the-counter treatment options can help diminish the signs of skin aging. Anti wrinkle creams that contain active ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids, copper peptides and antioxidants, can make your skin look visibly younger, but these work on the surface of the skin, not on the deep structures that allow the loss of volume. Moisturizers that contain silicone, can also help fill in, and seal fine lines. This treatment creates a more even surface for make-up application and the effect is often long-lasting.

A doctor may prescribe a topical cream that contains retinoids – such as tretinoin and tazarotene – which can encourage collagen production and help smooth out lines. Medical Procedures Volume loss of the cheeks can be corrected by the injection of fillers, which are used to re-volumize and enhance the shape of the face. Collagen fillers such as cosmoderm, cosmoplast, cymetra, facian, zyderm, zyplast, evolence are effective for improving the appearance of hollow cheeks, however, the results may only last a few months.Hyaluronic acid injectables such as juvederm, perlane, restylane, hylanB gel, hylaform, purgen and captique are also used to enhance fullness of the cheeks. Radiesse® is an injectable filler that is particularly effective for filling in deep creases on the face. It is also used to treat frown lines on the forehead. One of the benefits of Radiesse® is that it lasts for up to 18 months. Some possible side effects of this treatment are bruising, swelling, redness, itchiness and pain.Poly-l-lactic acid fillers such as Sculptra, are a highly effective yet costly treatment option. It may last up to several years at cosmetically effective levels.