Smartphones and laptops may be the reason why many more people are turning to aesthetic medicine treatments to combat sagging jowls. Hunching over a display for hours at a time could cause facial skin and muscle to weaken and lose its elasticity due to the downward pull.
Dubbed “smartphone face”, aesthetic experts are warning that handsets and gadgets could be behind the rise in demand for skin tightening treatments and chin implants.
Last year, there were reports of an increase in Botox treatments because of smartphones – then, it was the excess squinting at the small screens that was thought to cause excess wrinkles and explain the greater uptake of the medical cosmetics drug.
Now it seems smartphones are fuelling the rise in facial treatments.
According to data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), chin implants are becoming the fastest growing cosmetic surgery trend – in 2011, the popularity for this surgery increased more than Botox injections, liposuction and breast augmentation combined.
Many leading aesthetic experts believe technology may be the cause of this growing trend, because poor posture can lead to sagging jowls as well as double chins and the creation of creases at the corners of the mouth known as “marionette lines”.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Dr Mervyn Patterson explained the reasoning for so-called “smartphone face”: “If you sit for hours with your head bent slightly forward, staring at your iPhone or laptop screen, you may shorten the neck muscles and increase the gravitational pull on the jowl area, leading to a drooping jawline.”
And it seems we’re certainly a nation of technology addicts, with Ofcom’s 2011 Communication Market Report revealing that 91% of adults use a mobile phone with 27% opting for a smartphone. Plus, the Health and Safety Executive’s Horizon Scanning paper reports that by 2015 between 70% and 80% of workers could be, partially at least, working remotely via a laptop.
Combine all this with an increase in video chat, which ASPS president Dr Malcolm Roth believes makes us feel more self-conscious about our looks, and it’s easy to see a link between technology and rising demand for facial treatments.
Dr Roth commented: “The chin and jawline are among the first areas to show signs of ageing.As more people see themselves on video chat technology, they may notice that their jawline is not as sharp as they want.”
In the UK, chin implants are not that common although cosmetic surgeons have reported a growing interest in the procedure.
Of course, there are many factors which could be behind a sagging facial appearance in addition to smartphones and laptops, including an inherited weak chin, diet and weight changes.
If you’re worried about your complexion, Oris Medical offers a free and impartial consultation with an aesthetic doctor to help you find your best option – which may well be a simple facial massage to relieve tension or a course of Botox injections to give your skin a boost.