What Is Ozempic Face?

April 19, 2023

Woman looking in the mirror concerned with Ozempic Face

There have been numerous news stories and articles about Ozempic recently. However, if you’ve seen social posts and videos about ‘Ozempic face,’ you may be reticent to accept a prescription for this medication if your doctor recommends it. Dr. Jacqueline Watchmaker, of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona, contributed to a recent article about this topic, and she’s here to keep our patients up to date on exactly what “Ozempic Face” is, why it happens, and why it’s still important to follow your physician’s recommendations. According to Dr. Watchmaker, “Ozempic face refers to facial gauntness and skin sagging that occurs due to rapid weight loss from the medication semaglutide, also known as Ozempic.  There are many great ways to address Ozempic face if and when you’re ready to.” In this blog, Dr. Watchmaker dives into what Ozempic is, how it, works, why Ozempic face happens, and how your dermatologist can help you address this condition.

What Is Ozempic & How Does it Work?

Ozempic is an injectable diabetes drug that uses the active ingredient semaglutide to assist in managing type 2 diabetes. This ingredient improves the body’s ability to release insulin. When glucose is high, semaglutide signals an increased insulin release to lower blood sugar glucose. Ozempic is injected once each week, and it can help patients to lower blood sugar significantly. As patients started using Ozempic, some also noticed dramatic weight loss. In addition to increasing insulin production, Ozempic helps to reduce appetite and trigger the central nervous system to tell us we’re full faster. It also slows down the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, so you feel fuller longer. Due to the dramatic weight loss results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a higher dose version of Ozempic as a weight loss treatment in 2022. In addition to Ozempic, there are similar medications, like Wegovy and Mounjaro, that utilize the same active ingredient and deliver similar results.

So Why Does Ozempic Face Happen?

According to Dr. Watchmaker, “If you’ve ever heard the term ‘baby fat,’ you already have some basic knowledge about why Ozempic face happens. As infants, our faces have a lot of fat storage, and it causes babies to have smooth, round faces and plump, pinchable cheeks. As we age, this facial fat decreases. This gives teens and adults more defined facial features, but older adults in their 70s, 80s, and beyond may start to have a hollowed-out appearance to their cheeks as facial fat continues to decrease. Ozempic face occurs due to the loss of fat from the face extremely quickly related to rapid weight loss. Because we associate very hollowed-out cheeks and thin, lax skin with old age, people feel like Ozempic face makes them look older. Really, it’s just about the rapid weight loss.” Dr. Watchmaker says, “I’ve seen patients who lose as much as 20 pounds in six weeks. If the same changes occurred over six months, it would be significantly less impactful on the appearance. However, if you need to lose weight for health purposes or take Ozempic to manage type 2 diabetes, your health needs should outweigh your concerns about facial changes, especially since there are so many options to address these concerns.”

What Are the Options for Treating Ozempic Face?

According to Dr. Watchmaker, “First and foremost, as long as you are getting and staying healthier by taking Ozempic that is most important. If you do want to address the facial changes caused by Ozempic, the goal of treatment will be to smooth lines and wrinkles, improve skin laxity, and restore youthful fullness. Depending on the severity of facial changes, a dermatologist could recommend any number of procedures. Each person’s goals and needs will differ, so talk to your dermatologist about the right option for you.”

While every person’s plan to address the common side effects of this treatment should be worked out one-on-one with a dermatologist, some of the possible procedures you may want to discuss with your provider include:

  • Dermal fillers – This is a minimally invasive option to increase the fullness of facial features if Ozempic has left your face looking hollowed out or deflated in some places. Dermal fillers can be injected into these areas to restore a plump, smooth appearance or recontour facial features.
  • Fractional RF with Pixel8/Vivace – This is a radiofrequency technology that uses microneedles to deliver heat into precise depths of the skin’s layers. These types of treatments can subtly tighten the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and increase skin elasticity.
  • Profound – This is another microneedling and radiofrequency treatment that works to tighten and strengthen skin as well as create a more even overall skin tone and texture.
  • ProFractional Therapy – This treatment works by creating microscopic injuries in the skin. As the body works to heal the injuries, new, healthy cells are revealed, and collagen and elastin production increases for smoother, healthier skin.
  • PRX Derm Perfexion – An innovative treatment that delivers a no-peel chemical peel to tighten and smooth skin. The great thing about this treatment option is how gentle and safe it is. In fact, the original use for this product was to reduce the appearance of scarring in children, making this one of the safest and most effective minimally invasive treatments.
  • Thermage FLX – This treatment works by delivering radiofrequency to the skin causing existing collagen to contract and stimulating the production of new, healthy collagen. Over time, skin continues to look smoother.
  • Blepharoplasty – This is an eyelid surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelid to lift and tighten the eyes.
  • Cosmetic Surgery – A facelift or other more advanced surgical interventions may be recommended by a plastic surgeon if you don’t see your desired results with less invasive options.

In addition to these treatment options, there are also some topical treatments you can use to keep skin looking healthier and reduce the appearance of less severe changes caused by Ozempic weight loss. The Revision Skincare Firming Night Treatment is a great option. Used throughout Ozempic-related weight loss, it may minimize some of the negative side effects, keeping skin tighter and smoother. It’s also a great option to complement and enhance the results of your dermatologic treatments.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re ready to get started addressing Ozempic face, the U.S. Dermatology Partners team is here to support you. It’s quick and easy to work with us on any of your skincare needs. Take a few minutes to complete our online scheduling form. Once we receive your request, a local dermatology team will be in touch to finalize your appointment details.

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