A patient’s journey toward weight loss for overall better health involves multifaceted considerations that extend beyond the numbers on a scale when it comes to sagging or excess skin.
Advances in medical treatments, such as semaglutide (Ozempic; Wegovy), have opened new avenues for shedding unwanted pounds quickly. The rapid weight loss and impact on skin has coined the term “Ozempic face” on social media and some online news platforms.1 While a patient’s journey toward weight loss for overall better health can be exciting for them, it involves multifaceted considerations that extend beyond the numbers on a scale when it comes to sagging or excess skin and the psychosocial role it plays. Expert dermatologists and aesthetic physicians shed light on the comprehensive approach required to navigate the complex intersection of rapid weight loss, aesthetic procedures, and promoting self-confidence among patients.
Transparent Communication and A Multidimensional Approach
Glynis Ablon, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and owner of the Ablon Skin Institute and Research Center in Manhattan Beach, California, underscores the paramount importance of transparent communication between patients and their health care providers. “I think it’s critical for an aesthetic physician to discuss all concerns and medications with their patients. I have individuals who are thinking of starting weight loss medication and those who are currently [on it]. It’s important to explain that any quick weight loss activity can lead to more dramatic changes in skin laxity and deflation. To address these concerns, physicians must take a 3 dimensional approach addressing structure, morphology and symmetry in order to successfully and naturally ‘reinflate’ these patients or perhaps even better,” she said.
Ablon also elucidates a noteworthy phenomenon: quick weight loss can induce substantial changes in skin laxity and deflation. This comprehensive strategy facilitates the natural “reinflation” of the skin, thereby fostering an authentic and harmonious aesthetic outcome. The integration of aesthetics with medicine is crucial to ensure that the physical transformation resonates with an individual’s self-image.
Revitalizing Facial Structure: Meticulous Techniques for Harmonious Outcomes
Suneel Chilukuri, MD, founder and director of Refresh Dermatology in Houston, Texas, expounds upon the insights gained from treating patients undergoing weight loss interventions. “We have observed shifts in facial structure among many of our patients on these therapies, particularly noting significant depletion in lateral temporal, and middle fat pads,” he said. To rectify these structural changes, Chilukuri employs a meticulous layering technique, effectively reintroducing volume and structure. Furthermore, he employs biostimulation to harness the body’s innate collagen production, thereby mitigating the cosmetic effects of rapid weight loss.
Striking a Balance: The Synergy Between Ozempic and Aesthetic Procedures
Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York, New York, shared invaluable insights into the symbiotic relationship between semaglutide, steady weight loss, patient strength training routines, and cosmetic procedures. Day’s approach is rooted in balance, encouraging patients to embrace a consistent, feasible exercise routine to maintain muscle mass while undergoing semaglutide-associated weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week. Central to her methodology is the art of anticipation; as patients progress, Day adeptly adjusts procedures to accommodate evolving anatomical changes. “It’s important to collaborate with patients, align cosmetic goals with Ozempic’s effects, and ensure satisfying results,” she shared.
Skin Health: A Crucial Componentof Holistic Transformation
Leslie Baumann, MD, owner of Skin Type Solutions in Miami, Florida, champions the significance of skin care in the context of rapid weight loss. Her conviction in the potential of retinoids and vitamin C to prevent sagging is a testament to her deep understanding of skin health. Notably, Baumann takes her dedication a step further by tailoring skincare regimens through her pioneering 16 skin type system. This personalized approach allows her to curate the ideal regimen for each individual, capitalizing on the efficacy of specific ingredients.
Baumann’s observations underscore a fascinating link between semaglutide usage and improved skin health. Lower blood sugar levels resulting from semaglutide’s impact on weight loss may contribute to enhanced skin vitality.2,3 This revelation positions semaglutide as not only a catalyst for weight loss but also a valuable asset for skin health maintenance. Baumann’s insights illuminate the interconnectedness of the body’s transformations, with the skin adjusting gradually to the evolving physique.
Strategies to Restore Facial Harmony Through Fillers
“I have many patients with rapid significant weight loss, from either Ozempic, gastric bypass, diet and exercise, or even illnesses like COVID,” said Robyn Siperstein, MD, owner of Siperstein Dermatology Group in Boynton Beach, Florida. She unveiled her strategy to restore facial balance in those grappling with gauntness. Siperstein emphasizes global volumization with fillers to mimic lost fat pads, using a layered approach for smoother contours. Advanced techniques like temple hollowness correction and cautious use of stimulatory fillers are often involved in her approach. In navigating the challenges of sagging skin and thinner facial layers, Siperstein employs a meticulous and gradual strategy to ensure optimal outcomes, while promoting harmonious transformations for patients on their journey to self-confidence.
In the pursuit of rapid weight loss and aesthetic enhancements, individuals often face a myriad of concerns and choices. The wisdom of experts including Ablon, Chilukuri, Day, Baumann, and Siperstein shines a light on the importance of addressing these matters holistically, encompassing both the physiological and psychological dimensions of self-confidence. As the medical landscape continues to evolve, the integration of semaglutide and aesthetic procedures holds immense promise. Through open communication, multidimensional assessments, and a commitment to holistic harmony, patients can navigate their journeys with the support of skilled physicians, ultimately achieving self-assurance and well-being.
Isabella Tan is from Potomac, Maryland, and is a rising medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey.