11 January 2011

The facial bone structure changes over time and can therefore be one of the determining factors of how old we look, according to new research. The study, published in the latest issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, highlights important and significant changes that occur to the structure of facial bones as part of the aging process. The research team, made up of scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center and led by Doctor Robert B. Shaw, conducted detailed analysis of tomography scans from a large number of patients in three age ranges, 20-40 years old, 41-64 years old, and 65+ years old. The results highlighted changes in bone structure and concluded that the most prominent of these was an increase in the length and width of the eye sockets in the older age groups, compared to those in the younger age range. Other results included the reduction in the angles of the brow, nose, and upper jaw and the decrease in the height and length of the jaw. The changes were noted in both men and women, but seemed to occur between the first and second age ranges in women and between the second and third age ranges in men. The research may prove useful for cosmetic surgeons when looking for ways to help clients appear younger.