Why is My Face Asymmetric?
Why do we age more on one side of our faces than the other? Is there something wrong with me?
No, nothing is wrong with you … in fact facial asymmetry is more common than you think. Although we develop with bilateral symmetry due to numerous biological factors, bilateral symmetry is actually rarely found. Asymmetrical aging is common, and can be caused by many different factors including but not limited to sleeping habits, mastication, smoking, dental surgeries/extractions, and sun damage. Asymmetrical aging is the first thing I assess when consulting a patient, specifically when they are animating. Facial symmetry may be more ideal when it comes to areas of the face such as one’s lips, but in areas such as the cheeks perfect symmetry may actually lead to an abnormal final appearance.
Diving Deeper into the WHY–
Sleeping habits- When you consider how you sleep and what side of your face you sleep on, we realize that the pressure can be related to the aging process and how it affects each side of your face asymmetrically.
Mastication-The masseter and buccinators muscles contribute to the jawline and to the lateral facial structure. Overuse, and habitual mastication on one side may lead to a stronger muscle which gradually can cause an asymmetric growth on the lower face. Clenching and grinding can also cause these muscles to grow and facilitate further problems including migraines, tension in the head, neck, and back, and more.
Smoking-Smoking causes vascular problems, and due to the toxins released while smoking it can also result in an asymmetrical facial structure.
Dental Surgeries/Extractions- Muscle regrowth due to dental extractions, surgery, and trauma can cause the muscles in the face to grow and thus appear differently.
Sun Damage/UV rays- Sun and UV light exposure can cause a number of problems to the skin and structure of the face. Sun damage does not occur to the face evenly, causing an asymmetrical look to the face.
Natural Aging- The natural effects of aging can be a large part of facial asymmetry. The cartilage in your face continues to grow as you age but the muscle does not. This causes differences in the face. Although you cannot stop the aging process, do not worry there are ways to combat this problem!
Can we fix this?
The short answer is YES. We discuss options for patients on an individualized basis. We find the best ways to optimize, balance, and rejuvenate faces, which could include hyaluronic acid fillers, collagen stimulators and wrinkle relaxers. It is important to realize that this process could look different for everyone and the best results take TIME, from months to even years. In the meantime, make sure you are wearing SPF, and subscribe on Youtube to FaceIt with Dr. G to discover more helpful tricks and tips!