The term jowl is used to describe skin that sags below the chin or jawline. Almost everyone develops jowls, although they are less likely to develop in people who have thicker skin, more fat or increased levels of collagen in the cheeks and chin.
Throughout the ageing process, the skin loses collagen and elastin. This results in a loss of volume and gravity causes the skin to sag. As the connective tissue loses its elasticity, it becomes harder for the skin to regain its natural shape after being stretched.
Genetics plays a role in whether or not jowls will develop. Some people live with jowls from a young age, whereas others do not get them at all. Environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking and weight loss can also lead to the development of jowls. UV light and smoking damage collagen. If weight is gained the skin stretches, so when the weight is lost the stretched skin sags.
If you relate to this condition but still feel unsure, at Harpenden Skin Clinic we are always here to help and advise patients on the best possible treatment journey performed by experienced clinicians.