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What is ‘Ozempic face’? This drug can change your face, doctors say

What is ‘Ozempic face’? This drug can change your face, doctors say

Doctors point out that medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy, which are used for managing Type 2 diabetes and obesity, may result in noticeable changes to one’s facial features due to substantial weight reduction.

Wondering about ‘Ozempic face’? This phrase popped up when a dermatologist mentioned noticing facial changes in patients who had significantly slimmed down while on Ozempic, a medication for Type 2 diabetes.

It’s true that both Ozempic and Wegovy, which share the same active ingredient and are also used to tackle obesity, have a list of side effects. These are mostly related to the digestive system, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. There was even a case where a woman filed a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk, the company behind these drugs, claiming that Ozempic caused her stomach to become paralyzed.

However, if you experience a major weight drop with these medications, perhaps rapidly, you might see some unexpected alterations in your looks that weren’t on your radar when you first started Ozempic.

The term ‘Ozempic face’ went viral around early 2023 after Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank from New York City brought it up during an interview with the TODAY show, saying he encounters it “every day in patients.”

Soon after, ‘Ozempic butt’ became a buzzword, too, describing how someone’s skin might sag in the buttock area after losing weight on the medication.

Here’s the lowdown on how Ozempic can affect your facial appearance and what you can do if you’re dealing with changes like ‘Ozempic face.’

How Ozempic works for weight loss

Semaglutide, found in Ozempic and Wegovy, is great for balancing insulin and promoting weight loss. The FDA has given the green light for Ozempic for Type 2 diabetes and Wegovy for obesity.

Novo Nordisk, the creator of these drugs, reports that people typically lose around 8 to 14 pounds on Ozempic and about 15% of their body weight on Wegovy.

The company has made it clear, as they shared with TODAY.com, that they don’t endorse or recommend using their products for anything other than their approved uses, which doesn’t include weight loss for Ozempic.

As reported by TODAY.com, Ozempic and Wegovy work by imitating GLP-1, a hormone your body makes after eating. This imitation sends signals to the brain like those sent after a meal, helping you feel full sooner and reducing hunger. Plus, these meds slow down how quickly your stomach empties, meaning calories are absorbed more gradually.

What is Ozempic face?

‘Ozempic face’ is the term used for the changes in the face that some patients notice after losing a lot of weight. This usually means a reduction in facial fat, which can make the face appear droopy and more aged. It’s something that’s often seen in patients who are middle-aged or older, according to Frank.

What is 'Ozempic face'

Frank often points out that when it comes to losing weight, especially among those in their middle years and beyond, the fat doesn’t always shed from the desired spots. “As we age, our facial structure naturally evolves and shifts,” he explains. “Rapid and significant weight loss can lead to changes in the face that may unexpectedly age a person.”

Natasa Valocchi, who has seen firsthand the effects of what’s been dubbed ‘Ozempic face’ after dropping 68 pounds since starting the medication in late 2021, shared her experience on a TODAY show segment. “Your face tends to slim down along with your body, leading to a certain hollowness,” she noted. “Aging brings about a natural gauntness, but this seemed to amplify it.” She observed that others have remarked on how much thinner her face looks, suggesting that perhaps it’s a bit too pronounced for her liking and that she wouldn’t mind a little more fullness.

She also mentioned that the most noticeable aspect of her ‘Ozempic face’ is in the lower part of her face. “The sagging jowls become more apparent as you lose that youthful plumpness that once provided support,” Valocchi added.

What does Ozempic do to your face?

When you’re on Ozempic, and the pounds start dropping quickly, particularly if it’s a substantial amount, Frank mentions you might notice what he calls “global facial wasting.” This could look like more wrinkles and a certain droopiness around the eyes, temples, jawline, and mouth area.

Frank points out that while some illnesses can lead to this kind of facial thinning, the effects of these medications are generally less severe. According to Jastrebroff and Dr. Rocio Salas-Whalen, Valocchi’s endocrinologist, the alterations in facial appearance aren’t necessarily caused by Ozempic. Instead, they suggest it’s more about the rapid weight loss that can occur with its use. It’s worth noting that Dr. Salas-Whalen has previously worked with Novo Nordisk, although her projects were not related to Ozempic.

Dr. Salas-Whalen highlights that the ideal rate of weight reduction with Ozempic is about 1 to 2 pounds weekly. Valocchi managed to slim down at this recommended pace. However, Dr. Salas-Whalen explains that other elements might play a role in developing ‘Ozempic face,’ such as aging, genetic factors, and hormonal changes like menopause, which can also lead to wrinkles and saggy skin.

The more weight you lose, the more pronounced the ‘Ozempic face’ features may become, says Dr. Salas-Whalen. She emphasizes that for patients using Ozempic to shed something like 15 to 20 pounds for valid health reasons, the facial changes will likely be less noticeable than those who lose around 100 pounds.

Jastreboff concurs that this occurrence is more about the weight loss itself rather than the specific method used to achieve it.

She points out that the surprise surrounding ‘Ozempic face’ might stem from the fact that semaglutide is remarkably successful in treating obesity. “People are shedding pounds quicker than we’ve typically observed with other obesity interventions,” Jastreboff notes. She mentions that while facial changes can also happen after bariatric surgery, it’s becoming a topic of conversation now because medications haven’t previously led to such noticeable reductions in facial fat.

How does Ozempic affect the skin?

Rapid shedding of pounds, which is a common result for those on Ozempic, might cause the facial skin to droop or appear more hollow, as Frank shared with TODAY. However, Jastrebroff clarifies that the medication itself isn’t responsible for any direct skin changes other than those associated with weight loss.

Salas-Whalen emphasizes the importance of gradual weight reduction, stating, “Quick weight loss will definitely impact how your skin adjusts to your new body size. That’s why we always suggest taking it slow with weight loss, particularly in the early stages.”

Additionally, there could be minor skin reactions from the injections since Ozempic and its related drug, Wegovy, are administered through shots. “Occasionally, a small shot might leave a tiny bruise or similar mark, but typically this doesn’t happen,” she mentions.

How can you treat Ozempic face?

Frank mentions that while fillers can address the issue of ‘Ozempic face,’ they come with a high price tag.

He explains, “Restoring global facial volume loss often requires a substantial amount of filler. Typically, someone in their middle years might spend around $1,000 to $2,000, but to replenish lost facial volume, expenses could rise to $5,000 or more.” He further notes, “For those in their late 50s and 60s, simply adding volume might not suffice, and they may need to consider facial plastic surgery.”

For individuals worried about the potential for ‘Ozempic face,’ Frank underscores the value of regular communication with your endocrinologist, dermatologist, and other healthcare providers. He advises keeping in touch with them “to navigate your weight loss path gradually.”

Disclaimer

CityRyde.com and its team members shall not be held responsible for any adverse effects, consequences, or misunderstandings that may arise from the use of Ozmpic discussed in this article. Users are encouraged to independently verify product information and seek professional medical advice before making any health-related decisions. By reading and relying on this article, users acknowledge and accept that CityRyde.com and its team members are not liable for any issues that may arise from the use of Ozempic or similar products.

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