The story goes like this: Someone starts taking Ozempic to lose weight. After a few months on the drug, they have lost several dozen pounds. Their body looks 10-20 years younger, which can be exciting and life-changing. However, they have also noticed changes in their facial appearance that they find less desirable.
All those years seem to have transferred to their face! Specifically, they notice a tremendous loss of facial fat, sagging, and wrinkles that were not there before. This phenomenon has been coined "Ozempic Face" and has become one of the most popular search terms in recent years.
This has led to a lot of questions and concerns about Ozempic.
To help clear up some of the confusion, I have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about Ozempic and its side effects. Additionally, I'll talk about how facial fillers after rapid weight loss may be an option to reverse some of the unwanted facial side effects.
What is Ozempic, and how does it work for weight loss?
Ozempic is a brand name for the drug semaglutide. It is a prescription medicine used to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which means it mimics the action of the hormone GLP-1 in the body.
Put simply, it stimulates insulin secretion, reduces the release of glucagon (which raises blood sugar levels), slows down the rate at which food passes through the stomach and reduces appetite.
Ozempic is given once a week as a subcutaneous injection and is usually used in conjunction with diet and exercise to help manage diabetes.
Although Ozempic was not initially intended as a weight-loss drug, patients who took it found that it resulted in significant weight loss. In 2021, four years after approval for the management of type 2 diabetes, the FDA also approved Ozempic for the treatment of obesity. A year later, in 2022, the FDA approved a higher-dose version of Ozempic, which is now available in both 1mg and 2mg versions.
In 2021, Wegovy, which contains the same active ingredient as Ozempic but at an even higher dose (2.4mg ), was approved by the FDA specifically to treat adults who are overweight and have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes.
Elon Musk tweeted that he had taken Wegovy. This sparked further controversy over whether the tech mogul may be using the drug off-label for vanity rather than health reasons.
The main takeaway is that Ozempic and all the other similar drugs are on the rise. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. There is just one big problem…
What is the Ozempic Face?
Have you heard of the Ozempic Face? It's a term that's been circulating online, referring to changes in facial appearance that some people have experienced after taking the medication for weight loss. Essentially, what happens is that while the medication can help you lose a lot of weight quickly, it can also cause your face to lose volume and develop wrinkles, making you look older than you actually are.
The reason why the face is particularly affected by Ozempic is because it's more sensitive to rapid weight loss than other parts of the body. When you lose weight too quickly, the skin doesn't have enough time to adjust to the new volume underneath, which can cause it to sag and lose elasticity.
And if you're over 40, your skin and soft tissues are even less likely to bounce back to their pre-weight loss state because collagen and elastin production decrease with age.
Another reason why the Ozempic Face is so noticeable is that the changes happen so quickly. When a person's face suddenly looks drastically different, it's more noticeable to everyone around them than if the changes had occurred gradually over time.
A Couple of Common Questions About Ozempic Face
Many people wonder how common the Ozempic Face actually is. While it's difficult to say for sure, as it affects some people more than others, it is a known side effect of the medication and has been reported by many users. In fact, the fact that #ozempicface has over 19 million views on TikTok suggests that it's a topic that's generating a lot of buzz.
One question that's on many people's minds is whether or not the Ozempic Face is permanent. The truth is, there hasn't been enough research on the topic to say for sure. However, some people have reported that their facial appearance returned to normal after they stopped using the medication.
So, while it may be a temporary side effect for some, it's important to keep in mind that everyone's experience may be different.
Another question that's often asked is whether or not there's anything that can be done to prevent the Ozempic Face from occurring in the first place. Unfortunately, there's no guaranteed way to prevent it, as it seems to be a side effect that is largely out of a person's control. However, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can help mitigate the effects of the medication.
By keeping your body healthy overall, you may be able to minimize some of the side effects and help your skin and soft tissues bounce back more easily after weight loss. Additionally, if you're concerned about the potential side effects of Ozempic or any other medication, it's always a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider to learn more about your options.
How We Use Filler to Reverse Rapid Facial Volume Loss
But there's good news. If you're experiencing the Ozempic Face and are unhappy with your appearance, there are options available to you. Injectable fillers are by far the most popular as they can be used to restore lost volume in the face, reducing wrinkles and giving you a more youthful appearance.
Often, we will start with the temple fillers, as temple hollowing can be the biggest and most obvious sign of weight loss, followed by the cheeks and jawlines. We inject a higher G prime filler deeper to replace the deep fat pads and then a softer hyaluronic acid filler that spreads (less cohesive) more superficially to smooth out the contour changes.
The goal is to mimic the deep and superficial fat that has been reduced throughout rather than defining the face. After the temple, we move downward to treat the submalar hollows with cheek fillers. Then we move to the jawline and marionette areas.
Here, a filler with a stronger G prime and cohesivity is important so that the structure of the jawline remains in place and anchors the face with a nice straight line from the chin to the gonial angle.
When should I get the filler treatment for Ozempic Face?
To start off, I would not recommend certain bio-stimulatory fillers like Sculptra until people are done with their weight loss. As the body loses weight, it is technically in what is called a starvation state, where there are not enough calories to meet the body's energy needs.
In this state, the body retains its energy for the functioning of vital organs such as the heart and brain and has no excess energy to make more collagen. When undergoing treatment with stimulating fillers, it is important to eat plenty of protein and ensure that more calories are supplied than necessary so that the body can use the extra energy to make new collagen.
However, this is not a problem with hyaluronic acid fillers.
These injections can be performed at any time, and they do not require a specific diet or calorie intake. That said, it's important to keep in mind that if you continue to lose weight after getting fillers, you may not see the full benefits of the injections.
This is because you may lose more fat than was replaced by the filler. To avoid disappointment, it's a good idea to wait until you're at a stable weight before getting fillers.
What happens if you start regaining weight?
It is rare for someone to regain weight faster than the clinical appearance of the filler recedes, so this is not usually a problem. Often the patients look better when they regain the weight and the amount of refilling needed down the line is much lower (cost savings).
Why You Need To Be Extra Careful When Selecting Your Injector
Selecting the right injector is crucial when it comes to fillers for the Ozempic Face. It is important to find a skilled injector who understands facial anatomy and has experience working with patients who have undergone significant weight loss. This is because the facial structure of a person who has lost a lot of weight is very different from someone who has not.
A good injector will understand that there is less space to place the filler and will avoid injecting it into the facial muscles. They will aim to recreate the space where the fat pads used to be and use a slow and careful approach to avoid any negative effects. That's why it is also important to inject the fillers slowly in multiple stages over time since these patients often need numerous filler injections.
One technique that can be useful for injecting fillers into patients who have experienced rapid weight loss is the cannula method. This method is preferred because it slowly spreads the filler throughout the face to create a softer appearance. This technique is also less likely to hit a blood vessel, which can be a concern for these patients as they have less superficial fat to hide any filler lumps and bumps. Overall, the right injector can make a big difference in the outcome of filler treatment for the Ozempic Face.
At Dr Aesthetica, this is exactly what we promise and deliver!
We recognise that a cosmetic treatment, even though non-surgical, is still a significant decision, and we strive to create a comfortable and safe environment. We will take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions and assess their suitability for filler treatment.