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Small study: Appearance improved after facial exercises.

A 20-week regimen of facial exercises done at home improved the appearance of 16 middle-aged women, according to results of a blinded study.

The role of skin laxity and substructural fat and muscle loss in the appearance of facial aging has been recognized already, and there has been interest within the nonmedical community regarding use of facial exercise to improve appearance, Murad Alam, MD, of Northwestern University, Chicago, and his colleagues wrote in a research letter published in JAMA Dermatology.

The researchers recruited healthy women aged 40-65 years with some photodamage to the face and an interest in facial exercises.

After two 90-minute, in-person training sessions with a certified instructor, the participants were asked to perform a 30-minute facial exercise session daily for 8 weeks at home, followed by sessions every other day during weeks 9-20. Sixteen patients completed the full 20-week study.

Two physicians who were blinded as to when the photographs were taken used validated assessment scales (Merz-Carruthers facial Aging Photoscales) to compare photographs of the participants taken at the beginning and end of the 20-week period.

Facial exercise was associated with an improved mean upper-cheek fullness score, compared with baseline (1.1 vs. 1.8, respectively; P = .003), and an improved mean lower-cheek fullness score, compared with baseline (0.9 vs. 1.6; P = .003).

In addition, blinded physicians' estimates of the women's ages decreased significantly: The estimates dropped from an average of 51 years at baseline to an average of 48 years after the women completed the 20 weeks of facial exercises (P = .002), Dr. Alam and his associates reported.

Participants were very satisfied and noted significant improvement in 18 of 20 facial features, the investigators said.

The study was limited by several factors, including its small sample size, the lack of a control group, and a self-selected population that may have been especially motivated to follow the exercise routine, the researchers noted.

However, the results of the study suggest that the cause for improvements in appearance as a result of the exercises "may be exercise-actuated hypertrophy of cheek and other muscles," they commented.

"Further research is warranted to isolate the causes and effects of exercise-related changes and to assess the generalizability of these findings," Dr. Alam and his associates concluded.

The study was supported by research funds from the department of dermatology at Northwestern University.

Dr. Alam disclosed serving as a consultant for Amway and Leo Pharma and has served as an investigator on studies supported in part by Allergan, Medicis Pharmaceutical, BioForm Medical, and Ulthera.

dermnews@frontlinemedcom.com

SOURCE: Alam M et al. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Jan 3. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5142

BY HEIDI SPLETE

FROM JAMA DERMATOLOGY

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

Caption: Facial exercise was associated with an improved mean upper-cheek fullness score, compared with baseline (1.1 vs. 1.8, respectively; P = .003), and an improved mean lower-cheek fullness score, compared with baseline (0.9 vs. 1.6; P = .003).

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Title Annotation:AESTHETIC DERMATOLOGY
Author:Splete, Heidi
Publication:Dermatology News
Date:Feb 1, 2018
Words:497
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