Can Running Age Our Appearance?

I have been an avid runner for years, and I love the way it makes me feel. Not only is it the perfect way for me to clear my head but also it is obviously a great form of exercise. So I was a bit freaked out when I came across an email with the subject line, "Runner's Beware–does crossing the finish line accelerate your face lines?" According to board-certified plastic surgeon Brian S. Glatt, once they reach their 40s, many runners can develop a bony, skeletal face. According to Glatt, there are several reasons this occurs. When exercising, runners burn off fat beneath the layers of the skin, which results in loss of volume, accelerated skin laxity, and, in turn, the deepening of wrinkles. He also points out that many runners spend a lot of time exericing outdoors without proper sun protection, so they are likely to develop wrinkles from sun exposure. In addition, those who have lost a lot of weight in a short period of time also lose fat in their face, resulting in more wrinkles. To fix this problem, Glatt suggests Botox and a combination of injectable fillers to restore fullness and volume to the face above other, more permanent methods. Says Glatt, "Fat grafting would normally be the best option for natural, long-lasting restoriation of volume loss that these people are experiencing, but unfortunately, in this group of patients there is typically very little to no fat in other areas from which to take."

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