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What is Ozempic face?

What is Ozempic face?

Ozempic is trending all over social media right now. I am sure you have seen hashtags such as #ozempic and #ozempicweightloss on platforms like TikTok. Its rapid increase in popularity due to its reported use by celebrities in Hollywood has led to nationwide shortages of Ozempic and other weight loss medications such as Wegovy (semaglutide). Some people who have used the diabetes drug Ozempic have seen sagging facial skin due to their rapid weight loss, which can make them appear gaunt and older. The term “Ozempic face", which was coined by dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, refers to this side effect of Ozempic, according to the New York Times.

So what is Ozempic, why does Ozempic face occur, and what can you do about it?

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is an injectable drug that was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

In addition to lowering blood sugars, it can slow the emptying of your stomach, which helps you feel full longer. It also targets areas of your brain that regulate your appetite after eating. Because of this, some doctors are now using it off-label as a weight loss drug. In fact, the active ingredient semaglutide is marketed under the brand name Wegovy as a weight loss medication.

Ozempic is one of several diabetes medications that are used for weight loss. Liraglutide, which was first approved for T2DM under the brand name Victoza, is now an FDA-approved weight loss drug known as Saxenda. Mounjaro (tirzepatide) has also been fast-tracked for approval to help those with obesity lose weight based on promising results from clinical trials.

What are the side effects of Ozempic?

The most common side effects of Ozempic are GI (gastrointestinal) related, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and constipation. Your doctor will typically start you on a low dose of Ozempic and slowly increase it to help reduce the risk of these side effects.

There is also a Black Box warning with Ozempic that states anyone with a personal or family history of a rare thyroid cancer known as medullary thyroid carcinoma should not use this medication.

Why does Ozempic face occur?

Rapid weight loss from exercise, diet, or medications can cause some significant changes to your body as a whole, but especially your face. Facial fat gives you a naturally youthful appearance. That plump skin can help hide wrinkles and facial lines. Significant weight loss ( >15% of body weight) in a short period of time (<6 months) can lead to volume loss and skin laxity in the face, but can also affect the collagen and elastin in the skin in other parts of the body as well. Weight loss from medications such as Ozempic occurs over your whole body, not just your face.

The loss of facial fat and skin elasticity can make you look older as a result of loose, wrinkled skin. This can be due to the thinning of your skin and the loss of essential fatty acids that make up your skin barrier. Fat loss from the face is very common with rapid weight loss from Ozempic, but also any other medication or lifestyle change.

How can Ozempic face be treated?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, facial fillers should be considered to combat the loss of fat and fullness in your face. There are several different types of fillers that are available with some lasting a few months and others that are permanent. These dermal fillers are typically injected into your cheeks, chin, and under your eyes to help create a smoother, fuller appearance.

There are some possible side effects from dermal fillers including pain, tenderness, swelling, infection, and an allergic reaction. Rarely, you may have leakage of the filler, which can cause some serious complications. Other skin tightening procedures that could be used to help with Ozempic face include using radiofrequency energy, high-focused ultrasound energy, or plastic surgery (face-lift). Along with these procedures, it is important to stay hydrated, as dehydrated skin can make any wrinkles or lines more visible. You should use moisturizers and other skincare products that are designed to “plump” the skin. For better long-term results, it is best to limit or avoid sun exposure as sun damage is a major cause of wrinkles and facial aging.