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Ozempic, the brand name for the semaglutide GLP-1 diabetes drug, has been increasing in popularity over recent years due to its off-label use as a rapid weight loss drug. Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Ozempic works to regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the rate of digestion, and make patients feel fuller for longer. These effects of the Ozempic treatment can lead to significant weight loss, causing Ozempic’s parent company, Novo Nordisk, to release Wegovy, another semaglutide drug specifically FDA-approved as a weight loss medication for obesity weight management. While Wegovy and Ozempic were highly effective at helping patients lose a large amount of weight in a relatively short period, the weight-loss drugs can also lead to unwanted side effects, such as loss of facial fat, sagging skin, and decreased skin elasticity, which can increase signs of aging in a condition that has been dubbed “Ozempic Face.” If you are unhappy with the side effects of Ozempic, such as Ozempic Face, the best first step is to consult with an expert, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green, and read on to find out more.

Ozempic Face affects many patients taking Ozempic or Wegovy and occurs due to the rapid weight loss associated with the treatment. When weight loss happens very quickly over a short period, skin elasticity cannot keep up with fat loss, resulting in loose skin and facial changes. Ozempic Face is characterized by sagging skin and a gaunt appearance that emphasizes signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, jowls along the jawline, volume loss, and facial hollows. For patients taking Ozempic or Wegovy and experiencing Ozempic Face, there are many treatment options to reduce skin laxity and fill in lost volume. Some patients believe that the only options to address sagging skin are invasive plastic surgery treatments such as a facelift or neck lift. However, many non-invasive treatment options are available at Dr. Green’s dermatology office, such as dermal fillers, microneedling with PRP, and laser skin tightening treatments like Thermage. To find out more about which treatment options will be most effective for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Green.

Experienced board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green has been expertly treating patients in her Upper East Side New York City office for more than 25 years. Dr. Green is a master at generating individualized treatment plans, promoting wellness, and helping each patient achieve their aesthetic goals. With her proprietary line of skincare products, MGSKINLABs, and a wide range of cosmetic and medical treatment options available, including dermal fillers, microneedling, laser treatment, Botox, chemical peels, and more, Dr. Green can address a wide range of skin conditions and cosmetic concerns. Well-known for high patient satisfaction, Dr. Green has been voted one of New York City’s best healthcare providers by such publications as Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, and New York Magazine.

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What does Ozempic Face look like?

“Ozempic Face” is the term for the change in facial appearance that occurs due to rapid loss of fat, which is a common side effect of the weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy. Coined by New York dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, the term “Ozempic Face” describes the excess skin and gaunt appearance that changes the look of the face when rapid weight loss occurs. When loss of fat occurs over a short period, the production of the structural proteins collagen and elastin decreases, reducing skin elasticity and making it difficult for the skin to retract. As a result, the skin appears loose and sagging, emphasizing signs of the natural aging process, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and volume loss. Sagging skin can be particularly noticeable on the face, at the temples, around the eyes, and along the jawline, where sagging skin leads to the appearance of jowls. Loss of fat also creates a hollow look to the midface and a sunken look under the eyes, causing patients to look older and more tired. If you are displeased with Ozempic Face, the best first step is to schedule a consultation appointment with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.

How does the Ozempic weight loss drug work?

Ozempic and Wegovy are brand names for semaglutide, which is a type of drug that affects the function of the pancreas. FDA-approved to help manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes, semaglutide ensures the right amount of insulin is released when blood sugar levels are high. Semaglutide is also a type of medication that acts as an incretin mimic, meaning that it mimics the function of the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) to slow the digestion process. A slower rate of digestion means that patients will feel fuller for longer, as the stomach is emptied at a much slower rate, so patients will feel less inclined to consume more calories. These processes combined make Ozempic an effective rapid weight-loss treatment. Most often taken in the form of a weekly shot, Ozempic is most effective when taken at the dosage recommended by a healthcare professional.

What does Ozempic do?

Ozempic is a diabetes drug created and distributed by the company Novo Nordisk that is FDA-approved to mitigate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes by regulating the function of the pancreas and affecting the rate of digestion. However, Ozempic has also gone viral on social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, for the drug’s ability to cause rapid weight loss. By reducing the rate of digestion and making patients feel full for longer, Ozempic weekly injections can also help patients lose weight at an incredibly high rate. Using Ozempic as a weight-loss drug is an off-label use of the medication, meaning that Ozempic is not FDA-approved specifically for weight loss. In fact, the high rates of American patients using the drug off-label has resulted in a shortage of the medication. However, the company that makes Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, does have a semaglutide drug that is FDA-approved for weight loss: Wegovy.

Ozempic vs. Wegovy for weight loss

Ozempic and Wegovy are both semaglutide drugs made by the company Novo Nordisk. While they both work similarly, they differ in what they are FDA-approved to treat. Ozempic is designed specifically to treat the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and while Ozempic for diabetes can lead to rapid weight loss, using the drug for weight loss is considered an off-label use of the treatment. Wegovy, on the other hand, is specifically FDA-approved for weight loss, as it contains a higher concentration of semaglutide to increase fat loss. According to studies published by Novo Nordisk, on Ozempic, patients lose an average of 8 to 14 lbs, whereas on Wegovy, patients can lose up to 15% of their body weight. If you are looking for a rapid weight loss treatment, the best first step is to consult a healthcare provider to ensure you receive the correct medication and dosage.

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What are the side effects of Ozempic?

Ozempic has many possible side effects that mostly affect the gastrointestinal tract and can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach aches and abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Fatigue

Another side effect of the rapid weight loss associated with Ozempic and Wegovy is what is known as “Ozempic Face,” which occurs due to the loss of fat in the face. Ozempic Face is characterized by decreased skin elasticity, loose skin, hollows under the eyes and in the midface, sagging skin along the jawline, increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and an overall hollow or gaunt appearance.

In rare cases, Ozempic can be associated with more serious side effects, including,

  • Changes in vision
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gall bladder problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Severe allergic reaction

If you are experiencing a serious adverse event due to Ozempic, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Is Ozempic Face real?

Ozempic Face is a term for the common side effect of Ozempic, in which the facial appearance changes due to rapid loss of facial fat. Characterized by loose, sagging skin, volume loss in the midface and under the eyes, increased visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, and jowls along the jawline, Ozempic Face can be a concern for patients who feel that they look older. If you are feeling unsatisfied with your facial appearance during Ozempic or Wegovy treatment, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green can help reduce the appearance of sagging skin, volume loss, fine lines and wrinkles, and jowls.

What causes Ozempic Face?

Ozempic Face occurs due to the rapid weight loss that takes place while taking Ozempic. Researchers say that Ozempic Face is not a direct side effect of the medication itself; rather, it is a side effect of the weight loss that occurs due to the medication. When weight loss happens over a short period, the production of the structural proteins collagen and elastin decreases, meaning that skin elasticity decreases as well. With lower skin elasticity, the skin does not retreat as quickly as fat loss occurs, and without the support of fat cells, the skin appears loose and sagging. With loose, sagging skin and decreased elasticity, the skin appears much less smooth, and signs of the natural aging process, such as fine lines and wrinkles, become more visible.

Does Ozempic Face go away?

Patients often wonder if Ozempic Face will go away on its own, and the answer is that it depends. One way to reduce the effects of Ozempic Face is to stop taking the medication altogether. Many patients find, however, that when they stop taking Ozempic, they regain the weight they previously lost. Patients who choose to stay on the medication may find that skin elasticity returns over time, allowing the skin to shrink over a newly slimmer face. However, this is most common in younger patients because as we age, skin elasticity continues to decrease naturally, meaning that many older patients will continue to experience loose, sagging skin. Most patients will find that if they want to get rid of Ozempic Face, the best option is to consult with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, who can create a treatment plan that will reduce the appearance of loose skin and improve skin elasticity.

How to fix Ozempic Face

For patients who want to reduce the appearance of Ozempic Face, many non-invasive treatment options are available at Dr. Green’s New York City dermatology office, including dermal fillers, microneedling with PRP, and Thermage laser treatment:

Dermal Fillers

When fat loss occurs in the face, dermal fillers are an excellent treatment option for restoring lost volume in the midface and under eye hollows, filling in fine lines and wrinkles around the nose and mouth, and contouring the jawline to reduce the appearance of jowls. Many different types of dermal fillers are available at Dr. Green’s office, including Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra, and Belotero, which can be used on all areas of the face for a full liquid facelift. The results of dermal filler treatment are long-lasting, with some dermal fillers lasting for more than two years but will fade over time. As such, Dr. Green recommends scheduling touch-up appointments approximately once a year to maintain the treatment results.

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Microneedling with PRP

Microneedling with PRP is often called “collagen-induction therapy,” as it helps to boost the body’s natural collagen production to improve skin tone and texture. The treatment works via the application of tiny surgical-grade needles that pierce the skin, causing many micro-wounds to form, triggering the body’s natural healing response, which boosts collagen production. When combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, patients can expect even better healing results. With PRP microneedling, patients experience higher skin elasticity and improved skin texture.

Thermage RF Treatment

Patients experiencing loose skin due to Ozempic Face can also turn to Thermage radiofrequency laser skin tightening treatment. Thermage is often considered the gold standard when it comes to non-surgical skin tightening, providing patients with firmer, smoother skin without needing any downtime or a visit to a plastic surgeon. When applied to the treatment area, the Thermage device emits radiofrequency laser energy that is converted into heat energy and causes controlled damage to the tissue, leading to increased production of collagen and elastin. Following the Thermage treatment, patients will experience an immediate tightening effect with results that will continue to improve over time.

How to avoid Ozempic Face

The best way to avoid Ozempic Face is to start with a low dosage of Ozempic to lose weight slowly at the start of the treatment process. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is best to begin the treatment by losing only 1-2 lbs per week. By losing weight more slowly, it allows the skin to shrink and retract, preventing the formation of loose, sagging skin. It is best to begin taking Ozempic or Wegovy under the recommendation and observation of a healthcare provider who can recommend the best dose for taking the weight loss slowly in the beginning. Healthcare providers also recommend changing lifestyle habits, such as eating well and staying hydrated, to help with weight management once you stop taking Ozempic.

Does everyone get Ozempic Face?

Not everyone taking Ozempic or Wegovy experiences Ozempic Face, but it is very common for patients who are taking the medications and undergoing rapid weight loss. The term “Ozempic Face” was coined by a dermatologist who saw patients come in with sagging skin and extreme volume loss in the face due to high dosages of Ozempic or Wegovy. Ozempic Face can be prevented if you start with a low dose of the medication, which will allow you to lose weight more slowly in the beginning. By losing weight slowly to start, the skin is more likely to retract as the weight loss occurs, preventing loose skin on the Face.

What is Ozempic Face before and after?

Many patients who begin taking Ozempic wish to lose weight quickly with the help of the semaglutide medication. When rapid weight loss occurs, the skin is often unable to retract at the same rate, leaving patients with loose, sagging skin on the face and body. As fat pads melt away in the midface and cheeks, patients are often left with a hollow, gaunt look to the face, leading to an older and more exhausted appearance. Loose skin on the face can also sag along the jawline, creating jowls that make the face look heavier. Decreased skin elasticity can highlight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, nose, and mouth, further contributing to an older look.

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Does Ozempic help you lose weight?

While Ozempic was created and FDA-approved to help manage the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, healthcare providers and manufacturers realized that the diabetes drug also helps patients lose a significant amount of weight. With that discovery, the company that makes Ozempic created another semaglutide medication called Wegovy that can be prescribed to patients experiencing obesity as a weight loss drug. Both Ozempic and Wegovy work to cause rapid weight loss via the manufactured version of the hormone GLP-1, which slows the rate of digestion and consequently makes you feel full for longer. As a result, patients consume fewer calories, causing them to lose weight.

How long before you see results from Ozempic?

The weight-loss results of Ozempic can typically be seen within the first week of starting the treatment. However, the full effects of the treatment are seen after eight weeks of taking the weight-loss medication. To avoid Ozempic Face, healthcare providers recommend starting with a low dosage, such that you lose only 1-2 lbs per week. By losing weight more slowly, patients should be able to avoid loose skin and the decreased skin elasticity associated with rapid weight loss.

Should Ozempic be taken with food?

Ozempic shots should be administered once a week and can be taken with or without food. Many side effects of Ozempic include gastrointestinal distress, so patients may need to adjust their diet to decrease abdominal pain and poor digestion. Some healthcare providers recommend consuming plain food and plenty of water. Greasy foods, red meat, alcohol, sugary foods, fibrous foods, and foods high in carbohydrates can increase the risk of nausea and vomiting while taking Ozempic.

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How to start treatment for Ozempic Face today

Ozempic is a diabetes drug that is FDA-approved to regulate the release of insulin to help mitigate the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. However, in addition to affecting blood sugar levels, Ozempic’s active ingredient, GLP-1, reduces the rate of digestion in the stomach, causing patients to feel full for longer and consequently consume fewer calories. As a result, Ozempic causes rapid weight loss, which can lead to unwanted side effects, such as gastrointestinal pain and distress, and Ozempic Face. Ozempic Face is characterized by a gaunt, hollow facial appearance due to sagging skin and volume loss, which is caused by fat loss occurring over a short amount of time. Loose skin can emphasize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, jowls along the jawline, and hollows in the midface and under the eyes. If you are bothered by the appearance of Ozempic Face, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is here to help.

Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green has been expertly treating patients in her Upper East Side New York City office for more than 25 years. With many treatment options available to address sagging skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkles, including dermal fillers, PRP microneedling, and Thermage RF laser, Dr. Green can create an individualized treatment plan to meet your aesthetic goals. Consistently voted one of the best healthcare cosmetic dermatologists by Super Doctors, Castle Connolly, and New York Magazine, Dr. Green is an expert in patient satisfaction. Contact us online today or call our NYC-based office at 212-535-3088 to learn more about how Dr. Green can help address Ozempic Face and more.

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