ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Plastic surgeons say changes in the skin and tissue give the face that aged look, but U.S. researchers say facial bones contribute to aging too.
Dr. Robert B. Shaw Jr. of University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and colleagues analyzed computed tomography scans of the facial bones in young adults ages 20-40, middle-age adults ages 41-64 and those age 65 and older. The scans were done for medical reasons, not for plastic surgery planning, Shaw says.
The study, published in the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, says the measurements used in the three-dimensional reconstructions of the CT scans showed the facial skeleton change and decrease in volume with increasing age.
"The bony components of the face are important for overall facial three-dimensional contour as they provide the framework on which the soft-tissue envelope drapes," Shaw and co-authors say in a statement.
One prominent change in both women and men was an increase in the area of the eye sockets -- becoming wider and longer with age. Aging also affected the brow, the nose, the upper jaw and the lower jaw.
Although these changes occur in both men and women, the aging comes earlier in women between young adulthood and middle age, in men the aging effects occur between middle and old age, the study says.