March 2, 2024

Runner's Face - Is Running Bad For Your Face?

As many of us develop an interest in running during the coronavirus lockdown and log numerous miles, there has been concern that too much running could result in gaunt, skeletal facial features. But is this really the case?

One New York plastic surgeon recently made headlines for stating that excessive running can result in prematurely aged appearance with sagging skin and prominent bones, with prematurely aged appearance caused by repeated running sessions. But is there truth to his warnings?

1. Excessive Sun Exposure

Running can do wonders for your body and help reverse signs of aging, but its repetitive bouncing motion and sun exposure can take its toll. A common term used to refer to this effect is "runner's face", which refers to leathery-looking skin with sunken eyes, gaunt features, and gaunt features that lifelong runners may develop over time.

Running Face refers to skin damaged from exposure to too much sun and a low body fat percentage, and was likely coined by plastic surgeons marketing wrinkle reducers and fillers to runners in an effort to sell their products.

The idea that jogging causes sagging and skeletal-looking facial skin is an urban legend unsupported by scientific research. According to skincare professionals, other factors could contribute to such effects such as excessive sun exposure, poor diet, dehydration and ageing - high intensity exercises may cause free radical production as well as oxidative stress which damage to the skin over time.

3. Intense Exercise

Long distance running has long been associated with causing facial features to age prematurely, often called "runner's face." Although factors other than exercise may contribute to its formation, this phenomenon alone cannot account for it.

Vigorous cardio exercises like running can be used to quickly burn away subcutaneous fat deposits. Unfortunately, this may result in reduced facial volume loss, making the bones of your face more prominent, and speeding up wrinkle formation.

However, this doesn't preclude age-related changes from occurring regardless of your running habit. Crepey facial skin is part of growing older and will affect all of us over time despite what we do to our faces. Staying hydrated and protecting skin from sun damage are ways you can delay their emergence; otherwise cosmetic procedures like Botox(r) Dysport(r) or Juvederm UltraTM injections may help lessen symptoms if already developed runner's faces have appeared.

4. Aging

TikTok videos circulating online allege that long-time runners, particularly ultramarathon participants, can develop what is known as "runner's face". While this theory might hold water at times due to losing too much weight too soon and seeing their cheeks hollow out or sag over time, dermatologists claim this theory to be false.

Running can cause long-term facial skin damage, particularly without adequate sun protection and in the form of sunscreen use. Running alone doesn't cause gauntness or sagging; other factors like low body fat levels or excessive sun exposure may be more responsible; these issues can be remedied using cosmetic procedures such as Botox/Restylane combinations that smooth wrinkles while simultaneously plumping up facial tissues back up again.

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