Computer face. The name sounds like some high-tech, futuristic robot visage. Or a stupid taunt bullies throw at gaming nerds. But in fact, the term refers to a relatively new phenomenon among women (and men) who spend long hours every day at their computers. Because of the downward angle of the jawline and the squinting motion of the eyes required to stare at your LCD for eight to twelve hours a day, certain signs of aging may appear more prominently. These include sagging jowls, or turkey neck, and increased lines on the forehead and around the eyes. While these symptoms are not exclusive to computer face sufferers, that desk job you have could certainly be accelerating your aging process. Short of quitting your job, what can you do to prevent or reverse sagging and wrinkles? There are several helpful tips to prevent this phenomenon, as well as a number of plastic surgery procedures that can be used to treat computer face, including BOTOX, liposuction, , facelifts, thermage, and necklifts. Read on for more information.
How do I know if I have computer face?
Do you stare at a computer all day? Do you feel like your face looks older than it should? You might have computer face. It’s difficult to accurately assess exactly what causes fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging in certain areas. But there are certain particular motions and positions involved in lengthy desktop work that may point you in the right direction.
For instance, if you find yourself frowning or squinting at your computer screen, either because of your deep concentration or eyesight issues, it’s likely that you’ll develop frown lines prematurely. It’s easy to let your face sink into a familiar mold of focus day after day without really realizing how it might be affecting your looks. Like your mother always said, if you make an ugly face for too long, it will get stuck that way. Essentially, that’s what computer face is all about.
As for the sagging in the neck area, it’s caused by continually looking down at a screen. Sitting with your head tilted in one position for so long causes muscles in the neck to shorten and go saggy. This eventually produces a sort of ‘second neck’ effect.
It’s possible, however, that you are just experiencing normal signs of aging. Dr. Shervin Naderi, a Washington DC area facial plastic surgeon, posits, “These terms do not describe conditions purely related to the speculated cause described here. Lines around the eyes and crows feet develop due to the action of the muscle around the eyes. Smiling and squinting contribute to this but each person has unique muscle and skin structure and some get these lines [while] others don’t.”
Dr. Paul Nassif, a Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon, supports this idea, saying, “I have had many patients come to me for issues regarding sagginess in the jowl and neck area and fine lines around the eyes. These issues may be due to a number of things, and not just limited to being a result of squinting and tilting the head downward.”
Nonetheless, if you work at a computer there are preventative measures you can take to avoid unnecessary signs of aging, as well as useful plastic surgery procedures if you feel you’re already experiencing symptoms of computer face.
What can I do to prevent computer face?
Realistically, computers are a part of life, and many, many jobs require you to use a computer basically all day. I’m using a computer right now. I’m looking down, and I’m even squinting a little. But now that I’ve realized I’m doing those things, I can start taking steps to prevent the development of those fine lines and sagging jowls.
Try very hard to be conscious of whether or not you’re frowning or squinting at your screen. If you find that it’s hard to see, consider getting glasses. If you find that you just make a really intense face when you’re concentrating, try to break the habit. Give yourself a facial, smoothing out your furrowed brow or narrowed eyes. Put a mirror next to your computer, and check occasionally to see if you’re making a face. The first step to preventing the development of computer face is self-awareness.
As for your neck, the biggest secret is exercise. Take a moment to look at the ceiling. Stretching your neck backwards to look up uses those muscles that start to atrophy from tilting down all day. If you’re feeling frustrated, take a minute away from your screen. Staring at it with a blank look on your face really won’t help, and moving around naturally exercises your neck muscles. Also, while you’re at your screen, tilt your head from side to side, stretching your neck to the left and right for several seconds. If possible, try to angle your computer screen so you can look straight at it and not down.
What if I already have computer face?
With more and more jobs revolving around computers, it’s possible that you may have developed the symptoms of computer face without really realizing it. But that’s okay. There are some simple plastic surgery solutions that can help you regain that youthful, non-computer face in a jiffy.
BOTOX and its new rival, Dysport, seem to be the first choice among many plastic surgeons. Dr. Naderi suggests that “BOTOX, Dysport help PREVENT lines and reduce them.” This is helpful for minor sufferers of computer face who want to take cautionary steps against the formation of new wrinkles in the future. Dr. Naderi adds, “In more severe cases, CO2 laser treatments and deeper chemical peels may also be added to…routine BOTOX treatments.” Dr. Nassif suggests that, “when performed properly by a highly skilled surgeon, BOTOX injections yield amazing results for reducing the appearance of fine lines around the eyes.”
Other options include collagen injections or autologous fat transfer procedures, such as Selphyl, which use a more ‘natural’ method to stimulate your own cell growth and erase fine lines. Consult with your plastic surgeon to find out what’s right for you.
A sagging jowl line is a little trickier to deal with. Dr Naderi posits that the best way “to improve loose neck skin and jowls is still surgery. Facelift and necklift are the gold standards although Thermage and Ulthera can help to some degree.” Thermage is a non-surgical, heat-based skin-tightening treatment that stimulates collagen production to rejuvenate loose skin. Ulthera achieves similar results using ultrasound instead of heat.
Dr. Nassif offers similar solutions to turkey neck, saying, “For sagginess in the neck and jowl area, there are a few treatments which may help alleviate the issue. Your surgeon may perform a necklift, where the neck muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed. Your surgeon may also perform liposuction of the neck, which is an additional method for removing excess fat….In addition, the jowls may be improved by performing a lower facelift, where the face is lifted vertically.” Dr. Nassif goes on to say, “Overall, there are many excellent ways to reduce signs of aging in the face and provide the patient with a fresh and youthful appearance using minimally invasive surgical or non-surgical methods.”
I Screen, You Screen, We all Screen… All day, every day.
It’s inevitable that as computers, smartphones, and technology become more prominent in our lives, many of us have to spend a long time in positions that aren’t necessarily natural or healthy for our bodies. But, with some preventative steps, you can slow the computer face process. Also, just as technology improves in the business world, it improves comparatively in the plastic surgery world. So solutions to your computer face problems are becoming more and more accessible and painless. So wipe that frown off your face, stretch your neck, and relax.none