Starting to Look Like Mom? A Quick Fix

Study: Moms and Daughters Age in Similar Patterns, but Surgery May Circumvent Mother Nature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on October 27, 2009
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 27, 2009 -- New research confirms what may be some women’s greatest fear: You may actually turn into your mother - at least when it comes to aging in your lower eyelids. The new findings were presented at the annual meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Seattle.

“We now have a way of knowing precisely where in the lower eyelids you will age and where you will age the most and we can plan the correction based on the prediction,” says study author Subhas Gupta, MD, a plastic surgeon in Loma Linda, Calif.

The researchers looked at 10 sets of similar-looking mom-daughter pairs via high-tech 3D computer modeling to determine which areas around the eye lost the greatest amounts of volume over time. A clear pattern emerged: Sagging and volume loss around the inner corners of the eye and lower eyelids in the mothers mimicked the early signs of lower eyelid aging in the daughters. The mom-and-daughter pairs ranged in age from 15 to 90. By and large, volume loss in this area began when women entered their 30s and was greater than previously estimated.

“If you come in when you are 30, we can tell you where you will have changes and quantify what you will need and where,” he says.

“The findings were surprisingly repetitive regardless of ethnicity and actual age difference between mothers and daughters,” he says.

“You can beat Mother Nature to the punch and not have your mother’s eyes,” he says. Now the researchers plan to look at the whole face in a larger number of mother-daughter pairs to see if the findings hold.

Richard J. Greco, MD, a plastic surgeon in Savannah, Ga., says the researchers looked at the severe aging progression in moms and early aging in daughters, "and found that the patterns were similar in both.

"If your mom has great genes -- taut skin, no jowls -- you will probably age well,” Greco says.

The flip side is also true, he says.

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American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2009 conference, Seattle, Oct, 23-27, 2009.

Richard J Greco, MD, plastic surgeon, Savannah, Ga.

Subhas Gupta, MD, plastic surgeon, Loma Linda, Calif.

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