How Graves’ Disease Can Impact Your Facial Appearance

How Graves’ Disease Can Impact Your Facial Appearance

by: Dr. Raymond Douglas, MD PhD

Graves’ disease, along with its associated thyroid eye disease, doesn’t solely affect the eyes. This autoimmune condition can also target tissues in the cheeks, brows, and lower face, causing them to expand and change shape.

Many patients are puzzled by the transformations in their facial features, noticing bulging or a change in contours they’ve never experienced before. The culprit? Thyroid eye disease-induced fat expansion. This expansion can sometimes be localized, resulting in asymmetrical changes in facial appearance.

Let’s explore some common manifestations of these facial changes and potential solutions:

Eyebrow Region: Some individuals may observe an expansion in the eyebrow area, resulting in thicker, fuller brows that alter their appearance. While removing fat from this region poses challenges, strategic sculpting or filler injections can help achieve a more balanced look.

Upper Eyelids: Fat bulging in the upper eyelids can be bothersome. While surgical intervention may be necessary to sculpt the fat in this delicate area, it’s crucial to consult with a specialist experienced in managing Graves’ disease-related facial changes for optimal outcomes.

Lower Face: The lower cheek area is often profoundly affected by Graves’ disease, leading to significant changes in facial contour and shape. Though the exact mechanism remains unclear, various surgical and non-surgical options are available to address it. Surgical procedures, such as fat removal through intraoral incisions, can restore contour and symmetry to the lower face. Alternatively, non-surgical treatments like Kybella and filler injections offer less invasive solutions with remarkable results.

Navigating Graves’ disease-related facial changes requires expertise and a tailored approach. It’s essential to seek care from a healthcare provider well-versed in managing both Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease to ensure the best possible outcome.