Ozempic, also known as Semaglutide, is a medication that is used to manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.
It is also used to lower the risk of certain serious heart problems like stroke and heart attack, especially in adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Some people also use Ozempic for weight loss, although this is not its primary intended use.
The way Ozempic works is by enhancing the production of insulin, reducing the discharge of glucagon, and ensuring the stomach digests food at a moderate pace. This is all aimed at moderating the levels of glucose in the blood.
Even though Ozempic has shown to be successful in helping manage diabetes, it’s worth mentioning that it may have side effects.
While nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation are common, one of the most noticeable yet less discussed side effects is facial swelling, commonly referred to as “Ozempic Face.”
What is Ozempic Face?
Ozempic face, although not officially recognized as a side effect by medical literature, is a term coined by people who’ve noticed changes in their facial features after using Ozempic.
These changes may include sagging skin, hollowed cheeks, and advanced signs of aging, such as more wrinkles and lines. The problem with these changes is that they can make the face look older or thinner than it really is, which can cause emotional and psychological issues.
Keep in mind, though, that there are other factors that can cause such changes in the face, such as sun damage and smoking.
So while Ozempic face is currently more of an anecdotal than medical fact, it’s important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.
How to Avoid Ozempic Face
While it may not be possible to completely avoid Ozempic Face if you are taking Ozempic, there are some steps you can take to potentially reduce the side effects.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
To minimize side effects, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.
It is advised to eat foods that are rich in proteins, since they help in skin tissue repair, skin elasticity and collagen production.
Therefore, add lean meats, eggs, beans, nuts, and dairy products to your daily diet to help alleviate symptoms like swelling and dryness associated with ‘Ozempic Face’.
Keeping your skin well-hydrated can also help reduce irritation and dryness caused by Ozempic. Drink plenty of water and use a gentle moisturizer on your face daily to help keep your skin well-hydrated.
Reduce the Dosage
In some cases, ‘Ozempic Face’ symptoms may be associated with the dosage amount. Your doctor may suggest decreasing your dose temporarily or over the long term to provide your body with an opportunity to adjust to the medication gradually.
Lowering the dosage can help minimize adverse reactions, though professional medical supervision is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment is not compromised.
If you continue to experience persistent side effects when using Ozempic, even after dosage adjustment, exploring alternative medication options may be necessary.
Your doctor can recommend other treatments that offer similar benefits without the side effects.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
It is understandably difficult to focus on your weight when you are dealing with a chronic illness like diabetes.
However, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the severity of side effects from Ozempic and other medications.
Tips for Dealing with Ozempic Face if it Occurs
Dealing with side effects such as Ozempic Face requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some practical tips to help you manage this side effect, if it occurs.
Consult Your Physician
Always inform your healthcare provider of any side effects experienced while on medication. This includes swelling of the face caused by the use of Ozempic. They can adjust the drug dosage, change your medication, or provide additional treatments to help manage the swelling.
If cosmetic concerns from ‘Ozempic Face’ persist, dermatological fillers might be a solution. These fillers, made from substances like hyaluronic acid, can improve the appearance of your skin.
This option should be considered after consulting with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist about potential risks and benefits.
Use a Cold Compress
If you’re experiencing swelling from the use of Ozempic, you can try applying a cold compress to your face. The cool temperature of the compress may help reduce inflammation and swelling.
Remember not to apply ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap it in a soft cloth and apply it in 15-minute intervals, taking breaks in between to avoid tissue damage.
Get Quality Rest
Getting sufficient rest can aid the body’s healing process. This time allows the body the opportunity to repair and regenerate, helping to manage side-effects like swelling from the medication.
Consider Fat Transfer
The fat transfer procedure uses your own body fat to rebalance facial fullness and symmetry. Fat is extracted from areas like the abdomen or thighs, purified, then injected into facial areas needing enhancement.
This approach can help counteract uneven swelling. It’s less invasive than some procedures with a reduced risk of allergies. However, results may be subtle and vary between individuals. Thorough discussion with a specialist and consideration of alternatives is important before opting for this procedure.
Do Facial Exercises
Facial exercises can help manage Ozempic face symptoms. They involve specific movements and stretches of facial muscles around the eyes, nose, mouth, and neck.
Regular exercises may tone facial muscles, improve blood circulation and facilitate lymphatic drainage, helping reduce swelling.
Examples include exaggerated vowel sounds, wide smiling and releasing, chin lifts, and cheek puff exercises.
Consistency is key, as results may be gradual. Despite varying individual results and academic debate over their effectiveness, facial exercises can contribute to general facial toning, improved circulation, and overall skin health.
Consider Plasma Injections
Plasma injections, often known as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, involves injecting the patient’s own plasma into specific areas of the face to stimulate tissue regeneration and healing.
The procedure begins with drawing a small amount of the patient’s blood, which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma. This plasma, loaded with growth factors, is then reintroduced into the face.
While PRP therapy is typically used for cosmetic purposes such as wrinkle reduction and overall skin rejuvenation, it may potentially aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healing in cases of Ozempic Face.
Get Emotional Support
Facing changes in your physical appearance can be challenging. It’s important to lean on friends, family, or support groups who understand what you’re experiencing. Opening up about your feelings can provide the emotional relief necessary to manage this period better.
Think About Seeking Professional Counseling
Considering professional psychological support or counseling might be beneficial if you’re finding it particularly challenging to deal with the changes in your physical appearance due to the medication’s side effects.
Work with a Dietician
A dietician or nutritionist can provide a personalized diet plan that can help manage inflammation. Foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce swelling.
‘Ozempic Face,’ while not medically recognized, poses potential concerns for some individuals using Ozempic. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, proper hydration, possible dosage adjustment, medication change, and weight management can help mitigate these effects.
Remember, your appearance does not measure your worth, but any changes can be distressing. So if you’re taking Ozempic for weight loss and you start to notice that your face is changing and not in a good way, consider other options for losing weight.
But if you’re taking it to manage diabetes, talk to your doctor about how to treat and even avoid Ozempic face.