Many people proudly share their success stories after using Ozempic, Mounjaro, and other diabetes drugs for their weight loss online. But most of them fail to address the phenomenon called “Ozempic face” — an unexpected side effect that distorts the face.

Earlier this year, The New York Times put the spotlight on Ozempic face as a weird side effect of the drug by showing a graphic illustration of a weirdly distorted face. Several experts told the outlet at the time that people who quickly lost weight due to Ozempic and similar drugs lost the elasticity of their facial skin, causing their faces to sag and look old.

“When it comes to facial aging, fat is typically more friend than foe. Weight loss may turn back your biological age, but it tends to turn your facial clock forward,” plastic surgeon Dr. Oren Tepper explained to the Times.

In an interview with TODAY, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, the New York-based dermatologist who coined the term “Ozempic face,” said that the side effect was more common among middle-aged and older patients who experience “facial wasting” as a result of weight loss.

“One of the most common things I notice with any form of weight loss in middle-aged and older patients is we don’t all lose it in the areas we want. When we get older, definitely the facial volume changes and shifts around. But when you lose weight so acutely and quickly, you see more of a global facial wasting,” he said.

As more people have come out with anecdotes on suffering from Ozempic face while using the diabetes drugs with guaranteed weight loss, experts shared what several patients did to counter the startling side effect.

Manhattan-based dermatologist and digital health entrepreneur Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, admitted that some patients have turned to dermal fillers to make their faces look fuller and address the facial wasting that came with the drugs.

“Generally, it’s people in their 40s and 50s who are losing significant amounts of weight and are concerned about facial aging and sagging that occurs as a result,” Bhanusali told the Times.

Though Ozempic and similar drugs are not free from side effects, including Ozempic face, clinics continue to offer them to clients due to the skyrocketing demand.

Dr. Alexandria Lightning, the owner of Lightning VIP in Green Valley, insisted that Ozempic face shouldn’t be viewed negatively, for it shows that the drugs are working.

“Ozempic face was kind of put out there as like this bad side effect, and it’s like no, that shows you that the medication is working. That’s what rapid weight loss does, so have a plan in place,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are more than 100 million adults living with diabetes or prediabetes in the U.S. Pixabay