We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Hypomimia?

By Debra Barnhart
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hypomimia is a clinical term for a loss of facial expression. Decreased mobility in the muscles of the face is the major symptom of this disorder. Often associated with Parkinson’s disease, it can be caused by several different diseases and conditions. Treatments for hypomimia vary based on the origin of the condition.

From the Greek words hypo meaning "less" and mimia meaning "imitation," hippomimia is a condition that affects the facial muscles. Those suffering from this condition have difficulty mobilizing the facial muscles to form expressions, and they can appear to lack animation. Hypomimia can produce a blank facial expression with a static mouth and unblinking eyes. Some describe the face of a person suffering from this condition to be mask-like, and for this reason the condition is also referred to as facial masking. Hypomimia can be caused by some underlying disease or genetic disorder, though there can also be psychiatric causes for facial masking.

Parkinson’s disease is a common source of hypomimia. This condition is a motor system disorder triggered by a reduction in brain cells that produce dopamine. A shortage of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter, hinders muscle movement in the face. Other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include rigidity and stiffness of limbs, tremors, slow movement and poor balance.

Schwartz Jampel syndrome can also produce hypomimia. This genetic disorder affects skeletal muscles and can cause frozen muscles and joints as well as delayed development. Some forms of dementia, in particular Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), can also result in facial masking. LBD usually occurs in those 65 years and older and results in impaired thinking and behavior. Even though they are considered separate diseases, some experts think there is a connection between LBD and Parkinson’s.

Hypomimia can be triggered by severe mental illness. For example, people suffering from acute depression can exhibit a mask-like expression. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) is used by mental health professionals to measure a patient’s level of mental abnormality. One section on the BPRS focuses on the degree of animation in facial expression, gestures and voice.

Treatment for hypomimia varies based on its cause. Parkinson’s patients are often given a combination of drugs that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Although they are not a cure for the disease, these drugs can markedly reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Patients with a mental disease can often be treated with an appropriate medication that relieves other major symptoms in addition to facial masking.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By burcidi — On Sep 05, 2013

I have social anxiety and my doctor says that I have some issues with my facial expressions. I hope it will get better with treatment.

By donasmrs — On Sep 04, 2013

@feruze-- That's a good question. I'm not a doctor but I think that loss of facial expression, whatever the cause, can be labeled as hypomimia.

It's usually more commonly seen with neurological and psychological disorders. But it's the symptoms that define the medical term, not the cause.

My cousin has Asperger's syndrome and he suffers from this. It's very difficult for him because people who are unaware of his condition think that he is not interested in whatever he is doing. It can look very bad during job interviews and in classrooms. People don't realize that it's his condition that's preventing from having expressions.

By bear78 — On Sep 04, 2013

Some people lose facial mobility and expression due to cosmetic surgery and treatments. Can this be categorized as hypomimia?

There are some celebrities suffering from his because of facial fillers and various cosmetic operations. They can't move their face muscles at all. It looks very bad. I can't believe people would do this to themselves, especially actors because mimics and expressions are so important in acting.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.