In the era of Botox, fillers, lasers and high-tech medical grade peels and products, facial wrinkles and sagging skin have become more of an option than an inevitability. However, no matter how smooth and youthful your face might appear, an aging neck can be a dead giveaway to your true age. Aside from the eye area, the skin on the neck is the thinnest on the body, and prone to early wrinkling, sagging and crepiness. In addition, as we age, muscles become lax, and fat deposits begin to form on the neck, which can result in jowls, a double chin, or a loose area of sagging skin right under the chin, often referred to as “turkey neck” or more recently “text neck” (due to the constant bowing of the head over our devices, which can breakdown fat, muscle and tissue in the neck). To add to all this, the thin, ropy platysmal bands (those muscles that stick out when you say “eeee”) split and become more pronounced as we age.

According to a 2014 study by the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, 68 percent of the population is dissatisfied with their chin and neck area. Unfortunately, this area can be particularly difficult to treat. However, if you are one of the many whose once tight, swan-like profile has transformed into a “drop zone” there are some proven anti-aging technologies that can do wonders for this troublesome area, from topical products to lasers to surgery. Often a multi-step approach is the most effective.

For early, mild signs of aging in the neck area, non-invasive topical products and radio-frequency heat treatments are the first line of defense. Products specifically developed for the neck area, like Revision’s Nectifirm, containing Retin-A, retinol (antioxidants), peptides, vitamins C and E, and ceramides will help prevent and reduce crepey, leathery skin, and provide an overall firmer, lifted appearance. Radio-frequency (RF) heat energy treatments like Exilis can provide non-surgical contouring and tightening of the neck area by heating and contracting the skin tissue, stimulating new collagen production in the process.

For those that need a more advanced treatment, but are not ready for invasive surgery or liposuction, there are some new technologies that can provide dramatic improvement. Cryolipolysis, also known as Coolsculpting, has been used since 2010 to treat the abdomen, arms and thighs. The newly approved “CoolMini” now allows physicians to treat smaller pockets of fat—like the area under the chin—with a new miniature applicator, which freezes and destroys fat cells that are then flushed away by the body permanently. Kybella treatments also target moderate fat deposits below the chin by dissolving the fat cells through a series of injections. In addition, neurotoxins, such as Botox can be injected into the platysmal bands to reduce the “ropy” appearance that begins to show due to thinning skin and muscle laxity.

More invasive treatments, such as laser liposuction and surgery would be options for those with more advanced fat deposits, heavier jowling, and skin laxity. Laser Liposuction (PrecisionTx) is done under local anesthesia, in the office, and uses laser light to “melt” the fat and help tighten the skin. Laser Liposuction requires a smaller incision, and offers reduced downtime and bruising. Another option for advanced cases is traditional cosmetic surgery – a “neck lift”– in which a surgeon tightens and suspends the muscles of the neck. This helps lessen the “bands” and sagging skin often seen under the jaw, and also helps to create a more well-defined jaw and neck line.

CHINUP Before and after images featuring three effective treatment options for the aging neckline.

Nouveau Medispa is pleased to be able to address all the signs of aging in the chin and neck region through the multiple modalities described here. Our board-certified plastic surgeons and physician assistants, and our skilled, licensed aestheticians are here to offer a complimentary consultation and evaluation to ensure that your treatment options are clear and your decisions are educated.