You’ve been noticing it when you walk by the mirror and catch a glimpse of your profile. The skin under your neck is drooping, making you appear older than you really are. You miss that elegant neck contour that you used to have. Back then, you could rock updos and low necklines. Now you feel self-conscious, like you need to cover your neck with your hair or clothing or jewelry.
How did I end up with “turkey neck”?
You never wanted those sags and wrinkles under your neck, so why’d they show up? Here are a few contributors that may apply to you:
● Collagen reduction. Look at a child’s face. See how the skin looks full, moist, and “elastic?” That’s because it’s loaded with a protein called collagen. When you’re young, your body produces a lot of collagen. As you begin to age, your collagen production begins to drop off. In fact, it’s estimated that after age 40, your body starts to lose 1% of its collagen each year. As a result, your plump, vibrant skin can start to look dry, saggy and thin.
● Health habits. Smoking and drinking alcohol can diminish collagen production.
● Sun. Sun is a similar culprit. Those rays may leave you with a nice tan, but they can break down collagen in the process. They can also cause dark spots to form, causing hyperpigmentation on your neck skin.
● Fat accumulation. It’s easy to put on weight as we age, and we can’t necessarily control where the fat ends up; genetics does that! Fat in the neck can cause a double chin. And if your neck circumference increases, it can stretch out the skin, creating “sag” where you don’t want it.
● Bone structure. Here’s another thing we can’t control—the position of our bones. The “hyoid” bone is a horseshoe-shaped bone located beneath the jaw. If your hyoid bone sits forward, it won’t produce as much “pull” to keep your skin and muscles in place.
● Muscle loss. After age 30, muscle mass can start to atrophy by 3 to 8% per year. Once you hit age 60, muscle loss begins to accelerate even more. When muscles in the lower face and neck start to droop, you can lose that taut, lean framework and end up with a saggy neck.
What can I do to reduce neck sag?
It used to be that a person had little recourse for a saggy neck; you just lived with it as a “badge of honor” for aging. But now that there are simple technologies to reverse signs of aging, why not use them to your advantage to make your outside appearance as vibrant as your inner self?
Depending on the amount of skin sag, there are different procedures to tighten up your neck. Here are several treatments as recommended by our Lexington neck lift surgery team, moving from simple, do-at-home exercises to surgeries and implants.
● Jaws-ercise. You pump iron to keep those biceps tight. Why not work out your neck muscles, too? Here are a few simple daily exercises. Do them while you’re watching your favorite show or listening to music.
● Chew. Keep those neck muscles strong by chewing more. Try it with a big piece of bubble gum, or skip the gum and simply work your jaw in a chewing motion.
● Kiss the air. Tilt your head back so you’re looking at the ceiling. Then pucker up and make kissing motions for 5 minutes.
● Heads up. Lie on your back, and lift your head and neck off of the floor. Now tilt it from side to side with small, controlled rotations.
● Botox. Botox is a prescription drug that can be injected into the skin. It temporarily relaxes the muscles, smoothing out wrinkles. Depending on how deep your neck wrinkles are or how significant the sagging, a series of Botox injections every three to four months may be enough to smooth out the bands and creases.
● Filler. Filler consists of substances such as hyaluronic acid that are injected into the skin. Filler can promote collagen production, giving skin greater volume and fullness. Filler can help smooth out wrinkly neck skin, lasting a year or more.
● Kybella. Kybella can be very effective for double chins. Kybella shuts down fat cells so that they can no longer store fatty deposits under your jaw. Kybella injections are usually given monthly for three to six months, but once you finish your full course, results should be permanent.
● Neck liposuction. If you have adequate muscle tone in your neck and around your jaw, neck liposuction can be a straightforward way to remove fat that has accumulated there. In fact, neck liposuction is one of the most popular types of liposuction. Our neck lift surgeon will make small incisions (under your chin and behind your ears), remove excess fat, and sculpt a youthful neck contour.
● Neck lift. If your neck muscles have become slack, a partial or full neck lift surgery for your creepy or sagging skin may be the best choice for a long-lasting solution. If needed, it can be combined with liposuction. Sometimes, people combine a neck lift with a face lift for a full refresh. A neck lift augments those weak muscles so that you have a firm framework for supporting a beautifully contoured neck.
● Chin implant. If your chin bone is not prominent enough, this may be the cause of your sagging neck skin. We can augment your chin bone with an implant (usually silicon) in a minimally invasive surgery.
Aging is inevitable, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Look at what you’ve accomplished and learned! But just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to look the part. If you would like to be free of saggy neck skin or a double chin, our team of Lexington and Louisville neck lift surgery pros can help you. Come in for a consultation, and we’ll help you know which treatment is right for you.
There are several methods to tighten up your neck, depending on how much skin sag is there. Here are several treatments that our Lexington neck lift surgery experts suggest. For double chins, Kybella can help to prevent fat cells from storing fat deposits beneath your jaw by shutting them off.