Frequently the focus of cosmetic improvement is the face. Yet, one of the most age-telling body features is the neck. Necks get a tremendous amount of sun exposure (similar to that received on the face); however, neck skin is often not as well protected. If cosmetic treatments are delivered only to the face (and not the neck), a “mismatched” skin appearance may occur.
Neck rejuvenation takes more than expensive neck cream. New treatment protocols have been developed to rejuvenate the neck as men and women realize that their necks are revealing their age and these treatments are rapidly growing in popularity. Prominent platysmal bands, sagging skin, excess fat and neck bands all make our necks show their age. Various treatment options include Fraxel laser, Microneedling, Ultherapy, Thermage, and injectable Botox and fillers.
Here are some preventative tips to keep your neck from showing your age:
• Keep your neck skin well moisturized with specialized neck formulations
• Apply sunscreen regularly
• Apply anti-aging products as directed
The following aging neck concerns can be addressed with non-invasive cosmetic procedures:
The skin is thinner on the neck and becomes even more so as we age- accentuating platysmal neck muscle bands. Excessively prominent or hanging neck muscle bands at the front of the neck and under the chin can be softened by injecting small amounts of a neurotoxin such as Botox or Dysport directly into them. A few days following the injection, the bands appear to fade away, resulting in an often dramatically improved silhouette. Strategic injections into the muscles that contribute to these cords will also help smooth the horizontal lines in the neck.
Another use for neurotoxin (Botox or Dysport) injections is to reduce jowling of the lower face- resulting in a more defined jawline and smoother neck. This can be accomplished by injecting into the neck bands at the front of the neck, as well as the side bands that insert into the angle of the jaw. These treatments are recommended when there is little to no fat in the neck region and when skin elasticity is fairly good.
Neck creases are a tell-tale sign of aging that form as skin elasticity diminishes with advancing age. Commonly referred to as necklace lines, these horizontal neck wrinkles become deeper over time. Fortunately, they can be minimized with microneedling and/or injectable fillers such as Restylane Silk. During these procedures, the creases are disrupted and filled in with new support structures. Results are instant and typically last for several months.
Tone and tighten loose or sagging skin on the neck or a “turkey neck” with Thermage or Ultherapy.
Using highly focused ultrasound technology, Ultherapy tightens, firms, and lifts the skin on the face and neck. The Ulthera procedure works deep within the skin to tighten the skin’s foundation without causing any damage to the outer skin layers. No needles or surgery is involved and there is no post-treatment recovery.
The beauty of Ultherapy is that it uses the body’s own subtle healing response to gently, gradually—and reliably—restore memory to the skin and its underlying tissue. The Ulthera procedure can be performed within 30 to 60 minutes and typically takes one treatment to get a meaningful response. Patients enjoy some initial effect immediately following the procedure, but the ultimate lifting will take place over two to three months, as tired collagen is rejuvenated and supplemented with new, stronger collagen.
Thermage is a non-invasive radiofrequency therapy that can address the look and feel of aging skin in many body locations. On the face and neck, Thermage treatment can help tighten sagging skin, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and better define the jawline. It also reduces jowling and “turkey neck”.
CoolMini Double Chin Treatment developed by ZELTIQ is ideal for patients interested in destroying small pockets of fat, including the submental (under chin) area– commonly referred to as a double chin. CoolMini is an FDA-cleared applicator which is designed to freeze (and destroy) small areas of unwanted fat.
Submental fat- aka double chin- is known to be resistant to diet or exercise. Until recently, the only treatment options involved surgery or liposuction– each involving intense recovery. While Kybella injections to dissolve fat in this area have also become available (see below), some people are needle-phobic and are better treated with CoolMini. No special preparation is needed for treatment and post-treatment recovery is minimal, making this treatment an ideal lunch-hour procedure.
KYBELLA was the first FDA-approved treatment for adults with moderate-to-severe double chins. Kybella treatment involves a series of tiny injections of a naturally-occurring molecule in the body that dissolves the fat. Typically, 1 or 3 treatments are administered at 1 month (or longer time intervals) for optimal cosmetic effect. Each minimally invasive procedure is performed in a 15-20 minute office visit. Results can be seen within weeks of treatment as the body naturally processes and permanently removes the destroyed fat cells.
KYBELLA™ is recommended for those with submental fat or double chins who do not desire more invasive treatment such as liposuction or facelifts nor have the time for CoolMini treatment. Non-invasive Ulthera microfocused ultrasound therapy may be performed as an auxiliary treatment when further tightening and lifting of the jawline is desired.