“Cosmetic issues regarding the aging neck can be one of the most distressing things about getting older to most people. Fortunately, there are many GREAT non-invasive treatments available to address the loose skin, the double-chin, pigment and redness issues and overall smoothness that weren’t available when I first started. Once again, this is an area of the body that if treated early, most patients can potentially avoid more painful and invasive surgical options.”. –Dr. DeGraaff, MD
No matter how many anti-aging treatments you may do to your face, your neck definitely will give away your age if left untreated. Sagging under the chin, redness, sun damage and neck wrinkling all make us look older and are these issues are hard to hide. Women try to hide these changes with scarves and cover-up makeup thinking their only options for treatment are expensive and painful surgeries. With the inventions of more modern treatments like Ultherapy, Kybella, micro-needling with PRP and fractional CO2 lasers, there has never been more non-invasive options to treat the neck with NO down-time,very little pain and amazing results! So what are these age related problems, and how can you treat the top 5 cosmetic concerns in the aging neck?
1. “My neck has gotten a lot of sun damage through the years”– the neck and upper decolletage tend to accumulate quite a bit of sun damage. This sometimes leads to a brownish/reddish looking “stripe” down each side of the neck. Typically the “stripe is worse on the left side due to sun exposure from the drivers side window. Luckily, sun damage is one of the easiest age related issues of the neck to treat. We use a combination of treatments including an IPL Laser, Matrix Fractional CO2 Laser, chemical peels and skin care products to correct sun damage. These treatments leave minimal swelling and redness and only take 30 minutes or less to do. Most patients can return to their office or other activities immediately after treatment. Of course, a great sunscreen can help prolong the results of the treatments and should be worn at all times.
2. “A double-chin runs in my family, and I feel like my neck looks fat even though I am not over weight!” A double-chin or the fat pad that is found under the chin can definitely be a major concern form men and women! Until recently, liposuction under this area was the only treatment option, but now that KYBELLA is FDA approved, we have a fabulous way to “dissolve” the fat under the chin with a series of in-office injections that only take about 15 minutes and have NO down-time. Kybella is a natural substance that is found in your gut that helps you body break down fat that can now be used to permanently dissolve the fat cells under your neck eliminating the double-chin. Swelling is the biggest side effect and is usually gone within a couple of days. Best of all, since the fat cells are destroyed, the area under the chin cannot regain the fat in the future!!
3. “I have loose sagging, loose skin on my neck that appeared after I lost weight.” Weight loss and gravity can make the skin on the neck look loose and sagging. Once again, until recently, the only good options for tightening this skin was to do a “neck-lift’ and this can be painful and very expensive. Ultherapy changed all that when it became FDA approved several years ago. Ultherapy uses high-intensity ultrasound waves that are pulsated through the tissue and skin on the neck to tighten those deep layers that actually LIFT the skin back into place. Ultherapy takes about 1 hour and has some minimal discomfort that can be controlled with oral pain medication. The results can take several months to fully appear but the results are very long lasting up to 3 years.
4. “I have these horizontal creases in my neck that make it appear old.” Wrinkling of the skin on the neck occurs over time just like wrinkling in the face. Wrinkles in the neck can be treated in many different ways from resurfacing procedures such as micro-needling, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing to actually using BOTOX in the neck. There are very thin muscles in the neck that can be injected with Botox to give a smoother, tighter appearance just like in the face. We are now also injecting growth factors derived from your OWN blood called PRP to actually stimulate the growth of new tissues under the skin in the neck. Injecting wrinkle fillers in the neck is not typically a good option for treatment, but one filler called Sculptra can be injected in very small amounts if the patient it not a candidate for other treatment options.
5. “I have skin tags and stray hairs on my neck that weren’t there a few years ago.” Skin tags and hair growth on the neck are common with age. Skin tags are benign flesh colored pieces of skin that can be easily removed in a very minor office procedure. The treatment can take 10-20 minutes depending on how many skin tags need to be removed. Hair growth on the chin and neck also commonly occur with age and can easily be removes as long as they are not blonde or gray. A hormone evaluation may also be helpful since this problem is commonly associated with the hormone fluctuations seen in menopause.
Don’t let your neck give your age away! If any of these issues are concerning you, then call Dr. DeGraaff for a FREE neck rejuvenation consultation today!