Sagging skin around the neck and jowls can add years to your appearance and cause you to feel self-conscious. Restore your youthful, vibrant look by treating sagging skin with one of the many surgical or non-surgical treatments offered at Reflections Center.
Age alone is not the only cause of sagging neck skin, however, the natural aging process is a factor in every cause of sagging jowls and neck skin. It’s important to be aware of the causes of your skin concerns so you know how to effectively prevent further issues and treat your aging skin.
Top Asked Questions About Neck Concerns
- How do I tighten skin on my neck?
Hot massages, exercise, cosmetic creams, and a balanced diet are a few ways to prevent and treat loose skin. You may also consider cosmetic surgical procedures or non-invasive procedures such as injectables and body contouring.
- How does a turkey neck develop?
A “turkey neck” develops when the neck muscles weaken and the skin around the neck becomes loose and droopy. Age and sun exposure can cause weakened muscles and the development of wrinkles.
- At what age do neck wrinkles start?
Neck wrinkles start to develop between your late 20s-30s, but this depends on several factors such as sun exposure, smoking, not using sunscreen, and failing to maintain good hygiene and skin health.
- Can I lift my neck without surgery?
Injectables and fillers, liposuction, laser treatments, and body contouring devices can help lift your neck but if loose skin and wrinkles have developed significantly, you may not be able to receive the best results without surgery.
Neck Aging: What Causes You to Look Older
Many people are disappointed to see that the neck starts to show aging signs before the face does. This is because the skin is thinner and we tend to take less care of it. While dermatologists and aestheticians advise patients to use sunscreen and skincare products from the face to the chest, the neck is commonly neglected. For women, signs of aging on the neck typically appear in their 40s. For men, especially those with beards, this may not set in until around 55 or 60.
Excess fat in the neck is sometimes simply due to a genetic predisposition, but it also forms because of aging or weight gain. The weight of this extra fat weighs down on the skin and damages collagen and elastin fibers over time. Collagen and elastin are the two proteins in your skin that keep it elastic and firm so damaging these make it more difficult for your skin to snap back if you lose weight.
Loss of Elasticity
The natural aging process and fat weighing down on the skin causes a loss of skin elasticity. Part of the aging process is loose, wrinkled, sagging skin caused by sun exposure, poor diet, smoking, and hormonal changes. Loss of skin elasticity can also be caused by the constant downward angle of the neck if you are often on your phone. This causes lines across the neck that have been nicknamed “tech neck lines.”
Separation of Platysma Muscles
Platysma bands are two muscle strips that run vertically down either side of your neck and they are caused by the contractions of superficial muscle layers in the face and neck. The platysma muscles separate with age and loosen which causes the overlying skin to weaken and droop.
How Neck Aging Plays Out Over the Decades
For most patients who do nothing to address the natural aging process, the following symptoms generally appear in this order:
Phase 1: Mid-30s
Crepey skin, increased wrinkling and lines, and a feeling of looseness when you touch the area tend to appear in the early to mid-30s, though no one else really notices anything dramatic.
Phase 2: Late-30s to Early 40s
Skin laxity generally starts at the center of the neck right at the junction of the neck and the under-side of the chin. If you put on weight or have certain genetic predispositions, this creates a double chin. Most patients will usually see this sign in their late 30s to early 40s.
Phase 3: Mid to Late 40s
Loose skin starts to wrinkle together in a turkey waddle. Or, if fat is present, neck definition starts to fall down. Eventually, this will form a straight line from clavicle to chin. Banding on the neck starts to really become noticeable for some by their mid-to-late 40s.
Phase 3: 60s or Slightly Before
Loose skin is noticeable, banding is noticeable on nearly everyone, and many have lost all neck definition in their 50s to early 60s and beyond. Muscles at the front of the neck (platysma) separate and form two noticeable vertical columns for most people by the time they enter their 60s, if not before.
The ages represented in these steps can vary, as sun damage, poor health, smoking, weight fluctuations, and hormonal changes (especially during pregnancy or menopause) can accelerate the aging process. For others, good genetics and an overall healthy lifestyle can delay aging signs. Regardless of when you experience these symptoms, understand that they are normal and treatable.
Our Favorite Treatments For Sagging Neck Skin
Knowing how to “reverse” the aging process, or at least slow it down, will also slow down the process of the developing causes of sagging neck skin. There are various treatment options for each cause of sagging skin to help you choose a treatment that will best fit your goals and comfort level.
Treatment options for excess fat around the neck vary based on the amount of fat you would like treated and your comfort levels. During your initial consultation, you discuss these options with your provider, and they will help you determine which is the best fit for you.
Kybella is an injectable treatment that uses deoxycholic acid to break down fat cells and contour the neck and chin. Once these fat cells are broken down and destroyed, the fat is eliminated from those areas. If you maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, you can expect your beautiful results to last permanently!
You can reach your desired appearance in 2-6 treatments, scheduled one month apart. Each treatment session takes about 15-20 minutes and there is no downtime. You may experience some swelling and bruising but this will resolve within a few weeks. Soreness is also felt by some patients but should not last for more than a day or two.
Coolsculpting or SculpSure
CoolSculpting uses a non-invasive cooling process called cryolipolysis to target specific areas and eliminate unwanted fat. This cooling technology crystallizes the fat cells which will then be flushed away by your body’s natural metabolic process. It takes a bit of time for this process to work, but most patients note results within two months after treatment and can enjoy their newly contoured neck and jawline for life. The CoolSculpting treatment takes about 35-60 minutes, depending on how many cycles you choose to have during your visit. There is no recovery time for CoolSculpting so you can continue your daily routine as soon as you leave our office.
SculpSure is another non-invasive body sculpting procedure that uses light-based technology to eliminate fat cells. Multiple laser cycles will gradually increase the temperature of fat cells, but the device also uses cooling and cycles the laser on and off to keep your skin comfortable. You will feel a deep warmth during your treatment, but patients generally find this relaxing. Once the fat cells reach a certain temperature, they are destroyed, and your body will naturally flush them out. SculpSure treatment only takes 25 minutes and requires no downtime. You should start seeing results about 6 weeks after your treatment and these will gradually improve until you see the final results 12 weeks after your SculpSure session.
There are various liposuction treatments you can receive, all of which will give you a more sculpted, contoured appearance. Traditional liposuction uses a hollow cannula to break apart and suck out fat through a few small incisions in the skin. Laser liposuction involves a similar treatment process but instead uses an ultrasonic laser to break up fat cells for easier removal. Recovery from laser liposuction may be easier than recovery from traditional liposuction because the procedure causes less bruising. Results from either liposuction procedure will appear gradually over 2-6 months.
Skin tightening procedures will get rid of loose and sagging skin around your neck and jawline. Reflections Center offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.
Smartlipo uses the innovative laser technology Precision TX to tighten the skin from beneath the surface and stimulate collagen production. Your skin will be toned, tightened, and made more elastic all from one treatment. It is an effective alternative to surgery for people with mild to moderate sagging skin that leaves you with a beautiful, sculpted jawline after about six weeks.
A similar treatment is ThermiTight, an injectable treatment of radiofrequency energy that heats precise treatment spots and reduces small amounts of fat. The heat from the radiofrequency energy stimulates collagen production, tones, and tightens the skin. Treatment typically takes 1-2 hours, but this depends on the area being treated; since the neck is a relatively small area, your treatment should only take about an hour. Although you may see some changes immediately, it will take about 3-4 weeks to see your final results.
Ultherapy or Sofwave
Sofwave is a non-surgical skin tightening procedure that uses high-frequency ultrasound to stimulate collagen production deep in the middle layers of the skin. Increased collagen production will provide support for your skin and a toned, tightened appearance. Ultherapy is a similar treatment, but it targets deeper into the tissue to tighten the muscles. Most patients want to focus on surface-level improvements and since Ultherapy is more expensive and painful, Sofwave is often the preferred treatment method. Treatment takes about 45-60 minutes, and you will see gradual improvements 12 weeks after surgery. These results will last about one year before you need to come back in for another session.
Neck Lift Surgery
A neck lift tightens skin and removes excess fat to rejuvenate the skin and restore a more youthful appearance. A small incision will be made under the chin to remove excess fat from above and below the muscle. By removing fat in precise areas, the neck can be recontoured. The skin will be pulled back tightly over the neck to create a toned appearance and excess skin will be trimmed away. Scars will be hidden under the chin and behind the areas where the skin is reconnected.
As you age, the muscles in your neck separate and loosen, which also loosens the overlying skin. There are both surgical and non-surgical options to retighten the muscles and sagging jowls around the neck and jawline.
Botox is an injectable that temporarily paralyzes certain muscles to relax them. This prevents the muscles from contracting too intensely and pulling the skin down, which creates wrinkles and sagging. Botox can mask the effects of aging early on but as muscle separation worsens, this treatment does have its limitations and you may not be able to receive optimal results.
Neck Lift Surgery
Your doctor will make a small incision in the crease under your chin and then reconnect the platysma muscles on both sides of your neck. This will tighten the muscles back into their original position and create a more youthful, toned appearance. The thin incisions made during a neck lift leave scars that are practically invisible since they are left in the natural creases under the chin.
“"I will be forever indebted to him for giving me my youth and beauty back (naturally looking) at age 56”View My Story
“I was always met with a smile and a genuine interest in me.”View My Story
“"I tried out ThermiTight, the new laser that they said would help tighten the skin under my neck and jowls. I don’t have a lot of wrinkles under my neck just hanging skin that I really hate. So I had the procedure two weeks ago and I like the results a lot!"”View My Story
Why Choose Reflections For Neck Skin Sagging Treatment
Reflections Center offers free consultations with our team of cosmetic physicians. Each physician specializes in a few types of procedures and has access to all of the top-quality treatment technologies for that service, which allows us to provide excellent results for every individual through a team-based approach that singles out the very best combination of treatments for you. We only use cutting-edge and proven treatment options to ensure that you experience the best possible outcomes.
We have a reputation as New Jersey’s premiere non-surgical treatment MedSpa, but did you know we also have a board-certified plastic surgeon who’s been named to the Top Facelift Surgeons in America by Newsweek in 2022? He brings almost 30 years of neck lift surgery experience to our team, and this means we really offer every single treatment you could possibly rely on to get great results for the neck, under one roof.
To learn more about our neck treatments and procedures, contact Reflections Center today. We will be happy to schedule your free consultation appointment with one of our skilled physicians to determine which treatment option is best for you.
Prevention for The Aging Neck
No one can stop time or gravity, but it’s very possible to look 5-15 years younger than your peers and be seen as “looking amazing for your age” if you follow a prevention plan and properly maintain your skin.
Be sure to use professional-quality skincare products and daily sunscreen. These should be placed from your face down to your chest. Treat the skin on your neck the same as you would your face!
Maintain a steady and healthy weight. Excess weight fluctuation can result in loose skin with decreased elasticity, which starts to form a “turkey neck.”
Practice good posture. Banding on the neck is often caused or worsened by holding your head at an improper angle and failing to sit up straight over time. These lines are sometimes called “tech neck,” because they can be caused by consistently looking down at a phone or other device!
Smoking is a major contributor to premature aging. Quit smoking or vaping to maintain a youthful complexion.
When you do start to see signs of aging, injectables including Botox or dermal fillers and laser treatments can be helpful. For the most extreme results, you can try Ultherapy or Sofwave to look up to 15 years younger than your peers.
Finally, meet with a doctor to create a comprehensive anti-aging plan. They can take your skin type, goals, budget, and other needs into consideration and help you create a custom routine and treatment plan that is most effective for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Neck Concerns
- Why is my neck aging so fast?
Sun exposure, looking down at your phone repeatedly, smoking, and poor diet could be factors speeding up the aging process of your neck.
- Can exercise get rid of turkey neck?
Facial exercises that involve lifting the chin can be helpful. Try pointing your chin to the ceiling and make a chewing motion or purse your lips then repeat this motion for a minute or two.
- Does retinol help saggy jowls?
Retinol stimulates collagen production and can give your sagging neck skin a slightly tightened effect.
- What is the best treatment for sagging skin on the neck?
A surgical neck lift is perhaps the best treatment since it can treat more severe cases of aging skin. However, every person responds differently to different treatments and surgery may not be necessary if you have a mild case of sagging skin.
- Are neck creams a waste of money?
Neck creams can be worth your money if they have effective ingredients. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, peptides, and zinc.
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