Have you noticed that as you age, turtlenecks become a vital part of your wardrobe? It’s true. Sagging neck skin is a huge problem when we reach a certain age, and it’s an issue that many of us strive to hide, preferring to tuck that unsightly problem beneath some bulky clothing rather than leaving it out in plain sight for all to see.
Studies show that the sagging neck and jaw line is an expected and unwelcome sign of aging, and it sometimes even occurs while the face still looks young and fairly wrinkle-free. That’s what makes it even more frustrating.
Saggy necks happen because of an accumulation of excess fat but also due to a change in muscular support as well as the simple effects of gravity. All of those cause the neck to lose definition and, as a result, the lower third of your face often appears fuller.
That’s a look most of us aren’t seeking but, thankfully, there are a number of non-surgical procedures that can help solve this annoying age-related phenomenon.
Botox™ treatments are often the go-to solution for sagging necks. Most doctors agree, however, that these injections are ideal for mild “jowling” or perhaps the slightly downturned mouth, but may not be ideal for sagging that has reached a more advanced stage. Rather, it’s a good way to keep the problem from getting worse, aesthetics experts note.
It’s important to note, however, that this procedure should only be done by someone who has experience using Botox for this purpose. Injections made too deeply into the muscles of the neck could affect swallowing.
However, those with experience know how to avoid those muscles and the procedure should be successful, with little redness or bruising occurring and visible results in a short amount of time.
Many aestheticians use focused ultrasound for skin tightening. Technically speaking, these high-intensity ultrasound devices target the subcutaneous tissues, which stimulate collagen production. Collagen fragmentation also occurs, which results in a tightening effect that improves the appearance of the neck area.
Treatments with an ultrasound device are done in stages and results are seen within four to six weeks. Discomfort is fairly minimal and many patients compare it to the feeling of an elastic band being flicked against the skin. (Technicians can adjust devices for comfort level, in most cases.)
However, patients report that any discomfort does not last for long and they are able to go about their normal activities quite soon after the treatment is finished.
Another option for sagging neck is treatment with non-ablative lasers. Laser devices deliver short bursts of light energy to the affected area, which reach under the skin’s surface and create microscopic holes.
The holes stimulate the collagen and help the skin to repair itself. Lasers can also break down unwanted pigmentation, so this treatment can serve a dual purpose, when appropriate.
With laser treatments for the neck, 4 sessions spaced at every 7 to 10 days is ideal and the process can be done once or twice a year, as needed.
As with any aesthetic treatment you’re considering, contact your aesthetician for advice on what she/he offers and what might be best for you and your skin. Tell your aesthetician about any medications you’re taking that might be counter-indicated with some of these treatments and be sure to allow ample time for recovery, which should be minimal.