Ways to Treat Neck Wrinkles and Sagging
First, the bad news: You probably aren’t giving your neck the attention it needs. Because the skin on our neck is thin, is exposed to quite a bit of sun, plus you know, gravity, it can often show signs of aging sooner than other parts of the body. Now, the good news: There are steps you can take in preventing and addressing neck wrinkles and sagging—a.k.a. “turkey neck,” from skincare to devices to in-office treatments.
What Causes Neck Sagging?
While most neck and chest problems begin to plague us as we reach middle age, a double chin lacks that partiality. Anyone can have one, as the neck dermis, the layer that contains collagen, is very thin, making it more prone to aging than other parts of the body. Cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime combined with a lack of sunscreen application has always been the main culprit of premature aging on the neck.
On top of that, thick banding and protrusion of the platysma muscle which runs from the chin to the clavicle contributes to to neck sagging as well.
Our cell phone addictions aren’t helping the cause either. Between sun exposure and the addition of looking at our phones repeatedly, we are seeing neck changes even earlier. With tech neck [wrinkles] we also see tech spots, because cell phones emit blue light (breaks down vitamin A as well as collagen and elastin) and radiation (shown in mice models to cause oxidative stress to the skin structures). This can also lead to premature dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of premature aging.
Is Neck Sagging Reversible?
Like any signs of aging, the long-term goal when reversing sagging is to increase collagen production. Look for products with retinol and peptides as well as hyaluronic acid, which plumps and hydrates skin. Combining these topical treatments with micro-needling, a process in which microneedles are applied to the surface of the skin which causes microtrauma to the problem areas. The skin is treated with post-needling serums to help stimulate epidermal growth. After your skin needling treatment, the skin begins to heal itself by producing new collagen, elastin, fibroblasts and new healthy skin cells. The skin begins to appear tighter, fresher, fuller, and smoother. Eliminating the severity of lines, wrinkles and textures, and promoting a healthier even skin tone.
A young to middle-aged adult who invests in adequate sun protection with a mineral-based sunblock and a retinoid nightly will see much better results, as they are not only improving their skin quality but preventing the loss of collagen, which is harder to fix as you get older. Prevention before correction!
More intensive, in-office procedures are an option too. Neurotoxins [like Botox] can be used to soften neck banding, while smaller particle hyaluronic fillers can be used for fine lines and wrinkles in order to soften and rejuvenate the neck. Ultherapy is a noninvasive ultrasound therapy that injures the tissue surrounding the muscles, setting off a healing response that creates more collagen, which in turn tightens and lifts skin gradually. The procedure works for those with mild sagging; very loose skin is best corrected by surgery. Thermage, a radio-frequency treatment that heats the deep, collagen-rich layers of the skin, which then contracts and sparks new collagen production helping to create smoother tighter skin.
Kybella, an injectable acid, may be another option. The acid dissolves superficial chin fat (meaning that fat between skin and muscle). Patients may need multiple treatments, which are spaced a month apart. The cost of a first treatment is around $1,200.
Red light therapy, micro-current, lasers and radiofrequency are less invasive options. Microcurrent uses two handheld prongs that deliver precise dosages of energy to the skin and work simultaneously to repair and produce collagen in the dermis, which is the deepest layer of the skin, while gently erasing signs of aging in the epidermis, which is the top layer of skin. Microcurrent facials increase production of collagen by up to 14%, elastin by 48%, and blood circulation by 38%. It improves muscle tone, reduces puffiness, increases cellular activity, and tightens pores. The overall result is healthier and younger-looking skin, no matter your age. Light therapy serves as a preventative and complimentary treatment to further enhance collagen and elastin production.
Do I Need to Use Different Products on My Neck?
We typically recommend clients use the same products on their face and neck, especially when they are using retinols or retinoids. (And yes, this goes for sunscreen too.) Product recommendations include Environ Concentrated Retinol Serum 1, Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serum 1 and Vita-Enrich Colostrum Gel. However, there are also products intended specifically for neck usage.
What Can I Do to Prevent Neck Wrinkles?
In addition to sunscreen and skincare, it’s helpful to limit the range of motion, avoiding further stretching the skin. Because neck skin is thin and doesn’t have the healing capacity of other parts of the body, prevention is key.”
Can Exercise Help Prevent Neck Sagging?
Sorry to disappoint. “Truth be told, there aren’t great exercises to prevent wrinkling,” says Engelman. There are, however, some tools including like face rollers or gua sha, and treatments you can try to help your neck fight the good fight against gravity.
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