The writer Nora Ephron was about 12 years ahead of her time with her book “I Feel Bad About My Neck”. Today, feeling bad about the neck is, unfortunately, almost a national obsession. I am definitely seeing more and more patients, both men and women, complaining about their neck. For years, the neck was basically an addendum to the face. But thanks to our cellphone driven culture, we now spend an inordinate amount of time looking down at pictures and videos of ourselves and our neck. And it’s not always pretty. In fact, the neck is one of the first features to show the earliest signs of aging.
Why Does Your Neck Look Older Than Your Face?
The neck often seems to age faster than the face for a couple of reasons. For starters, the skin on the neck is more akin to the skin around the eyes than the skin on the face. It’s delicate, thin and prone to drying. This means that it needs extra TLC. Most people, however, don’t tend to extend their anti-aging treatments to the neck. Also, the muscles in your neck see of lot of action what with all that looking up and down from your phone. And like any overworked muscle, they get tired. This thin skin and weak muscle combination can result in:
- skin bands
- lack of definition around the jawline
- turkey waddle
Add in some age-related weight gain and you have the perfect storm for the dreaded double chin.
Non-Surgical Neck Procedures
Luckily, there are quite a few options on the market these days for lifting and firming the neck. Many of which are non-surgical which is important to my patients “on the go”, especially men. If you suffer from excess fat under the chin that’s resulting in doubles where you don’t want them, Kybella® and SculpSure are both great for creating more definition along your jawline. This really helps to slim and lengthen the neck. And let’s be honest, a swan like neck is a youthful neck.
If you suffer from a bit of loose skin and/or sun damage (which often go hand in hand), I like to treat this with a combination of a skin tightening energy-based treatment like Pellevé or Profound and EndyMed Intensif Microneedling. The results from this 1-2 punch can be pretty amazing. But it’s important to always be aware of the limitations of non-surgical procedures. Can non-invasive skin tightening procedures make a difference? Definitely. Are the results as remarkable as those from a neck lift? No way.
If you have bands of loose skin, no laser in the world is going to make them go away. That excess skin will need to be surgically removed. A neck lift allows me to truly sculpt your neck, creating a more youthful and vibrant looking contour by lifting and removing the excess skin and/or fat while also tightening the underlying muscles if necessary. The result can turn back the clock by a decade or more. But it is surgery which means:
- downtime for recovery
And for most patients, if they are going to endure all of this, why not add in a facelift as well and just get it all done, right?
Don’t Forget Skincare
Whatever you decide to do or not do about your neck, don’t forget the skincare. Because the skin on the neck is so delicate, it responds really well to “lotions and potions” as long as they aren’t too harsh or drying. I am happy to recommend some excellent products, but one of the best things that you can use is sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. The sun, though a great source of Vitamin D and inspiration to poets everywhere, is not kind to the skin on your neck. So, lather up. And if the look of your neck is making you want to invest in PhotoShop then come in and see me. We’ll get you back in fighting form in no time.
To find out more about procedures for treating the neck with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.