The neck plays a vital role in an overall youthful appearance, but this area is often overlooked when it comes to preventing and addressing visible signs of aging. If you’re not including your neck in your morning and evening skincare routines (or using sunscreen diligently), you should—but Miami Beach, Florida plastic surgeon Dr. Jose Rodríguez-Feliz explains that some degree of neck aging is beyond our control. “Many aging changes in the face and neck have a genetic component, and it’s common to see patients develop similar changes to their parents.”
“The most common age-related changes in the neck area are a double chin, skin laxity, visible bands caused by underlying muscle laxity and horizontal lines,” explains Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz, and these changes often begin to develop in the twenties and thirties. He recommends avoiding sun exposure, eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated to maintain a youthful-looking neck, and when it’s time to address visible signs of aging, here are a few tried-and-true approaches.
Skincare: SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest & Hand Repair
Featuring a potent blend of hydrating and brightening ingredients this targeted treatment works to reduce skin crepiness and discoloration. With ongoing use, it dramatically improves skin texture and restores a more youthful appearance (and it’s effective for other age-revealing areas such as the chest and hands).
As the only injectable solution for permanently eliminating unwanted fat, Kybella can improve the overall appearance of the neck by enhancing the contours of the chin and jawline. Kybella contains deoxycholic acid, a molecule found naturally in the body that breaks down fat. A series of two to four treatments spaced four to six weeks apart is generally recommended for optimal results (larger areas of fat may require up to six treatments). The main side effects are swelling, redness and numbness after treatment (especially after the first injection session), however these are temporary and most patients return to work and their usual activities after a weekend. “When performed in the early stages of neck-area aging, a combination of Kybella and other non-surgical or energy-based treatments is key for delaying the aging process,” says Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz.
“Patients with mild to moderate neck aging usually get great results from energy-based treatments. They are good for skin laxity and in some cases they can also help decrease underlying fat,” says Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz. Options include Ultherapy, Thermage, FaceTite and more, and these treatments generally use ultrasound or radiofrequency to deliver heat deep into the skin, in turn remodeling existing collagen and prompting the body to naturally produce more. Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz explains, “If a patient begins these treatments when they start seeing mild signs of aging, it can delay their progress and in some cases help avoid surgery later in life.” Keep in mind it can take three to six months to see the final outcomes, and some patients may require two treatments for optimal improvement.
Neck lift surgery
“Surgery is ideal for patients with moderate to severe neck changes including excess fat, loose skin and lax muscle,” explains Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz. This procedure tightens lax muscles and removes excess skin through well-hidden incisions under the chin and/or behind the ears—and liposuction can be used to eliminate unwanted fat. Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz often combines neck lift and facelift surgery to improve the lower face and jawline as well, adding, “These surgical procedures provide very natural-looking and long-lasting results.”