Sagging jowls are unavoidable. Too much sun, extreme tanning or losing weight too quickly are all things that may make skin sag prematurely. However, it’s inevitable that as we age, our skin loses its elasticity and begins to sag. This is due to a degeneration of muscles and cells within the body.
Most people notice they have a saggy neck in their 40’s. At this point, the skin is losing the fight of youth and begins to give in to gravity. Although “wrinkly,” “turkey neck” is unavoidable, there are a few things one can do to delay or minimize the problem.
Loose neck causes
Age and genetics
With age, the muscles and cells within the body start to degenerate slowing down collagen production hence the skin starts to lose its elasticity. The degeneration shows subtle signs in the thirty’s, but it becomes evident from the age of forty.
It may also occur earlier in young adults due to several factors including diet, lifestyle and inherited cutis laxa disorder. This disorder affects the connective tissues, and the skin loses its elasticity
With weight gain the neck muscles which are a highly flexible stretch to accommodate the new changes. When there is a rapid weight loss, it forces the body muscles and fibers to contract rapidly, and the skin surrounding the muscles are not able to withstand the change and droops. The body tries to maintain the elasticity through the present collagen and if it is not able to regenerate its cells then the skin sags and especially in areas around the neck.
Comfort foods are slowly denying a majority of the population access to proper nutrition which assists in development. The lack of essential vitamins denies the skin cells, in particular, an opportunity to regenerate leading to rapid skin and muscle deterioration. The neck muscles are highly affected, and with contraction, these cells also become weak leading to sagging skin
Lifestyle and body etiquette
Use of technology such as laptops, tablets, and phones have eased up communication. However, it has also contributed to early sagging of the skin affecting even teenagers. The neck muscles are flexible in nature. However, when using these devices, the neck is bent. Prolonged bending weakens the muscles, and eventually, the surrounding skin begins to sag.
The sleeping position also affects the neck muscles. The strain on the muscles caused by coiling of the body results to weaken muscles and consequent sagging.
Avoid staying in the sun too long
Not that you have to give up your peaceful days on the beach, just that you should probably stay under an umbrella, and wear sunscreen to protect your skin. The UV light from the sun is harsh enough to destroy the collagen which eventually causes wrinkles and sagging. You can still end up with a sunburn.
Improve body posture
Sit straight and try to sleep with your neck elongated. Proper body posture may not buy too much time, but it does help to keep your skin from sagging.
Gaining and losing weight too quickly doesn’t allow the skin time to catch up causing it to become loose. Properly exercising (there are a few saggy neck exercises) and managing diet for weight loss allows it to happen gradually instead of suddenly, so that the skin can maintain its elasticity.
Hydration and proper diet
A diet with essential vitamins is necessary to keep your skin healthy. Foods with anti-oxidant properties work to eradicate free radicals in the skin improving collagen production. Fruits such as avocado, grape, watermelon, citrus, and berry are good for you. Fried fast foods, salt, and carbonated sugary drinks should be avoided.
Foods with astringent properties such as lemons are also good for narrowing the tissues are the skin. You can ingest these or make a mask with them.
As experts recommend, it’s important to drink a lot of water (8 glasses per day). Water is important in providing moisture for the skin to keep it healthy and youthful.
Keeping it moisturized all the time is essential to maintaining its health and youth. Dry skin sags quicker than necessary. There are plenty of skin tightening treatments for the face out there. Find one you like and be religious about it.
Try firming creams
Anti-aging and neck firming cream can be used as early as the late twenties. When looking for neck tightening cream, search for those with the following ingredients:
- Retinol: a vitamin A anti-oxidant that prevents irritation by free radicals on the skin.
- Hydroxy Acids: Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids are useful for skin exfoliation.
- Caffeine: Which is useful for tightening blood vessels in the skin because it is a vasoconstrictor.
- Kinetin: That kindles collagen production in the skin to prevent early loosening.
Neck plastic surgery – cost, healing time and results
Also known as a lower rhytidectomy, this procedure is ideal for those who want to work on their neck and jawline without face-lifting the whole face.
Surgery duration or time
This is typically an outpatient procedure, surgically done under anesthesia and which takes about 2-3 hours.
The surgery aims to reduce skin sagging around the neck by redistributing fat, repositioning underlying neck tissue and tightening of the platysma muscle that runs from the collarbone to the jaw. The excess skin is then cut and removed.
The patient can expect minor bruising, swelling and discomfort after the procedure. Recovery is quick, occurring within 2 weeks although the skin may feel tight around the neck for a few weeks.
The results last for years. Even though one can’t prevent the aging process, this surgery is wonderful at slowing it down.
The flipside is that this surgery is expensive, ranging at about $7000, give or take. Beauty Is pain and maintaining youth is pricey!
Neck lift without surgery – Utherapy, injections, and laser
This procedure uses ultrasound technology to stimulate the production of collagen. The procedure shocks cells surrounding tissue under contracted muscles causing regeneration of collagen production. As a result, the skin is lifted and becomes tighter.
The procedure lasts anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half and requires no healing time. However, results may take up to 3 months to be visible. Utherapy costs $2500 and above.
These injections are aimed at tightening the skin around the neck. The platysma muscles are the largest muscles that contract and they are found at the front of the neck. Injections to this muscle allow the cells to revive. There are two common types: Botox and Kybella.
While Botox is better known, Kybella has been recently approved as a fat destroying medication. The treatment is 15 minutes long and requires on average 20 -but sometimes as many as 50- injections in two sessions about a month apart. The results so far are good, they but have been found to work better in younger patients. Kybella costs about $1500 on average.
This is a minimally invasive treatment that stimulates collagen production. Using a device, the doctor uses an ultraviolet source device to inject “brief pulses of laser energy” into the neck a few times over. This heats the collagen under the neck causing the muscles to contract and the skin to tighten. The entire process is entirely painless but may require a few treatments.
The procedure is rather short, taking less than 30 minutes. However, the results don’t last long either, going up to about 6 months only. The cost is anywhere from $500 and above.