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What are my options for a sagging neck?

Q:

I am 44 years old.  I eat right, don't smoke or drink, exercise daily and always wear sunscreen.  I am very pleased with the appearance of my face.  Most people think I am in my mid 30's.  In the past year there has been a noticeable change in my neck.  There is a thin line of skin hanging down the center of my neck.  When I simply pull my neck skin back a bit it totally disappears.  What are my options for fixing this?  Are there any non-surgical options or exercises I could do?  Thank you so much!

A:

Although there are a number of non-surgical options in the market for tightening the skin like you describe on your neck, none tighten it for more than a few months. Therefore, the answer is that there is nothing that can tighten your neck for longer than a few months except surgery. In spite of not seeing much on your face, you probably also have early aging there too. What I do for people like you is a modified MACS Lift. This is a face and neck lift that gets excellent correction of early neck and also facial aging with minimal incision and rapid recovery. It improves the face as well as the neck with the same expense and recovery as a neck lift that only improves the neck. You can achieve the same result with other techniques if they are modified appropriately. See TadaysFacelift.com.

R.T. Buchanan, MD

A:

Lower face rejuvenation is in demand now more than ever. Younger patients today are seeking options for making the neck, chin and jawline youthful and attractive. Social media like Instagram, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc. has made people evaluate their neck and jawline and face more closely. Looking your best in photos has taken on more importance with the development of social media. The lower face is now in the spotlight.

For many people, minimal liposuction under the chin can provide a more contoured and much more attractive face. A small amount of liposuction under the chin can not only make a person look better in photos but sometimes make a person look much slimmer. Thin, fit people with even a small amount of excess fat under the chin will look much heavier. Chin liposuction can change that. Chin liposuction is an outpatient procedure. The recovery includes wearing a chin strap to help secure the tissues of the chin, neck and lower face in place. The chin strap is worn for about a week around the clock (with a few breaks for visits to mailbox, supermarket, etc.). The result is typically, a slimmer looking, more attractive, and in women, a more elegant looking YOU that is much more photogenic.

In cosmetic surgery patients that do not have a sharp transition in profile between the submental area (area below the jawline) and the anterior neck, and in patients who simply want that transition enhanced, I add a suture suspension necklift. A permanent suture is passed subcutaneously across the anterior neck, at the level corresponding to depth of the angle between the submental area and anterior neck, and is then anchored to the deep soft tissues behind each earlobe. This suspension cosmetic surgery procedure can dramatically enhance the definition between the jawline and anterior neck, producing a more elegant profile.

The neck is without question the primary facelift aesthetic area where subtractive (excisional) and tightening procedures restore a truly youthful contour. Once again, take a look at the fashion magazines: essentially every neck you'll see demonstrates something close to a right angle between the neck and jaw. When it comes to the neck, and only in the neck, flat is good.

For early signs of aging in the neck, laser skin tightening can be very effective. Other concerns about neck skin can include redness of the skin of the neck, called Poikiloderma of Ciivatte. This too can be treated effectively with a pulsed dye laser like the V-Beam.

M.M. Law, MD

A:

Exercises for sagging neck skin are more likely to make it worse rather than better, but 44 may be a bit young for a facelift. At your age nonsurgical options such as Ulthera may be worth considering. Everything including facelift surgery has a temporary effect; think of it as setting back the clock but the clock keeps ticking. A facelift or necklift would set the clock back further but nonsurgical treatments can push back the time until you may need a facelift to get the desired result.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA

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