Saggy neck causes – and what you can do about it
A saggy neck is a common sign of getting older. Weaker muscles and ales collagen production combine to leave sagging and loose skin and what is sometimes known as a ‘turkey neck’.
A sagging neck is generally nothing to worry about – the issue is common among men and women and is simply a sign of maturing. But what steps can you take to treat or slow the onset of sagging neck skin?
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In this article:
What is a saggy neck?
Turkey neck, saggy neck, jowls… The names may change but they all refer to the same thing: wrinkled, loose skin around the chin and neck.
As the body ages, elasticity leaves the skin, while neck muscles lose their strength. Amounts of the vital components in maintaining healthy, taut skin – collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycan – begin to fall.
Almost everyone is likely to encounter saggy neck skin as they get older. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated.
What causes a sagging neck?
Age is the biggest cause of a saggy neck. But a range of other factors can also take their toll much earlier in life.
Turkey necks and jowls can run in the same family, making them hard to escape.
Failing to drink enough water or eat a diet full of essential nutrients could worsen the quality of your skin and leave you at a greater risk of a sagging neck. Stress, smoking and low levels of exercise are other potential causes.
Rapidly losing weight can leave folds of skin on your neck and across your body. Why? Because the fibres that maintain your skin’s shape might have been damaged by excess fat and struggle to bounce back.
A lifetime of sun exposure can gradually damage the skin around your chin and neck. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light is thought to be behind 90 per cent of visible skin changes.
UV radiation from the sun can also corrode your collagen and elastin. It’s important to think about these long-term effects if you regularly get sunburnt around your neck.
How you might treat saggy neck skin
From simple day-to-day activities to surgical treatments, there are many ways to try and firm up skin around the neck.
Treat you neck as you would your face. If you aren’t already, extend all your cleansers, creams, and actives down past your neck and onto your décolletage. Look out for ingredients such as N-acetyl glucosamine, which supports important skin components such as hyaluronic acid.
Botox is widely used to smooth out facial wrinkles. But it could also relax the muscles in your neck and tighten the skin around them. It’s a quick procedure, taking as little as 10 minutes. However, Botox injections are only temporary, with the effects wearing off after a few months.
A neck lift, or platysmaplasty, is an operation designed to reduce the effects of a saggy neck by tightening and lifting your muscles and skin. It’s a surgical procedure that requires an anaesthetic, and potential side-effects include some scarring and bleeding.
Another surgical option, liposuction can vacuum stubborn fatty deposits out of your neck and chin. It’s generally used more as a treatment for double chins rather than a droopy neck as its speciality is fat removal.
Ultherapy/Ulthera skin treatments
A non-invasive procedure, Ultherapy stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin with the help of micro-focused ultrasound energy. The aim is to kickstart a gradual lifting effect without the need for surgery.
CoolSculpting or CoolTech
As with liposuction, CoolSculpting or CoolTech breaks down and removes fat underneath the chin. This non-surgical treatment freezes fat cells, causing them to shrink and naturally leave the body over time.
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Saggy neck facts
- Our food plays a big role in slowing the appearance of a sagging neck. Look for fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants, along with skin-friendly nutrients such as vitamins C and E, selenium, and beta-carotene.
- The battle against turkey neck has spawned a unique type of yoga. During facial yoga, flexing your face and neck muscles causes oxygen and nutrients to start flowing.
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