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Arab women holding her chin to represent double chin

Double chin - treatments, causes and how you might get rid of it

If you have what’s commonly known as a double chin, you’re far from alone – in fact, up to 68 per cent of people will have one at any given time.

While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s also fine if you want to do something about it. Around 55 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men say they are bothered about their jawline, or the area under their chin.

But what causes a double chin, and how exactly can you get rid of it?

What is a double chin?

A double chin – sometimes known by the medical term ‘buccula’ – can develop when a layer of ‘submental’ fat forms under your jawline.

When the chin and this layer are close together, it creates the illusion that there are two chins – hence the name. If it sags, it can appear more prominent too.

What causes a double chin?

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone who has one is overweight, and there are various factors which can contribute to the condition.

Genetics

Those predisposed to accumulating and storing submental fat are more likely to develop a double chin. If your mother and father have one, your chances of developing one are probably higher too.

Gender

Both men and women are susceptible to developing a double chin, but research has found that 78 per cent of people are more likely to notice one on a woman. This statistic could be influenced by men who grow a beard to lessen its appearance.

Diet

As it involves an additional layer of fat, diet can play a role. Food high in calories, saturated and trans fats, and/or processed ingredients, can cause weight gain, which can then lead to developing one.

Posture

Poor posture can cause a double chin to develop too – with our modern-day internet-surfing and working habits partly to blame. If your head is always down, looking at your phone or a laptop screen for example, it can weaken the muscles around the neck and chin – which over time can cause the skin to lose its elasticity.

Age

The ageing process itself can be a factor, due to the fact our skin loses elasticity the older we get, starting in our 30s and 40s. However, as with other double chin causes, there are still certain things you can do to reduce your chances of having one. Try to prevent the skin from becoming too loose too soon by taking good care of it:

  • Reducing sun exposure.
  • Avoiding heavily polluted areas.
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Quitting smoking.
Arab woman looking at her chin to represent double chin

How to get rid of a double chin?

If you’re eager to lessen or lose your double chin there are a range of options – from small lifestyle changes to pioneering cosmetic treatments.

Face exercises

Simple exercises at home, at work or wherever’s convenient for you can help reduce your double chin.

These include:

  • Pressing a small ball under your chin (smaller than a tennis ball; this should fit snugly underneath).
  • Tilting your head back, jutting your lower jaw out, and holding this pose.
  • Performing simple neck stretches, such as lowering your chin to your chest and holding.
  • Face massage and Gua Sha (an alternative therapy which applies pressure to the skin).

These types of movements can help strengthen your muscles in the chin area, potentially giving a tighter and more defined appearance over time. Remember to ask your doctor or clinician for advice on techniques you can try.

Healthy eating

Eating certain foods can help to reduce your body’s fat levels, and potentially lessen any submental layers that have developed. Consider increasing the amount of fruit and veg you eat daily, while introducing more eggs, oily fish, black beans and spinach into your diet can help burn fat – just remember to try and keep active too.

Lipolysis

This treatment uses liposuction or a laser to contour the skin by reducing the fat layer underneath. It cannot, however, remove the excess skin or improve its elasticity, so it may be a treatment you opt for in conjunction with embracing a healthier lifestyle – and doing regular chin exercises too.

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting – or cryolipolysis – can be used as an effective, non-invasive double chin treatment. It works by freezing existing fat cells, which the body then begins to remove them from the area – a process that can take a few months (though you will likely start to see results much sooner than that).

Ultrasonic cavitation

An alternative fat reduction treatment, cavitation uses high-frequency waves to break down fat cells instead of freezing cold temperatures. It is similarly non-invasive to CoolSculpting and can achieve even faster results – but may take more sessions to do so.

HIFU

High-intensity focused ultrasound – or ‘HIFU’ treatments – are non-invasive procedures that can tighten up loose, saggy skin by stimulating collagen production. Ultraformer and Ulthera are popular options for this.

Facelift and neck lift

Surgical options are available to help lose your double chin altogether, and double chin treatment is one of the top 10 procedures for men in the UAE.

If your double chin is a result of ageing, a facelift or a neck lift may help to reduce its appearance – tightening up all the sagging skin around the chin and neck area. Many people choose to have a face and neck lift together as this can help give the cheeks, jowls, and jawline area a more youthful look.

Double chin facts

  • Rewind 500 years, and women with double chins were thought to be the most attractive people in society – as it showed that you could afford to eat well.
  • Genetic factors aren’t just about storing fat – if the condition runs in your family, it could mean you have a family history of skin with little elasticity too.
  • A double chin can be a contributor to snoring, as well as obstructive sleep apnoea (where breathing stops involuntarily for short periods).

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