We may not realize we’ve been neglecting our neck until the unwanted, telltale signs of aging have already begun to show. First come the fine lines and wrinkles, then you notice thick cords protruding from your neck that were never visible before. Eventually, your aging neck skin may become loose, sagging and taking on a crepey appearance.
Signs of an Aging Neck:
- Protruding Cords
- Crepey Skin
- Lines & Wrinkles
- Sagging Skin
While covering up your aging neck is one option, it is not your only option. Before you resign yourself to a wardrobe composed of turtlenecks and neck scarves, you may want to consider a few of the latest advances in neck rejuvenation.
“The neck is one of the areas that brings both men and women into the office frequently,” shares Philadelphia-based board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Louis P. Bucky, an internationally recognized educator and pioneer in the field of facial aging. “Recently, we’ve really paid attention to what patients want. They want an improved neck without significant surgery. Along those lines we’ve made a few advances to really make that happen.”
Improving the Texture of an Aging Neck
Necks come in many different shapes and sizes, as well as different textures. If your neck is of the crepey and deflated variety, there is a new option to help plump up the volume. “One of the most common concerns among women is the very fine wrinkly skin of their necks,” emphasizes Bucky. He adds, “it is usually the result of a loss of fat in the neck.”
Fat transfer has been used by plastic surgeons to plump up wrinkled, sagging faces for many years. Now, an advanced fat transfer technique allows experienced plastic surgeons to offer fat transfer as an option for neck rejuvenation as well.
“We’ve come up with a way to very gently use dilute fat to help rejuvenate the neck – particularly in necks that are plagued by wrinkled skin and crepiness,” explains Bucky. “It has been a wonderful advance that just treats the neck.”
During the procedure, fat is placed in a delicate criss-cross pattern to reduce the likelihood of any visible irregularities. The procedure requires technical expertise and should only be done by an experienced plastic surgeon who is well-versed in the latest fat grafting techniques.
What Exactly Are Those Vertical Lines?
Commonly referred to as a turkey neck, the vertical lines that become noticeable in the neck as we age are officially called platysmal bands. It is common for platysmal bands to first become noticeable during a person’s mid-forties or early fifties.
The platysma muscle is a broad sheet of muscle that rises from the chest and shoulder, traveling over the collarbone and up along each side of the neck to the lower face. In youth, these two sheets of muscle meet in the middle of the neck below the chin and extend up to the ears on each side.
Over time, our skin loses its elasticity and collagen, becoming thin. The combination of thinning skin and thick, sagging muscles can lead to the appearance of rope-like bands of muscle in the neck
A Full Surgical Neck Lift
It should come as no surprise that surgery done on the lower face affects the skin of the neck. The neck is connected to the lower face, and oftentimes they have to be treated together. You may not have realized that a neck lift and a facelift are often considered the very same procedure. Referred to by many surgeons as a lower facelift, the procedure is done through incisions placed in front of and/or around the back of the ear.
But I Don’t Want a Facelift!
Not everyone who wants to address the bands in their neck is ready and willing to undergo a full facelift procedure. “A lot of times patients just want their neck fixed, and they don’t want a ‘facelift,’ says Bucky. “In the past, all we’ve been able to do to avoid that is to say, ‘Okay, call it a neck lift, but we’ll do a facelift.’ Now we have a way of improving bands from a much more distant approach.”
Increasing Results While Decreasing the Amount of Surgery Required
With advanced fat grafting techniques and neck contouring procedures, Dr. Bucky is now able to deliver the neck rejuvenation results his patients desire. “I’m always happy now when a patient comes in and says, ‘I’m concerned about my neck,’” concludes Bucky. “I finally have something to help them.”