The neck is one of the most important aspects of the face, although the eyes, nose, and face itself tend to take the spotlight. When a neck looks great, a face looks great and many needn’t bother with what the neck looks like itself. When the neck looks not so great, however, then it tends to stick out in a big way.
In 1912, Lina Cavalieri wrote:
“In her heart of hearts, any woman would rather have a beautiful neck than anything else in the world except, perhaps, a beautiful face. Before she has passed the age of sixteen, a girl learns that it is a most decided advantage to be born with a beautiful neck. Or, if she has not been so fortunate, she must learn how to acquire one.”
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephan Finical flexes his plastic surgery expertise as it pertains to the neck, describing for patients the modern solutions – some non-surgical even – that can dramatically improve neck contour for men and women alike.
There are Many Paths to Neck Rejuvenation
Back when Ms. Cavalieri wrote about the neck’s beauty and how to get one if you weren’t born with one, massage and lotions and different exercises were about the only methods women could use to improve the beauty of their necks. Not anymore. From medical-grade topical treatments, to radio frequency applications, chemical injections, liposuction or to the gold standard face and neck lifts, no one during any previous generation has had more ways to tighten up the neck and take years off our looks.
Don’t Scoff at the Power of Topicals
Dr. Finical uses a variety of neck-tightening approaches, depending on a patient’s age, skin damage and skin damage from years of exposure. ‘There are products now that are available now that are tailored just to the neck,” Dr. Finical shares. “Which is really nice because most of them are astringents that tighten the skin some. But you do get some improvement with those kinds of things.”
Beyond topicals, neurotoxins such as Botox and Dysport can be injected to help relax your neck muscles for a smoothing effect. This treatment is no-invasive and lasts three to four months.
When Excess Skin and Fat are an Issue
“We’ve got an injectable now, Kybella, that dissolves fat in the neck so you don’t necessarily have to jump right away to liposuction,” Dr. Finical adds. “If you’ve got a small amount of submental fat, you can get it injected and it dissolves so that’s really nice. When we get on into more invasive things, Thermi is something that is available now. It’s radio frequency that can be delivered under the skin so that it heats the skin to basically temperatures that we very carefully monitor, but just to the point where it heats up collagen and gets it to thicken to tighten it up.”
With ThermiTight, plastic surgeons apply a controlled amount of heat to targeted tissue. The tip of the tiny probe provides constant feedback of the actual temperature during the application.
What to expect:
- One Application
- Minimally Invasive/Non-surgical
- Manageable Downtime
Ridding the Neck of Fat
Liposuction, specifically tumescent liposuction, is ideal for younger patients with good skin elasticity who may have lost the definition between their jaw and neck due to excess fat in the area. During the treatment, fat is suctioned out of the neck and along the jowls if necessary, recreating a toned neck and more facial definition.
Neck lipo with tumescent anesthesia (the patient is awake during the procedure) is considered very safe, according to a recent study that reviewed 67,000 patients and revealed that less than one in 1,000 suffered any serious complications. As far as how long it takes to recover and show off your “new neck,” most plastic surgeons say it will be four to six weeks before the final results have been achieved.
The Gold Standard – Neck Lift
A neck lift, or a lower rhytidectomy, is what Dr. Finical and many of his plastic surgery colleagues say is the gold standard option for a marked improvement for anyone’s neck. The removal of excess skin and fat erases most every visible sign of aging in the neck and jawline. The neck lift is one of the safest and most reliable procedures in plastic surgery. It is performed with minimal incisions and scarring and produces extremely natural-looking results.
As with any surgery, following the instructions of your doctor is really important with the final results and the healing process. Meaning, your CrossFit classes are going to have to be shelved for a few weeks if you want your results to be as designed. Make sure to avoid excessive force, abrasion, or motion while your neck heals, and avoid wearing any clothing that has to go over your head. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to best care for yourself after surgery. Using daily sun protection, skincare and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help extend the results of any plastic surgery procedure.