The only turkey necks you see this Thanksgiving should be on the dinner table.
When we talk about “turkey necks” on the human body, we are referring to the loose skin underneath the chin that results from the natural aging process or extreme weight loss.
As we get older, we naturally begin to lose fat in our face and neck, which can lead to a loosening of the skin around the jowls and neck. In the same token, the skin loses elasticity over time, making it harder to snap back into place after a large amount of weight loss.
The muscles themselves, like every muscle in your body, are subject to gravity and will after a period of time begin to sag, usually noticeably in your late 30s to early 40s. This laxity can cause the “turkey waddle,” or unwanted movement in your neck when you move it.
You may be tempted to use anti-wrinkle creams to prevent or treat sagging necks, but they really have a minimal effect since the waddling is due to actions taking place beneath the skin. Anti-wrinkle creams don’t stand a chance against fat loss and gravity. Another factor that makes anti-wrinkle creams less effective on the neck than the face is that the skin is significantly thinner on our necks, causing a unique crinkling effect that’s hard to prevent.
Thankfully, turkey neck is treatable, which means you can put away those turtlenecks and show off your fabulous jawline once again!
Non-Surgical Procedures to Treat Turkey Neck
There are a few non-surgical treatments that can stave the effects of age and gravity for a few more years, and can be effective in the early stages of “turkey neck.” A few of these include:
Ultherapy – Ultherapy tightens skin by focusing ultrasound energy beneath the skin to stimulate the growth of new collagen over time. What’s great about Ultherapy is that it adds structural support to the face without disturbing it. As you receive more Ultherapy treatments, more collagen grows, creating a smooth, youthful appearance with minimal wrinkles and lines.
Injectables – There are several injectables that can be used to prevent neck sagging from happening for a few more years. Botulinum Toxin Type A injectables, like Botox and Dysport, temporarily paralyze the muscles that cause wrinkles, making them less prominent. Hyaluronic Acid-based injectables like Restylane and Juvederm actually fill in creases temporarily, which adds volume to thinning skin. Another option is injecting collagen, the main protein found in connective tissue. Always consult with Dr. Rosenberg on the look you are seeking, as some injectables may not be effective for the sagging neck muscles.
Threadlift Facelift – A Threadlift Facelift, sometimes referred to as the “weekend facelift,” is much less invasive than a traditional facelift surgery, and takes less time to recover. The ideal candidate for a Threadlift Facelift has only just begun to see minimal sagging beneath the jawline. During a Threadlift Facelift, barbed sutures are inserted beneath the skin and secured in place to pull up areas that may be sagging due to muscle or collagen loss. The procedure should only be used for minor corrections, so if you’re experiencing anything more than a loosening of the skin or a lowering of the face you might want to check out facelifts or mini facelifts.
Surgical Procedures for Turkey Neck
Because “turkey neck” is cause by the natural lowering and sagging of the skin and muscles, the best solution for a sagging neck is to undergo a surgical procedure to tighten the area and put things back in place. Mini facelifts and full facelifts are great options for those seeking to reverse the effects of gravity and age.
Mini Facelift – The mini facelift is a less invasive procedure than a full facelift, and is aimed at individuals who have just started to see minor facial sagging. A mini facelift can last anywhere from 5-10 years, and is best for those individuals wishing to be proactive about the signs of aging.
Facelift – A full facelift tightens sagging skin and muscles and is frequently accompanied by liposuction of the face and neck to get rid of excess fat. This is frequently combined with a neck lift, which will directly target the muscles and skin along the neck, removing wrinkles and bands to create a smooth, youthful appearance.
What Neck Treatment Is Right for Me?
When you schedule a consultation with Dr. Rosenberg, you’ll discuss each of these possible treatments and make the decision that’s right for you. Factors you’ll want to take into consideration are your age, desired effect, and how long you want the results to last. Regardless of which one you choose, you’re always in good hands with Dr. Rosenberg at The Plastic Surgery Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Make sure to check out before and after photos of actual patients!