Sagging neck skin easily betrays your age. This comes in form of a double chin or loose flaps of skin known as turkey neck. One of the best ways to tighten a saggy neck is through exercises. Read on for more on how to get rid of sagging neck skin naturally, through surgery and by changing your lifestyle.
‘A woman is as old as she looks and a man is as old as he feels.’ This fallacy has been used for centuries to judge people based on their looks and mostly not on their personality. Women often fall for this misconception and desperately such for ways to look young. Often some of the available remedies are painful, costly and subsequently hazardous.
Smooth, elongated, graceful necks are considered to be one of the ideal features that make a woman beautiful as it portrays poise and class. However, it is a fact that as we age body muscles start to weaken and collagen production is reduced consequently, the surrounding skin loses its elasticity and sags especially around the face and neck. It is an irreversible natural condition for both genders though women, in particular, are so afraid of having the “turtle neck” that they are willing to do almost everything to reduce or delay the process.
What is Neck Sagging?
The neck plays a vital role in connecting the head to the body through its vessels. It contains four muscles namely the trapezius and latissimus found at the back of the neck and the sternocleidomastoid and large platysma that form the important yet dreaded “V” shape at the front of the neck.
The muscles are covered by a mass of tissue known as the fascia which contains cells known as fibroblasts. When active the cells vibrantly produce elastin molecules and collagen responsible for skin elasticity, cell regeneration, and skin strength.As time progresses the cells degenerate and results to less collagen and elastin production.
Compared to other parts of the body, except the eyelids, the neck has very thin skin, and weakening of these muscles makes the skin to sag very fast. Hence saggy skin or turkey neck appearance.
Causes of Sagging Neck
There are factors both natural and human-made that contribute to neck sagging that include:
Body Anatomy and health
Cutis Laxa disorder which affects the connective tissue responsible for providing structure to the skin, muscles. Without the connection, the skin loses its elasticity and sags. This can either be inherited or acquired which is predominant.
Lifestyle and body etiquette
Use of technology such as laptops, tablets, and phones have eased up communication. However, it has also contributed to early sagging of the skin affecting even teenagers. The neck muscles are flexible in nature. However, when using these devices, the neck is bent. Prolonged bending weakens the muscles, and eventually, the surrounding skin begins to sag.
The sleeping position also affects the neck muscles. The strain on the muscles caused by coiling of the body results to weakened muscles and consequent sagging.
Over-exposure to the UV rays destroys the cell membranes in the skin surrounding the neck and also cause poikiloderma characterized by red and brown mottling. This lowers collagen production, and the skin tends to droop.
Toxins in the air release free radicals which destroy the fats covering the cell membranes around the skin. This means that the cells regenerate fast and the skin starts to droop around the neck.
Cigarette smoke releases free radicals in the environment which in turn destroy the cell membranes of the skin.Over- exposure to the smoke directly or indirectly eventually causes sagging of the skin especially at the neck.
Age and genetics
With age, the muscles and cells within the body start to degenerate slowing down collagen production hence the skin starts to lose its elasticity. The degeneration shows subtle signs in the thirty’s, but it becomes evident from the age of forty.
It may also occur earlier in young adults due to a number of factors including diet, lifestyle and inherited cutis laxa disorder. This disorder affects the connective tissues, and the skin loses its elasticity
With weight gain the neck muscles which are highly flexible stretch to accommodate the new changes. When there is a rapid weight loss, it forces the body muscles and fibers to contract rapidly, and the skin surrounding the muscles are not able to withstand the change and droops. The body tries to maintain the elasticity through the present collagen and if it is not able to regenerate its cells then the skin sags and especially in areas around the neck.
Comfort foods are slowly denying a majority of the population access to proper nutrition which assists in development. The lack of essential vitamins denies the skin cells, in particular, an opportunity to regenerate leading to rapid skin and muscle deterioration. The neck muscles are highly affected, and with contraction, the skin cells also become weak leading to sagging skin.
Symptoms of Sagging Neck Skin
- Thin, pale skin around the neck
- Fine lines around the neck
- Wrinkled skin around the neck
How to get rid of Sagging Neck Skin
The treatment for neck sagging is mostly done under anesthesia to relax the muscles and allow for effective correction. Some of the treatments are invasive or non –invasive where only small incisions are made on the body. This technique prevents scarring, reduces swelling and healing time.
With Surgery- Invasive treatment
Trampoline lift also referred to as the silhouette soft thread lifting it involves weaving suture (soft surgical thread) through tiny holes made on the jawline and securing the threads into a lace shape thus tightening the chin and neck skin. It is ideal at the early stages as it has minimal invasions and not time-consuming –ideally one hour. However, there is possible swelling, infection and costly around $3500.
Neck lifts for Turkey Neck Skin
For women, aged between forty to eighty years. It is also referred to as lower rhytidectomy, one of the ‘permanent’ solutions to neck sagging as it lasts up to ten years and lasts two to three hours Some of the procedures may include cervicoplasty and platysmaplasty which targets the excess skin around the neck and loose neck muscles.
With aging, the platysma muscles which support the skin and fat begin to form a ridge at the middle resulting into neck bands. The fat loss associated with this weakening there is jawline loss and sagging of the skin.
The incision in the midline allow for pulling of the skin, reconnection of the muscle at the middle and tightening with soluble threads and removal of excess fat if any. This results in symmetrical, firm skin.
Without Surgery- Non Surgical Neck Tightening
With age, the neck muscles tighten, by injecting the muscles specifically the platysma muscles which are the largest contracting muscles located at the front part of the neck. It relaxes the muscles and allows the cells to regenerate. These injections include Botox.
Ultherapy to Tighten Loose Neck Skin
This process takes one to two hours using ultrasound technology for precision, It attacks the tissues under the contracted muscles. This shocks the surrounding cells which act immediately to create collagen and protect the cells above consequently lifting and tightening the skin. Repair is from the inner cells to the outer skin.
This process involves sending electric charges (radio frequency) to the skin. Because the skin cells act as a protective barrier that protects the body from damage, they rush to counter the electric current. The clash creates heat energy which helps to collect, in short, thick lumps the low collagen that is left as a result of cell degeneration and it is transported to the skin area.
The heat also relaxes the muscles and stimulates the fibroblasts to create newer collagen once thus improving the skin. It costs about $1000-$4500 but its only one treatment. Healing is from the outer skin to inner cells.
An ultraviolet source heats the collagen under the neck surface and the muscles contract thus tightening the skin. The process also boosts the production of more collagen leading to softer skin. At least five treatments are required for changes to be noticeable and can cost up to $500.
- Possible infections
- Numbness of the skin area
- Skin discoloration around the neck
- Scarring especially in invasive surgery
- Nerve damage if the injections or anesthesia are wrongly administered.
Management and Aftercare
- Use of head brace for a few days to support the neck
- Use of pain relievers
Home Remedies for Sagging Neck Skin- Sagging Neck Solutions
Use of vitamin E. The fat-soluble vitamin with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties also helps to regulate UV absorption and moisturize the skin by maintaining oil balance. The vitamin boosts collagen production that aids cell generation thus aids in repairing neck skin destroyed by UV rays and tightens skin around the neck. Vitamin E is present in coconut, olive, almond, and avocado both in solid and oil form.
- Daily massaging of coconut oil, vitamin E oil and olive oil on the neck for five minutes in upward circular motions. The oil is soluble and can work while leaving it overnight so as to be absorbed by the body.
- Daily massage before a shower of a mix of almond oil and avocado oil in an upward circular motion on the neck for 20 minutes.
- Massaging in an upward circular motion to stimulate and relax the muscles and the upward motion is meant to straighten the neck muscles
- Consumption of food rich in Vitamin C as they help to protect the skin from damage especially UV rays and help to boost collagen production leading to firm skin. Broccoli and citrus fruits such as lemons are a great source of this vitamin.
- Use sunscreen to protect the skin from UV rays and free radical that may cause damage.
- Consumption of foods rich in Vitamin A and contain retinoic acid. It stimulates the body to produce more collagen and makes the skin firm. Some of the foods that contain vitamin A also have carotenoids which are known for preventing cell damage thus tightening the collagen bonds hence firm skin. An example is tomatoes.
- Consumption of foods that have astringent properties. These foods contain chemical compounds that help tissues to bind fast. This will tighten the tissues around the skin and make it They include egg whites and lemons. (Mix well egg white and lemon juice, apply the mixture on the clean neck and leave for twenty minutes then rinse off with cool water and apply a moisturizer.)
- Consumption of foods that contain glycolic acid. These increase cell regeneration and thus helps in removing the fine lines.
- Improved body posture to avoid bending of the neck
- Sleeping in an upright position and using pillow to elongate
- Exercising the neck muscles such as the smiling exercise to tighten the neck muscles
- Controlled body weight to prevent rapid weight loss
- Use correct neck care routine such as use of vitamin based oils and cream to protect the skin
- Application of sunscreen on neck to prevent skin damage
- Improved diet that provides body with essential nutrients
- Avoid smoking
Saggy Neck Exercises: Video