The most common features that characterise an ageing neck fall into three categories:
(1) The accumulation of fat and sagging beneath the chin.
This sagging results in what is often known as the turkey gobbler appearance. Using radiofrequency energy, modest results can sometimes be achieved using nonsurgical skin tightening methods. However, surgery currently remains the most effective option for the removal of excess fat and sagging under the chin. Newer non-surgical techniques such as cryolipolysis for the removal of fat and high intensity focused ultrasound for lifting are currently showing encouraging signs of giving much improved non-surgical results.
(2) Thickened vertical muscle cords, also known as platysmal bands.
The platysma is the muscle which supports the front of the neck but the natural effects of ageing cause this muscle to deteriorate, forming a thickened vertical muscle at the front of the neck. These bands extend from the jawline to the collarbone. This can be treated surgically, but there are also non-surgical methods using wrinkle treatment products.
(3) Pigmentation and wrinkling.
Rejuvenating the neck by using non-surgical methods
are particularly focused on improving the texture,
colour and skin tone. Damage from sunlight is often
seen on the neck as it is often not protected
adequately from excessive sunlight. This causes the
outer part of the neck to have a mottled appearance
with discolouration. Sometimes, there can be a
horseshoe shaped discolouration with sparring under
the chin (because the chin shades the front of the
neck from sun). This may even extend onto the chest.
When the neck area is treated with lasers, it does need to be understood that the skin of the neck is quite different to the skin of the face. On the neck, the skin is thicker and does not have sweat glands or hair follicles which help with the healing process. Special care needs to be taken when treating the neck and a much less aggressive treatment approach is normally needed. Multiple sessions are normally required to get the best results. The choice of laser for neck rejuvenation depends on the problem itself. The Cosmetic and Laser Medical Centres have a wide range of systems to choose from but a particularly popular and effective option for more generalized damage is the FRAXEL laser.