While most people tend to focus on correcting facial wrinkles and other imperfections such as sun spots, jowls, and fine lines as they get older, the neck can also exhibit some very noticeable signs of aging. Most notably, neck age lines can make you look a lot older than you actually are. Vertical neck lines and neck bands are probably the most telling signs of aging, but they can be caused by a number of elements including genetics, sun exposure, or an improper skincare routine over the years.
Depending on the severity and cause, certain neck line treatments are available to help reduce the signs of aging and improve the quality of the skin around your neck.
What Are Platysmal Bands?
The platysmal bands are the two muscles that are located on both sides of your neck. Since the neck has a much thinner layer of skin than the face and the skin around your neck naturally loses fat deposits and collagen as you get older, these muscles usually become increasingly visible over time. Usually, they’re well-hidden and are only visible when you tightly grimace or clench your teeth while working out or in moments of extreme stress.
This is one of the reasons that many mental health experts have linked stress, anxiety, and depression to premature aging. Dramatic weight loss and genetics have also been attributed to causing premature neck lines.
What Are the Causes of Neck Bands?
As mentioned, the platysmal neck bands are always there. It’s just the frequency with which they become visible over time that changes. The three known culprits of neck age lines are:
- Weight loss
- Clenching your teeth or stress and anxiety
The body, particularly the neck, shoulder blades, and teeth tend to clench and tighten up whenever we feel tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety. Even when you’re doing something good for your body such as a high intensity workout, certain muscles tend to tense up to prepare for overwhelming pressure.
When this happens, the platysmal bands become constricted and move forward. The platysmal bands are free-floating which means they’re not attached to ligaments that hold them back or restrict their movement in the same way that other muscles in your body are. Over time, certain repetitive movements in your body will continue to push them forward and become increasingly visible on a permanent basis. Additionally, the older you get, the thinner the skin around your face and neck get, which also makes the underlying muscles and bone structure look more prominent.
Effective Platysmal Band Treatments
The type of platysmal band treatments you seek depend largely on your personal preferences. Some patients don’t mind undergoing slightly more invasive surgical treatments as long as it means getting rid of their unsightly neck lines. Other patients might prefer less invasive treatments such as neck injections.
The first step to receiving effective treatment according to your needs and the severity of your neck lines and wrinkles is to schedule a consultation with an experienced and reliable board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Gantous at Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery always conducts a thorough examination of all his patients before recommending any treatment options.
The following is a list of some of the most popular and effective neck wrinkle treatment options that are currently available:
When it comes to neck bands, Botox® is one of the most popular treatments. Other hyaluronic acid-based injections that are commonly offered by facial plastic surgery clinics in Toronto and the GTA include Dysport® and Juvederm®. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that’s produced by the body. As we get older, however, production of hyaluronic acid is diminished. Its main function is to moisturize the skin and maintain elasticity by supplementing collagen production. That’s why many beauty products, moisturizers, and anti-wrinkle facial creams are fortified with hyaluronic acid. Neck injections are an affordable and convenient option for patients who don’t like the idea of undergoing a potentially invasive surgical procedure.
Neck lifts or plastysmaplasty procedures are typically administered to remove excessive sagging skin or fat cells and reduce the look of what’s known as turkey neck/wattle. During the procedure, the facial plastic surgeon not only removes the excess fat deposits and sagging skin, but they also pull back the plastysmal bands to create a tighter and smoother appearance. Neck lifts leave minimal scarring. If performed by an experienced facial plastic surgeon, the scars can be well-hidden behind the ears so that no one will ever be able to guess you’ve had work done.
Patients who also want additional work done such as re-contouring or adding definition to their chin and jaw line might want to consider getting a lower facelift that also targets the neck. These procedures can often be completed in conjunction with one another during the same surgical session. Keep in mind that as with any type of surgical procedure, there may be some downtime required so you might have to plan ahead and take time off of work to allow for adequate recovery. Oftentimes, these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, but you might still have to arrange for an alternate mode of transportation after the operation.
Neck Band Treatment Follow-Up, Recovery, and Aftercare
Regardless of the type of treatments you choose to receive, it’s critical that you schedule follow-up appointments at least one to two weeks afterward to make sure that everything is going according to plan. Your plastic surgeon will also provide you with detailed aftercare instructions as well as prescriptions for pain medications as needed.
To ensure a swift recovery, it’s essential to follow these instructions closely and refrain from any strenuous physical activities for as long as recommended. You should be able to gradually return to work and resume your regular activities in the coming weeks.
Dr. Gantous at Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery is one of the most prominent board-certified facial plastic surgeons in Ontario. He’s served as the keynote presenter at numerous national and international facial plastic surgery symposiums throughout his illustrious decades-long career in the industry. At our clinic, we offer several effective methods to treat neck bands, depending on your needs. If the appearance of your neck bands is getting out of hand, contact us today to discuss your treatment options!