"Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth," as the famous writer Nora Ephron once said. "You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn't if it had a neck."
While everyone is laser focused on treating the wrinkles of the face, most have forgotten that the skin below the jawline needs equal love and attention. Sun protection and daily skincare (Nectifirm is one of our favorites) are an excellent start, but once the damage is done, creams and lotions are just not enough.
As with the chest, several facets of aging skin affect this area, and most individuals will need to treat more than one of them for the best overall results:
- Wrinkles and loose skin: Sculptra injections can stimulate collagen in this area to help produce smoother, plumper skin (See below). Silhouette InstaLift sutures placed in the neck and lower face can help with the sagging upper neck and anchor the skin back up where it belongs. Botox/Dysport can be strategically placed in the thick bands of the neck that pull the skin down. These strong vertical muscles in the neck can be softened and relaxed for a smoother look.
- Texture changes and crepiness: Radiofrequency Skin Rejuvenation is one of our favorite treatments for the neck and can also help to resurface the skin in this area without the long downtime. Stronger chemical peels can be repeated monthly as a series of treatments to slowly help resurface the upper layers of the skin. However, the thin, sensitive skin of the neck limits the aggressive approach that is often required for amazing results.
- Sunspots and discoloration: IPL and other lasers can treat the superficial brown pigment and discoloration in the skin.
- Unwanted bumps: Seborrheic keratosis, angiomas and other benign growths can arise in this area and can also be cosmetically removed.
- Necklace Lines - Tech neck: An additional issue with the neck is the naturally thin skin overlying active, frequently used muscles. Nowadays, constant smartphone use with a flexed neck has led to an epidemic proportion of horizontal "necklace" lines. These lines can be treated with a combination of Belotero superficial filler in the lines and Botox/Dysport injections to slightly relax the muscular pull.
What exactly is Sculptra?
Sculptra injections have been used for well over 15 years to treat aging, wrinkled skin and volume loss of the face. The active ingredient is poly-l-lactic acid, an old standard component of dissolvable stitches that has been used for decades in the medical field. Sculptra can also be used in a dilute form to help replace the lost and damaged collagen on other body surfaces, such as the neck, decolletage, lower thighs, and forearms. This helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cleavage lines and to produce more smooth, supple skin overall. Sculptra doesn't specifically treat individual small lines but gives a general improvement in the crepiness and fine lines of the skin.
How many treatments does Sculptra take?
Most patients have desired results after 2-3 monthly treatments. Because this method depends on your own body to build the collagen, it is a slow and gradual process. But, the final results typically last for 2 years of more.
What about the Necklace Lines?
Belotero is a thinner hyaluronic acid filler that is well-suited for superficial wrinkles in the neck. One to two treatments are likely needed. Dr. Brown can easily inject this area with a cannula (like a miniature metal blunt straw) for less bruising. Because these lines are caused by muscle movement, they are difficult to completely eradicate but can be slowly softened. We also recommend that you work to keep your neck straight with any smartphone and iPad use in order to preserve both the skin and bones in your neck.
How painful are the injections?
We always numb our patients beforehand with a potent topical numbing cream. Most patients tolerate this procedure extremely well with no issues.
Can I return to work immediately?
Because the neck can be covered with a scarf, you can easily hide it from the public and resume most normal activities. We recommend that you have a collection of scarves ready and available for the healing process, as bruising is a possibility.
How should I prepare for my injections?
We also recommend that you bring a dark-colored tank top or camisole to wear for the procedure.