The neck and the region around the neck, sometimes referred to as the décolletage, is an important area when it comes to facial rejuvenation. This is because this area is often prone to sun damage and can also show the early signs of aging. One’s age is often determined by the appearance of the neck.
Other issues in this area include, but are not limited to, neck fat, skin laxity, discolouration, skin tags, and neck bands. Fortunately there are a range of treatments and techniques available, both surgical and non-surgical, to aesthetically enhance this area.
Non-surgical approaches seek to improve the elasticity and tone of the skin and can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with more invasive methods.
Toxins and fillersThe most commonly used methods include Botulinum toxin injections (otherwise known as Botox) and fillers. Fillers can be used to augment soft tissue deficiency and have a somewhat limited role. Botox injections cause a form of muscle paralysis so its use in neck rejuvenation is limited. Both these methods, though limited, are suitable for those who do not wish to undergo surgical procedures
CosmeceuticalsCosmeceuticals are topical agents which are applied to improve aging skin and thus must have an active ingredient which is deemed to have a significant effect on aging skin. These ingredients also need to be able to penetrate the skin and deliver the skin improving properties to targeted areas.
Chemical PeelsChemical peels are often employed for skin that has been affected by aging or photo damage. The depths of the peels range from superficial to medium, and deep depending on the patient’s needs. Despite their popularity and efficacy, chemical peels need to be used carefully around the neck and décolletage area therefore the careful selection of the patient and suitability of the product to the skin type is paramount.
Lasers and photo rejuvenationLasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy are well known non-invasive therapies and can result in moderate tightening of the skin. However use around the neck and décolletage area has in the past been recognized as problematic in some cases. Thanks to new advances in technology and design of lasers, many of these problems have now been removed and this non-invasive therapy is a well-accepted form of rejuvenation.
Mesotherapy and PRPPRP stands for ‘platelet rich plasma’ and is a matrix of fibrin and platelets from the patient’s own blood which is injected into the skin to promote collagen growth. Mesotherapy is the procedure whereby multivitamins, hyaluronic acid, and natural plant extracts are injected into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production. It is an accepted and popular form of therapy for rejuvenation of the décolletage and neck.
Thread LiftsThis is a minimally evasive procedure with the objective of correcting drooping in the neck caused by the aging process. A neck lift using threads can also be effective for those with early jowl formation, for minor adjustments following surgery or for those who wish to avoid major surgical procedures.
However a thread lift is only temporary and the patient may require further intervention as they age.
LiposuctionLiposculpture can be utilised in this area and can effectively tighten the skin and manage volume excess.
Open neck lipectomy and cervicoplastyThis is generally a sequence of steps which can be modified depending on the patient.
The surgery involves removing localized fat deposits usually via a small incision under the chin. Fat is suctioned or excised along with a tightening of the platysma muscle, which improves the contours of the neck and jawline.
In such cases a small amount of skin may also be removed.
Rejuvenation of the neck and décolletage play a vital role in facial rejuvenation as a youthful looking neck is an important element of an aesthetically pleasing face. To achieve the optimal outcome with overall patient satisfaction, it may be that a combination of the techniques mentioned above be considered.
Every treatment that is performed needs to be evaluated by its risks and benefits. Minimally invasive procedures will, in general, have a lower risk profile but may in some circumstances; have a lesser degree of efficacy.
It is important you have realistic expectations of the outcome of each procedure.
A consultation with the surgeon will required to determine which procedure is best for you and suitable for your needs. This consultation will take into account factors such as your age and medical history, and will enable you to come to an informed decision.