There’s no better time than Turkey Day for the man or woman battling the dreaded “turkey neck” to start thinking about how to improve their sagging chin and jawline. Both the neck lift and traditional facelift have proven track records of uplifting even the most difficult turkey necks. Still, some people would prefer a non-traditional approach, one that doesn’t require surgery or downtime. But are they effective? Let’s review some of these less or non-invasive alternatives and you decide.
From Jack Lalanne to Facial Yoga
The late health guru Jack Lalanne, for example, was big on daily exercises to keep the facial muscles strong and the skin tight. Jack was a true pioneer and expert in healthy living who developed his own personal facial exercise routine that kept his profile relatively sag- and wrinkle-free well into his 90s. But not even Jack Lalanne was able to win the battle against the forces of gravity and age and stay a healthy looking 70-something indefinitely.
Modern health and fitness experts can be heard these days singing the praises of “hydration” as the proverbial fountain of youth. They recommend a body fat ratio of 14 to 24 percent for women and 6 to 17 percent for men, which means for most of us a radical change in diet is in order and lots of aerobic exercise and hours spent training in the gym or health club.
New Age types, on the other hand, are big adherents of Facial Yoga, a series of targeted exercises which are supposed to ward off neck and facial drooping. Many yoga aficionados do, in fact, look great as they age but there is no real evidence that facial yoga is effective.
There are several non-surgical treatments touted for their ability to target the neck, including skin peels, topical creams and laser procedures, many of which are simply ineffective. Non-surgical skin tightening treatments like Ultherapy, which uses ultrasound energy to tighten facial skin, may be effective to some degree, particularly in patients with minimal sagging. In addition, Botox can be used to effectively treat neck bands. However, these non-surgical treatments generally do not address excess or lax skin and cannot recreate the neck line that most patients desire.
The meat of the matter regarding the turkey neck is that it is one stubborn age-related effect that is difficult to resolve non-surgically. Traditional neck lift and facelift techniques remove excess skin and fat and tighten the platysma muscle to create a firmer, tighter, more youthful look that will last for many Thanksgivings to come. Neck lift may be performed on its own or as part of a traditional facelift.
Don’t be a turkey this Thanksgiving. Consult with a qualified facial plastic surgeon who can help you decide which procedure is best for your sagging neckline.
Dr. Philip Miller is a board certified facial plastic surgeon with offices located at 60 East 56th, Third Floor, New York, N.Y. Call (212) 750-7100 for a personal consultation.