Due to a variety of factors, including aging, weight loss, or even genetics, some people have the dreaded “turkey neck.” A “turkey neck” is when the skin underneath your chin is loose and hangs. This can also look just like a double chin in some cases due to the extra skin and fat around the neck. If a turkey neck runs in your family, you can get it as early as your twenties, though most women don’t see the signs of the turkey neck until their forties or later.

So what can we do to fix our necks?

Depending on how bad your neck is, there are several things that can be done. If you have a “severe” turkey neck, surgery may be the best, most cost-effective option to fix the problem. For those who do not feel the need to surgically fix the problems, there are some non-invasive treatments as well.

Retin-A. If the skin on your neck is just starting to sag and/or wrinkle, or if you are in your twenties and want to prevent turkey neck, Retin-A could help if you do not have a lot of neck fat. Since Retin-A is a vitamin A cream, it can have a subtle skin-tightening effect. Since Retin-A is a prescription product, you will need to see your facial plastic surgeon to see if the medication is right for you. You can also look for over-the-counter products (which are less effective), that contain Vitamin A or retinol.

Sunscreen. Sunscreen is also very important in preventing turkey neck. The skin on your neck is sensitive to sun damage, and UVA rays contribute to a loss of elasticity in the skin. Many people remember to wear sunscreen on their face, but then forget about the neck!

If you already have a mild or moderate aging in your neck caused by a muscle called the platysma, minimally invasive injectable treatments might help. A more common treatment is the use of Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin. They are neuromodulators that relax muscle and may help mild cases of turkey neck. However, most surgeons agree this minimally-invasive treatment is only useful in very specific circumstances and are usually not as effective as surgery. The best way to rid yourself of your turkey neck is with a neck lift, or facelift (depending on what your facial plastic surgeon determines is best for you). In the end, no matter how many creams you use, or what you try to inject, what you may really need is removal of the extra fat and skin under your chin while tightening muscle.

For more information, schedule your free consultation with Dr. Chow at the Chow Center for Facial Plastic Surgery today.