For many women and men, loose neck skin tops the list of concerns when it comes to signs of aging. Lax skin, jowls, and vertical neck bands—often called a turkey neck—camouflage angular jawlines and well-defined chins that give the face a youthful appearance. People with those concerns can benefit from a neck lift at our Denver, CO, facial plastic surgery practice.
But not everyone may be ready for cosmetic surgery. Did you know that BOTOX and Dysport® can minimize the fine lines and wrinkles that are early signs of neck aging? The key is knowing whether this temporary approach is right for you or if you would be better served getting a neck lift. We’ll explore the two options in this blog post.
The Perils of ‘Tech Neck’
If you’re reading this blog post on your phone, you’re likely looking down with your neck flexed and the skin bunched together. This head position causes increased laxity of the skin and underlying layers of tissue—which is often called “tech neck.” This phenomenon stems from the increasing amount of time we spend on our smartphones or tablets and includes both cosmetic and physical effects.
Even though tech neck emerged as a concern before the pandemic, the increased time spent on video meetings focused even more attention on the appearance of our necks—and many of us didn’t like what we saw. This included many younger women and men whose necks were showing signs of aging even though their facial skin remained relatively youthful. One of the reasons is that neck skin is quite a bit different from facial skin. It’s thinner, in general, and contains less collagen, so it’s more likely to develop wrinkles at an earlier age.
How Does Dysport Help?
An aging neck involves more than just loose skin. The platysma, a thin muscle that extends from the collarbone to the lower face, is just below the skin. Repetitious neck movements made when people look down at their devices weaken the muscle and result in vertical bands that become more pronounced as you age. At one point, experts believed these neck bands became visible only as the skin aged. Research, however, showed that it was the activity of the muscle itself combined with the natural aging process that caused prominent platysmal neck bands.
That’s where Dysport comes in. Like BOTOX, Dysport is an injectable neurotoxin that prevents nerves from sending signals to the muscles. Dysport injections in the neck block the platysma from contracting, resulting in minimized wrinkles and smoother skin. Dr. Ladner is a certified instructor for the company that makes Dysport, and his expertise as a Dysport injector produces excellent results.
What Is a Neck Lift?
Although often combined with a facelift, a neck lift can be performed on its own for people who only want to address their jowls, loose neck skin, and neck bands. When Dr. Ladner performs a neck lift, he makes a small horizontal incision below the chin and a shorter incision around the ears. He then tightens the neck and lower facial skin, platysma muscle, and the lower SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system). The goal, as with a full facelift, is to create results that look natural.
You can see results for yourself in our gallery of before-and-after photos.
Which Approach Is Right for You?
Both Dysport injections and neck lift surgery are effective for patients concerned about signs of neck aging. In some cases, a patient may have the option to choose one approach instead of the other. Patients with more severe sagging in the neck, though, won’t see much benefit from getting Dysport injections.
If you’re trying to decide between Dysport and a neck lift, consider the advantages and limitations of each procedure.
The benefits of Dysport include:
- Minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment
- No downtime
- Results within days
- Lower cost (initially)
The drawbacks include:
- Temporary results
- Periodic treatments needed (every 4 months or so)
- Less cost-effective over time
- Doesn’t address jowls
The benefits of a neck lift include:
- More dramatic results
- Long-lasting results
- Can address jowls and more severe sagging
- One-time cost
The drawbacks include:
- Requires anesthesia and incisions
- Longer recovery time
- Higher initial cost
For younger patients who have less prominent wrinkles, Dysport injections are a reasonable option. A neck lift is best suited for women and men with jowls, lax skin, and neck bands.
Consult With a Facial Plastic Surgeon
The best way to determine if a neck lift or Dysport is the best option is to discuss your concerns with a facial plastic surgeon. You can use the online form to request a consultation with Dr. Ladner, who is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon. Or call our office at (303) 253-7686 to schedule an appointment.