Nobody welcomes surgery. So, the idea of nonsurgical alternatives for a drooping neck and jawline is cause for much excitement. The question is: “Do they work?”
Everyone has heard of the infamous “Botox”, though many don’t realize there is no longer a stigma on the injection procedure. If you have little fat under the chin and mildly hanging skin and muscle, Botox may be the ticket. For starters, a London-based dermatologist recommends Botox injections for prevention. “If you start when you’re about 30, you’ll keep the neck and jowl muscles from sagging and you can put off a face lift until you’re fifty. But, if you ignore your neck, Botox won’t help you when you’re 50.” So where some think it’s only for those aging; not so. It really acts as a preventive.
Botox can also soften V-shaped platysma cords. The Botox neck lift refers to the use of Botox to relax muscular (platysmal bands) located immediately under the skin of the neck. If injected in reasonable dosages, Botox, or similar injections like Dysport or Xeomin can relax the anterior (front) portion of the neck band but, at higher doses, swallowing can be affected, so you need the expertise of a board-certified practitioner.
The most interesting rumors of new “Trendy Approaches” come from some Beverly Hills dermatologists advocating using belly fat AND stem cells in the syringe which apparently makes the skin glow more in addition to enhancing collagen growth. Yes you heard right, belly fat and stem cells…! Or, In still another approach, a company called Kythera is close to releasing an injectable that dissolves the double chin with human bile. (Wow.) We have not heard any results from that but will be sure to keep checking!
Plastic surgeons were recently interviewed by W Magazine about up upcoming trendier devices, such as Thermage, Ulthera and Titan. Have you heard of them? The devices “deliver radio frequency (RF), ultrasound and infrared lasers to stimulate skin layers below the epidermis”, an area in which collagen and elastic production slows down as we age.” According to these surgeons, the problem is that these trendy devices don’t deliver enough energy to have a substantial effect. Lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL) or RF treatments can produce some changes in the surface of the skin, but will not replace facelift or neck lift surgery. So if you are still looking for nonsurgical procedures, you may want to do some research on the above devices and see if that is the right option for you.
But wait! – A new FDA-approved RF device, Evolastin, has been getting some good reviews. Evolastin delivers heat through small injections directly into the deep dermis with the goal of boosting collagen and elastin. A typical treatment can include as many as 1,500 shots via pulses from a 10-needle cartridge; local anesthesia is used or else the pain would be unbearable. You also need patience; the results take over one month to see and then continue to appear for a year. One doctor claims the boost of elastin and collagen produced by Elastin is like setting the clock back about five years and that results are equal to about one third of a facelift. If you choose this procedure, ask a lot of questions about the recovery time. There have been reports of post treatment swelling that can persist.
With all surgical and nonsurgical procedures, make sure you consult with a board-certified specialist that has plenty of experience with jaw-firming techniques, surgical or nonsurgical.