The face is the most prominent area that shows signs of aging but also of concern for some women is the neck. From loose skin to double chins to excess neck fat to sun damage/sun exposure to neck age lines to the general appearance of wrinkles, there are numerous elements of neck aging. There is an equal amount of varied nonsurgical treatments designed to address all of these neck complaints.
The particular issue that we are going to be focusing on in this article is neck bands.
What Are Neck Bands?
Neck bands, also sometimes known as vertical bands, vertical neck bands, horizontal neck bands, and platysmal bands, are horizontal or vertical lines that traverse the neckline. They are often much more noticeable than smaller emerging wrinkles on the face, due to the lack of extra fat in the neck area to be able to smooth out the wrinkling.
In general, the appearance of neck bands and appearance of platysmal bands occurs as a common result of the natural aging process, but it is a condition that can also be prominent in young people depending on whether they have vulnerable loose neck skin, lax skin, excess skin, generally delicate skin, or overactive muscle activity.
What Causes Neck Bands?
The cause of neck bands is still the topic of study. There are two competing theories. One, the older of the two, is that they are caused by a loss of skin laxity and muscle tone caused by reduced collagen production and age. The second, more recent theory, is that neck bands are caused by the aging and thickening of two edges of the platysma muscles. The reduced activity of the aging platysma muscles causes the bands and saggy skin as a consequence.
The response to the idea that neck bands are caused by reduced laxity and muscle tone was treatments that tighten the skin and muscle. The response to the idea that it is the platysma muscles causing the issue is to cut off the nerves to the muscles – a process known as denervating.
The treatment of platysma bands by denervation is a surgical procedure but many people are not happy about invasive cosmetic surgery even if it does result in the desired more youthful appearance.
There are non-invasive non-surgical treatments for vertical neck lines. There are definite benefits to non-surgical neck lifts:
Shorter Treatment Times – surgical procedures can take several hours whereas non-surgical treatments take 90 minutes at most, some even as little as 30 minutes.
Quicker Recovery Time – most nonsurgical neck lift procedures take place in an aesthetic practice or medical spa and recovery time ranges from just a few hours to a couple of days. There are minimal side effects, usually limited to swelling, tenderness, redness, and soreness at the treatment/injection site.
Fewer General Risks – being non-surgical, there is no general anesthesia or large incisions meaning fewer overall risks to health.
Less Expensive – You can expect the cost of a surgical neck lift to be around $5,000 and up. Non-surgical treatments range from $400 to $2,000.
Noninvasive Treatments For The Management Of Platysmal Bands
When the botulinum toxin type A injection was first introduced in 1989 it was a revolutionary treatment for wrinkles. Years later, Botox and other injectables have been used to treat a wide range of skin issues including areas of sagging skin due to neck bands.
Aesthetic physicians can use Botox injections to quiet the muscle movement in the neck. The Botox is injected directly into the platysma muscles to relax their downward pulling motion. The neck looks smoother because the relaxed muscle softens the wrinkles and lines.
Botox is an almost painless procedure that requires minimal downtime and recovery time, with an average session costing in the region $400.
To maintain and keep up the successful results of Botox in your neck, you will probably have to commit to a treatment every 3 to 4 months.
When it comes to laser treatment, you should think about the technology almost as aerating a lawn. Whilst a percentage of the skin is directly treated, other adjacent areas are left untreated which can lead to a faster healing period.
Being able to use the precision power of lasers means that a surgeon can be more selective in the areas that they expose to controlled heat damage, perhaps the first couple of layers of skin, and what this means is that enough has been done to promote new collagen growth without doing too much unnecessary damage to further layers.
This kind of treatment does require an amount of topical anesthesia but it has been identified as a very effective treatment option for neck rejuvenation.
It is important to stress that laser treatment is better recommended for patients with only moderate aging symptoms as opposed to severe ones.
Downtime for laser treatment varies and is usually around 10 days for more aggressive treatments, and an average session can cost up to $2000.
There are plenty of injectable dermal fillers to choose from including Restylane, Bellafill, Juvederm, Belotero, RHA, and Radiesse, all of which can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore lost volume on your neck skin.
Fillers that contain key ingredients like hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxyapatite can be used to do things like rebuild the definition of the jawline, as well as induce collagen growth.
When used on the neck, this is easily administered by a practitioner using a blunt-tipped cannula compared to a needle. The average cost of this treatment is around $700, with each session providing results between 6 to 12 months.
Kybella can be a good choice for people who are dealing with fat under the chin and around the upper neck. Neck contouring is a good option for those who don’t necessarily have a huge problem with neck bands, but rather aim to firm up the quality of their skin.
Kybella is made with deoxycholic acid, which breaks down fat cells and metabolizes them. This treatment takes an average of 30 minutes, and recovery is very fast. A little bit of swelling might be experienced at the site of the injections for a couple of days.
Kybella results can be seen after 4 to 6 weeks and will cost around $1100. The procedure might need to be repeated up to four times to cement the results.
Radiofrequency with micro-needling is a popular type of noninvasive procedure that can help with the problem of loose skin. The combination of two techniques, radiofrequency and microneedling, helps to naturally stimulate the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin.
During micro needling, a doctor will place a set of very short and very fine needles on your skin to rejuvenate it.
What this treatment does is resurface the superficial layer of the skin and cause a tightening effect, almost your body’s attempt to protect itself from the mini trauma of the needles.
A range of patients can be helped using radiofrequency treatments, from younger people whose skin laxity isn’t as severe, all the way to older patients who have a problem with noticeably loose skin.
Results can be felt almost immediately, but it will take several months for the full effects to be seen. This is a customized procedure that can be different for everyone, which means that prices will vary depending on individual needs.
If you are interested in exploring any of the options listed above for your neck band issues, then one of the best places you can choose to consult with an experienced professional is the Z Center For Cosmetic Health. Feel free to get in touch with a member of the dedicated cosmetic team for any further information that you might want. We look forward to welcoming you to the clinic for a potentially life-changing appointment!