“I hate my neck!” is a common complaint among prime women(and men). The neck shows its age when the skin becomes loose, wrinkled and hangs down under the chin and around the jaw line.
Improving the neck is difficult. The skin of the neck does not heal as well as the skin of the face. There does not seem to be any “home run” procedure for the neck like there is for the face (think botox® between the eyebrows to remove the “11” lines). Even my patients who have had a surgical neck lift are not always happy with the results.
Given that surgery is expensive, painful and with risks, what are the alternatives?
Skin tightening devices such as Thermage®, Ultherapy® and Venus Freeze® are some of the nonsurgical skin tightening treatments. They all deliver heat to the deep layers of skin which contracts the collagen and creates tightening. Thermage® and Venus Freeze® use radio-frequency and Ultherapy® uses ultrasound. The results for these treatments are NOT dramatic. The older you are and the more aged your skin looks, the less improvement you will see. Not everyone is a candidate.
If you are a candidate for Venus Freeze, you will need to do the treatment on a regular basis. The goal of treatment is to tighten and smooth the skin of the jaw line and neck.
The three main reasons that I chose Venus Freeze for the neck over other devices are:
1. It is painless, very safe and takes 20 minutes in the office.
2. There is no downtime, i.e. no swelling, bruising or persistent redness.
3. It is relatively inexpensive compared to the competitors.
To get maximal results with Venus Freeze, the procedure is performed every 1-2 weeks for six treatments. Then, maintenance treatments are performed every 4-6 months. While patients would ideally like a more permanent solution, the need for repeat treatments is no different than other cosmetic procedures such as neuromodulators (Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®) or fillers.
The patient is lying down for the procedure, and a gel is applied to the skin. A four pronged hand piece with roller balls is rolled over and over on the skin of your jawline and neck; it feels very warm. The provider starts on one side of the neck and continues until the skin is heated to 40℃ (about 104℉). It’s treated for 10 minutes, and then the other side is treated. There is some redness to the skin afterwords, but it doesn’t last very long – maybe 15 minutes. There is usually some immediate tightening, so it looks good if you have plans for that evening.
To achieve the best results for the neck, we combine Venus Freeze with other treatments. An excellent combination to help smooth and tighten the neck is Venus Freeze with Dysport® (the lesser known botox). Dysport treats the platysma bands. Platysma is a thin muscle in the neck that causes the neck skin to hang in vertical pleats, and the Dysport® flattens out those “pleats”.
We are seeing great results with Kybella® which was developed to treat fat under the chin. I am finding that even older women who do not have a lot of fat but loose skin under the chin are getting nice results with Kybella®.
It is definitely an exciting time to be in your prime as more and more safe and relatively easy treatments are being developed to help you look your best at any age. But whether you choose to have a cosmetic treatment or not, the easiest, fastest, most cost effective way to lift your face is…to smile! ?