With age, changes occur in our skin that are both noticeable and unsightly. As a part of the intrinsic ageing process, the production of collagen slows and the elastin in skin weakens. Of all the visible signs of ageing, the appearance of crepey, or sagging, neck skin is one of the first to become apparent as well as one of the most frustrating to solve. If you have begun to notice the beginning of crepey skin or have been dealing with the changes to your neck for some time, there are steps that you can take to tighten and improve its appearance.
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Apply a topical treatment. There are many over-the-counter skin firming and anti-wrinkle creams that are available on the market. Choose products that contain ingredients such as the antioxidant Retinol, which neutralises the free radicals that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles or those which contain copper peptides and kinetin which stimulate the production of collagen. If these products are not helpful, ask your dermatologist for a prescription for a cream that can help improve the appearance of your skin.
Ask your dermatologist about laser rejuvenation. Fractional laser skin rejuvenation is a non-invasive procedure that can help to minimise the appearance of crepey skin. Although it will not completely get rid of sagging skin, it can improve its tone and texture. Fractional laser skin rejuvenation works by creating small wounds in sections of the skin. Each wound is surrounded by a non-treated area which helps the wound heal. As the treated area heals, the body will begin to create new collagen. Multiple treatments may be required before receiving the full benefit.
Discuss radio frequency with your dermatologist. Radio frequency uses heat to stimulate and promote the production of new collagen in the dermis and cutaneous layers of the skin. While heat penetrates the layers of the skin, the outer epidermis remains untouched which results in a tightening of the skin's surface. Due to the stimulation of the production of new collagen, it may take up to six months to see the final improvements, but the effects can last for up to three years. After receiving the radio frequency treatment, there is no down time, and you can resume your normal activities.
Consult a plastic surgeon. The most successful way to improve a crepey neck is with platysmaplasty which is also known as a neck lift. During a neck lift your surgeon will create small incisions behind the ears or under the chin. From that point he will cosmetically alter the neck muscles and tighten the skin back into place. You can expect the surgery to take approximately 2 to 3 hours and complete recovery will take up to four weeks. You will need to refrain from aggressive activity within the first 20 days or until your doctor gives you the approval to resume.
Tips and warnings
- Laser resurfacing is not recommended for people with darker skin tones as if may change the pigment.
- Many insurance companies consider treatments to improve the neck as cosmetic procedures and do not cover the costs involved. Check with your insurance company to verify coverage.
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