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Summary: Best-selling author Nora Ephron famously wrote, “our faces are lies and our necks are the truth” to sum up our collective efforts of pampering our facial appearance only to be duped by double-chins and turkey wattles. While that statement might have rang true when Ephron stated it, it’s not the case today.

Author Nora Ephron wasn’t the first person to feel betrayed an aging neck, but she’s probably the most famous, having written the best-selling book “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts.”

“Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth,” is how Ephron summed up our collective efforts to camouflage facial wrinkles with makeup, BOTOX®, and plastic surgery, only to be undermined by double-chins and turkey wattles. Necks are dead giveaways when it comes to age.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Treatments ranging from anti-aging creams to a surgical lift can turn back the clock. Yes, you can once again enjoy having a sleek neck and well-defined jawline. Men are just as concerned as women when it comes to the appearance of their necks. Although specific statistics aren’t kept, men are more likely to get neck lifts as stand-alone procedures than women. Women usually combine neck lifts with other cosmetic surgery, such as a face lift.

So what are the options when considering ways to tighten that loose neck skin? Well, in general the younger the person, the more options are available. If someone’s neck skin is too lax, only a surgical lift can get the desired results. But for people in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s, here are some alternatives to a neck lift:

  • BOTOX Cosmetic: BOTOX injections can improve the appearance of the bands that run vertically along the neck. They are some of the earliest signs of aging.
  • Exilis Elite™: During this non-surgical treatment, precisely controlled radiofrequency energy is used to heat the deeper layers of the skin. This heat causes fat cells to shrink and the skin tissue to contract, stimulating new collagen production in the process.
  • Ultherapy®: Another non-surgical treatment, Ultherapy is the only non-invasive procedure cleared by the FDA to lift skin on the neck and under the chin. The same ultrasound technology used in other medical procedures is employed during this treatment, targeting deep layers of the skin to trigger the growth of new collagen.
  • Thermage®: Focused radiofrequency energy heats the deep tissue while the skin’s surface is cooled to protect it from damage. As in the other non-surgical treatments, Thermage works by spurring the body’s natural healing response, which produces new collagen that results in tighter, smoother skin.
  • Smartlipo TriPlex™: This is an intriguing option, and it offers the most extensive results without major skin removal surgery. Laser-assisted liposuction has proven to be an effective treatment for the neck. Smartlipo is the first laser approved by the FDA for removing fat and is also known for tightening skin. Its microcannula delivers the laser energy with precision, which is why Smartlipo is a popular choice for people who want a slimmer neck and contoured jawline. Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) can be combined with Smartlipo. The Denver plastic surgery practice, Center for Cosmetic Surgery, says on its website that PAL is “considerably superior [to traditional liposuction] as far as ease of fat extraction.” The primary benefit of SmartLipo is that the laser probe is very small and precise. This allows it to work better in areas where greater precision is needed, such as the face. It also allows the probe to be used very close to the undersurface of the skin, which results in heating of the dermis and stimulation of collagen production resulting in better skin retraction on average.

To learn whether any of these treatments might work for you or to find out whether a surgical neck lift might be best, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.

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