Does a neck lift get rid of jowls?
While people most often associate the aging process with wrinkles and fine lines, jowls are another common effect that manifests over time. Jowls can be defined as an accumulation of sagging skin along the jawline that leads to crowding of tissue around the mouth area and chin. Most people develop jowls at some point in their lives. Many patients wonder what treatments are available for addressing this specific issue. Understandably, most people also want to minimize the invasiveness of the procedures that they choose to undergo. It is first important to learn more about the condition and how jowls develop.
What Causes Jowls?
As people get older, it is often the case that they develop jowls. The skin develops unwanted laxity, causing it to hang loosely from the jaw area. There are several factors that contribute to this process.
The aging process
The primary cause of jowls is the natural aging process. As people age, collagen and elastin production slows down dramatically. Collagen is one of the most vital proteins in the body and plays an important role in the skin, muscles, bones, and tendons. It gives these areas of the body strength, elasticity, and structure making the skin look plump and supple.
Collagen production in the body starts to slow down in our mid-20s and continues to decline further aging. This causes a big drop in skin elasticity, resulting in skin that no longer ‘snaps back’ into place.
Nicotine and other substances found in cigarettes cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin, eroding the skin’s natural elasticity. Smoking also plays a big role in the development of wrinkles and fine lines.
Smoking is known as a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it tightens up the blood vessels. This affects the outer layers of the skin, hindering healthy blood circulation and preventing the movement of oxygen and other nutrients.
The age at which jowls develop and their severity is largely dependent on genetic factors. Patients whose parents have thin skin or deep jowls may be more likely to develop them themselves. Jowls can even form in people as young as their 20s. Genetics can also lead to other factors such as a thin face or a weak chin which can raise the risks of early jowl formation.
UV rays have a negative impact on collagen production. Patients who experience frequent sunburns and fail to protect themselves from excess sun exposure may be more likely to develop jowls. Beyond preventing jowls, practicing proper sun protection can also ward off the development of wrinkles and sunspots and diminish the risk of developing skin cancer.
When the body gains weight, the skin naturally stretches to accommodate it. If that weight is lost, the skin will remain a bit stretched out. Large or frequent fluctuations in weight throughout life could lead to a drop in skin elasticity, which contributes to the development of jowls.
Keeping a consistent weight throughout life is a good way to ensure good skin elasticity.
How a neck lift can reduce jowls
A neck lift, which typically involves removal of fat from beneath the jawline and a platysmaplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces signs of aging that develop around the region of the neck and jawline. A necklift is highly effective at addressing excess fat beneath the jawline and tightening the banding or cording that people refer to as a “turkey neck.” Unfortunately, a neck lift is not the best way to address jowls because minimal to no skin is removed with the procedure. A lower face and neck lift is, however, highly effective at not only addressing neck aging but also removing jowls and tightening the tissues of the lower face.
Does a necklift require general anesthesia?
The short answer is no. Dr. Weber is an expert at performing facelift and neck lift surgery in his office surgery quite using oral sedative medication and local anesthesia. He has lectured throughout the US and abroad about his specific technique for performing these procedures in the office without the need for general anesthesia or IV sedation.
What is the takeaway?
While a necklift is not an effective treatment of jowls, this procedure is highly effective at remedying the signs of aging beneath the jawline. Neck lifts are an exceptionally customizable procedure, meaning that they can be modified in order to help patients achieve their specific goals. If jowls or lower facial aging are a major concern, Dr. Weber will discuss with you the benefits of adding a lower facelift to your neck lift procedure. As with any procedure, patients seeking out a neck lift should refer to a skilled, experienced practitioner to ensure a satisfactory result.