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If you want to prevent neck sagging and wrinkles, or reduce the ones you’ve got, cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll of Compass Dermatology has a few tips.
1. Equal love
From now on, remember that your neck is just as important and deserves as much love and attention as your face. Whatever you’d slather on your face—from cleanser to masks to sunscreen—should go all the way down to your chest. Apply your products while you’re naked so you don’t miss any spots. Dr. Carroll also recommends using these products on your hands, another area that’s exposed to pollution, UV rays and bad weather all year long.
2. Freeze frame
“If you have necklace or ropy lines on your neck, Botox is great for that,” says Dr. Carroll. Botox Cosmetic, made of botulinum toxin, freezes the muscles in your face or neck and prevents them from overworking, thus preventing wrinkles caused by muscle contraction.
3. Fill ’er up
If your lines are deeply etched, Dr. Carroll suggests the injection of hyaluronic-acid fillers such as Juvéderm and Restylane. These temporary fillers add volume beneath the skin and fill out the grooves formed by wrinkles.
4. Burn, baby, burn
Though not as effective on the neck as the face, Thermage treatments can tighten and lift the skin on the neck by using heat to penetrate deep into the dermis and stimulate collagen production. If your problem is overall tone, texture and colour of the skin on your neck (perhaps caused by too many years of tanning!), cosmetic dermatologists can perform laser procedures such as BroadBand Light (BBL) and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy. Both systems heat the upper layers of the skin, causing the skin cells to generate new collagen while also minimizing the small blood vessels and melanin that can cause redness and pigmentation.
5. Last resort
If all else fails, consider consulting a plastic surgeon about a neck lift.
And good news for those of us with a little extra fat under the chin (the dreaded double chin): Kybella, a deoxycholic-acid injection, will likely soon be approved in Canada. The acid, which our bodies naturally produce, destroys fat cells. Dr. Carroll confirms that the injection will not cause sagging skin once the fat disappears.
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