You may treat it like the face, but when it comes to turning back time, doctors say the neck is a part of the body that needs a lot of extra TLC!
Today, doctors say there are a lot of non-invasive procedures out there that can do wonders to help with sagging, excess fat, skin crepiness and sun damage.
To combat the sun damage and crepiness on the neck, Dr. Sarah Jackson says retinoids (Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac) are great to anti-age the neck, but are not usually prescribed in the strengths used on the face, since the neck is a much more sensitive area, with thinner skin and fewer oil glands. Dr. Jackson also likes Obagi's Elastiderm system for the neck and chest, as well as Nectifirm cream. The Fraxel laser can also be used to help with those tree trunk-like lines on the neck, and can help with overall sun damage as well.
When a lot of excess fat is the issue, Dr. Kamram Khoobehi says laser lipo can produce excellent results in some patients. He says laser lipo tends to work best on patients who are younger, and who have good skin elasticity.
Botox, also referred to by some as the lunchtime neck lift, is another great minimally invasive option with little downtime, to help give a lifting effect, and help with those tree trunk lines. Botox, however, usually only lasts 3 to 4 months, and typically costs $350 to $600 (depending on your doctor and the specific amount needed for your neck).
Dr. Khoobehi says Thermage CPT (the new handpiece for Thermage that provides better patient comfort) is another great way to firm and tighten the neck area, without any downtime. The procedure usually takes about an hour, and usually costs anywhere from $1200-2500, depending on how much you need treated, and on your specific doctor. Usually only one session of Thermage is needed to see results, which usually take from 3 to 6 months to see.
And finally, when a lot of fat, excess, hanging skin is the issue, Dr. Khoobehi says a neck lift, which includes tightening the neck muscles, may be a patient's only option if they want to see significant results. Recovery /Downtime is usually about a week (he says not nearly as long as recovery from a face lift), but it will set you back $10-$20 thousand dollars, depending on your doctor, surgical center, and exactly what you are having done. A neck lift often incorporates some type of liposuction to get rid of any excess fat in the neck and jowel areas.
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FOR MORE INFO ON THE DOCTORS/PROCEDURES IN TONIGHT'S STORY:
Dr. Kamran Khoobehi
Dr. Dave Jansen
Dr. Sarah Jackson