[Q&A Session] My neck makes me feel bad. Are there solutions?

[Q&A Session] My neck makes me feel bad. Are there solutions?

My patient asked me if it was just her.  The answer was, no! Not a surprise to me, I was asked the same question at least two other times that day - “why is my neck aging faster than the rest of my face and what can I do about it?”   

First, let me assure you, you are not alone. In 2006 Nora Ephron even wrote a book about it, “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman”. The reality is, the skin on your neck does indeed show signs of aging faster than other parts of your body due to several factors:

  • Thinness of the Skin: The skin on the neck is naturally thinner than on other parts of the body, making it more susceptible to the effects of aging. Thinner skin means there is less underlying support, leading to a greater likelihood of sagging and fine lines.
  • Fewer Oil Glands: The neck has fewer sebaceous (oil) glands compared to the face, which results in reduced natural moisturization. This can lead to dryness, flakiness, and a compromised skin barrier, making it easier for wrinkles to form.
  • Constant Movement: The neck experiences a significant amount of movement throughout the day as we turn our heads, talk, and perform various activities. Over time, this repetitive movement can contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, leading to the formation of lines, wrinkles, and creases.
  • Sun Exposure: The neck is often exposed to the sun, especially since most people forget to apply sunscreen or wear protective clothing. UV radiation from the sun accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in premature aging, such as fine lines, age spots, and uneven pigmentation.
  • Neglected Skincare: People tend to focus more on facial skincare, often neglecting proper care for the neck area. This lack of attention can result in a difference in skin quality and appearance between the face and neck.
  • Hydration and Diet: Dehydration and a diet lacking in essential nutrients can impact the health and appearance of the skin. The neck may show signs of aging faster if it is not receiving the necessary nutrients and hydration to maintain its elasticity and overall health.

Addressing the changes, you see to your neck requires a multi-prong approach, covering in office and at home treatments.  

At Home Neck Treatments:

Sunscreen: I tell all my patients, especially the younger ones, to apply sunscreen on the neck even before the face, and to apply in an upward motion, from the bottom of the neck up towards the chin, to be sure the get the bottom of the neck where the shadow of the chin wears off. It’s also important to regularly reapply the sunscreen regularly throughout the day, and to do this every day all year round, even when it’s not sunny. Think of it as a daylight screen rather than sunscreen. Regular application helps protect against photoaging,aka wrinkles and crepey skin, dark spots, and skin discoloration, while also preserving the skin's elasticity and overall health over time.

Diet: The skin on your neck, like the rest of your body, requires a variety of nutrients to maintain its health, elasticity, and overall appearance. Look for foods high in antioxidants. In addition to Vitamins C and E, other antioxidants like selenium, beta-carotene, and various phytochemicals found in colorful fruits and vegetables help protect the skin. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats will provide your body with the necessary nutrients for optimal skin health, including the skin on your neck. And, water, while not a nutrient per se, provides hydration essential for maintaining skin health. Drinking enough water helps keep the skin moisturized and supports its natural functions.

At Home Skincare Products: 

Body Retinol: The benefits of a gentle yet powerful retinol, combined with hyaluronic acid and a potent Vitamin C extends from your body to your neck, for improvement in the appearance of crepey skin and uneven skin tone.

Ultra Rich Peptide Renewal: When it comes to moisturizing, your face cream works perfectly for the neck to help keep the skin beautifully hydrated and firm, especially when the cream does double duty with rejuvenating peptides and antioxidants.

Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C is great for the neck to help against free radical damage from UV rays and pollution. When it comes to this important step, you don’t need a separate neck serum, just a great one!

Revision Nectifirm Advancedharnesses the power of the skin’s own Microbiome with a groundbreaking formula that combats the visible signs of moderate to advanced aging on the neck and décolletage. 

Alastin Transform: Supports the skins ability to produce new elastin and collagen. 


In Office Treatments:

My approach is always to evaluate each patient’s specific needs and create a plan of treatment intended to yield the best results for them.  With that said, there are certain tools I gravitate towards when working on the neck area.

Sofwave: For the lower face and neck. This is a device that uses SUPERB ultrasound energy (synchronous ultrasound parallel beam) to lift the skin of the face, including lower face and neck, with minimal to no downtime.

Ultrapulse Alpha: The newest member in the family of CO2 lasers, this can help restore and rejuvenate crepey skin. It does have about a week of downtime and works even better when combined with topical exosomes and growth factors. We create a personalized cocktail of ingredients based on each patient's individual needs.

Soft Tissue Fillers: These are injectables, made of ingredients that help firm the skin and improve skin quality.  

These treatments work especially well when done in combination. My patients who have paid diligent attention to their skincare routine, both in and out of the office, have seen great results. 

 

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