As we age, it’s not just fine lines and wrinkles that can give us away: jowls are also an unfortunate part of the aging process. Jowls are sagging skin just below the jawline, and most people develop them to a certain extent at some point. If you’re in the Melbourne area, and you’re tired of looking at the excess loose skin below your chin, call to discuss a neck lift with Real Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC.
What Causes Jowls?
Unfortunately, as we age, jowls just become a part of life. Skin loses its elasticity and becomes thinner so, instead of being held in place along a defined jawline, it sags and appears loose. Several factors contribute to the onset and appearance of jowls.
The number one culprit of jowls is aging. As we grow older, our skin slows down the production of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, making up our skin, muscles, bones, and tendons. It provides strength, elasticity, and structure while giving skin a plump, supple look and feel.
Our body’s production of collagen slows as early as our mid-20s and continues to decrease as we age. When the strength of skin weakens, it doesn’t cling to bones and muscles like it used to nor does it bounce back from repeated movements.
The nicotine and other added chemicals in cigarette smoke break down collagen and elastin, degrading its elasticity. Besides aging, smoking is the second largest contributor to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Smoking constricts blood vessels, particularly in the outer layers of the skin. This limits the circulation of blood to your skin, depriving it of oxygen and preventing certain nutrients and vitamins.
How quickly and how pronounced your jowls are could have something to do with your genetics. If your parents have passed on thin skin or have deep-set jowls, you may develop them in a more pronounced way or at a younger age. Some people even develop jowls in their 20s.
UV rays damage collagen faster than aging alone. Those who have suffered sunburns or haven’t appropriately protected their skin from the harmful rays of the sun could see their skin sag faster and earlier than their protected counterparts.
Not only can covering up from the sun protect you from jowls and other areas of sagging skin, but it may prevent sunspots and premature wrinkles.
Weight Gain and Loss
When we gain weight, skin stretches to fit the larger body mass. As weight is lost, so is some of skin’s elasticity. A history of gaining and losing weight could cause more elasticity to be lost and add to sagging skin that leads to jowls.
Maintaining a consistent, healthy weight may help stave off a loss of elasticity in skin everywhere, including the face and neck.
How a Neck Lift Can Help
A neck lift, or platysmaplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the signs of aging around the neck and jawline. This procedure could be a great option to eliminate the appearance of jowls because it removes the excess skin and fat from around the neck and jawline areas.
If your primary concerns are your neck area, jawline and the appearance of jowls, a neck lift can be tailored and customized to achieve your desired outcome. If you have other concerns on other parts of your face, this procedure can be paired with other procedures. You and your doctor work together to come up with the best course of action for your goals and physical attributes.
What Does a Neck Lift Entail?
During surgery, small incisions are made based on the plan you and your doctor discuss. The skin is guided and redraped so your profile’s contours are smoothed, creating a more defined jawline and chin as outlined in your plan.
Sometimes, the underlying fat and tissues in the neck may be redistributed to achieve the level of correction you and your doctor have agreed upon in the development of your plan. No two patients are alike, so neither are any two procedures.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Men or women who have excess or sagging skin and fat under their chin and jawline may be good candidates for this procedure. Sometimes, a patient may not be ready for a full-face lift because they are happy with the way the upper portion of their face is aging but are distracted by the loose skin under their chin—a neck lift can be a great option.
If you’re looking for surgical intervention for a troublesome jawline and profile, it’s a good idea to consult with a qualified medical professional. Your candidacy could be determined after discussing your aesthetic goals, overall health, medical history and other factors. Only a medical professional may determine whether a neck lift is a good option for you.
If you have more than one problem area, talk to your doctor about options for addressing those concerns too. Depending on your circumstance, your doctor may recommend more than one procedure.
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, removes excess skin from the eyelids. The skin around the eyelids is some of the thinnest on the body and can lose its elasticity easily. Applying and removing makeup, rubbing of the eyes, prolonged and repeated movements can all add to sagging skin. When the skin sags, it can create heavy and drooping eyelids adding to a tired, sad and aged look.
Your under-eye area can suffer from loose skin or pockets of fat adding to the tired appearance. You and your doctor can decide if you would benefit from smoothing the skin under your eyes as part of the procedure. Eyelid surgery can leave you looking refreshed, alert and younger.
A facelift is a surgical procedure that addresses signs of aging in both the face and neck. Your face is the first place to show signs of aging. If you’ve developed wrinkles and deep lines that you’d like surgically addressed, a facelift may be a good option for you. A facelift could address deepening lines around your:
When the skin on your face has relaxed as part of the aging process, a facelift can restore a more taught, natural look. Fat disperses differently as we age, seeming to fall from the top of our faces and settling at the bottom. A facelift may address this unevenly distributed fat, giving your appearance a more even look.
A facelift can restore a more youthful version of yourself. It won’t change the fundamental shape of your face. Your doctor can discuss your aesthetic goals, overall health and health history as part of the consultation and planning phase of your personalized strategy.
This is a straightforward procedure that may correct the asymmetry of prominent ears. This can be done at any age and is appropriate for anyone seeking to eliminate the self-consciousness that comes with feeling their ears aren’t “normal” sized or stick out too much. As you’re working towards a more balanced look, ear pinning may round out the personalized plan you and your doctor create.
Many people can enjoy their results for years. No procedure can stop the aging process, but if you take good care of yourself and your skin, you can prolong good results. Because procedures are an investment in your appearance and how you feel about yourself, it’s important to protect that investment.
Once you’re cleared to go back to your normal activity routine by your doctor, it’s important to eat well and exercise regularly. Ensuring you’re getting the proper nutrients can only help your overall appearance. Keeping a stable, healthy weight may help your new profile keep its shape.
Drinking enough water while avoiding too much alcohol and caffeine can also help with a healthy complexion and youthful appearance.
Your doctor may recommend a new skincare routine while you’re healing or to help maintain and prolong your results. First, you’ll want to block out the sun’s harmful UV rays when you’re enjoying time outside. Protecting your skin with sunblock and reapplying it often can go a long way to maintaining your new, more youthful appearance.
Next, it may be worth investing in medical-grade skincare products following your procedure. Your doctor can look at your existing routine and recommend additions or subtractions based on the procedure you’ve had and what could work best with your skin to maximize results. Sometimes making just small adjustments can have a big impact on prolonging your new youthful appearance.
Your doctor may also recommend aesthetic treatments to maintain results and keep your skin taught looking. Ask your doctor if there are any specific treatments that can help prolong your post-surgical results.
Choosing the Right Doctor
As you’re deciding which procedures you might benefit from, it’s important to choose a doctor with the kinds of qualifications necessary to help you achieve your results. If jowls are the main cause of concern for you, be sure to meet with a doctor who has a history of performing neck lifts and lists it as one of their specialties on their website.
Ask questions and voice concerns with your doctor as you discuss any proposed course of treatment. You’ll be receiving a lot of information, particularly the first time you meet, so it’s imperative they be open to getting your questions answered. A doctor with a great bedside manner and patient disposition is something most people want as they explore what options might be best for them.
Look at before and after photos to get a good idea of what a procedure can do. Your doctor may explain how each person’s results are different, and your outcome could be as unique as you are. When you’re looking at these photos, try to find those who feature patients that have similar qualities as you do to get the best idea of what results may look like for you.
Make the Important First Step
When you decide you want to talk to someone about a neck lift to address the jowls you’ve been noticing in the mirror, be sure to call someone qualified to get the kinds of results you want. Deciding to visit a plastic surgeon is a big first step and can be intimidating.
Call Real Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC to schedule a consultation. Mr. Stephen Salerno is a leading expert in his field and welcomes the opportunity to talk to you about your goals and how he and his staff of caring medical professionals can help you achieve them.