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Turkey Neck – It’s for the Birds!

by | Oct 25, 2013 | Blog

Literature and art are filled with images of women renowned for their elegantly long necks. But as time goes on, that lovely taut skin on the throat begins to droop. Before long, a once enviable “swan’s neck” sags into a “turkey neck.” It is one of the most common and distressing signs of ageing.

But why does it happen? And can anything be done about it?

Let’s Talk Turkey

“Turkey neck” is so named because the wobbly, loose, and sagging skin that develops under the chin looks a lot like a turkey’s wattle. It is often accompanied by unattractive horizontal lines, especially if fat has accumulated under the chin. This condition develops slowly, and the changes can be so imperceptible as to go unnoticed until the skin has sagged significantly.

A variety of factors come into play in the development of turkey neck. The inevitable passage of time and the effects of gravity top the list. Face muscles weaken as we grow older and eventually become fatigued and lose the battle with gravity.

Perhaps the biggest culprit in creating turkey neck is the sun. The neck, face, and chest area are exposed to UV light more than any other parts of the body, and while many women remember to use SPF foundation on their faces, they frequently forget to protect the throat and neck.Damaging ultraviolet radiation breaks down the skin’s supportive connective tissues collagen and elastin. When collagen and elastin can no longer do their jobs, skin loses it flexibility and also its strength.

The result? Creases…wrinkles…loose and sagging skin.In other words,turkey neck.

How to Treat Turkey Neck

In considering treatment alternatives, remember that not all turkey necks are the same,and not all treatments are appropriate. It is important to first determine how pronounced the sagging has become. This indicates whether surgery is called for, or whether a less invasive treatmentmight be a good short-term solution.

Dr Marcells and his team are experienced in both surgical and non-surgical approaches. Dr Marcells works with each patient to identify the most pragmatic and effective approach for that individual.This is especially helpful to women who prefer a non-invasive approach to facial rejuvenation.

4 Ways to Pick Up—and Prevent—the Slack

 If you’re in your 30’s or early 40’s and have early signs of a droopy neck area or know that turkey neck is in your genes, here are some options available to you:

  •  For women whose turkey neck is still in its infancy, topical creams may be of some help. There are both prescription and non-prescription options. DrMarcells notes, however, that while topical creams have a subtle skin-tightening effect, they do not have any effect on the fat beneath the skin.
  •  Supplements containing peptides and antioxidants may also do some good. These substances work from the inside out, helping augment the skin’s natural ability to remain supple.
  •  Exercises to strengthen the neck are valuable, too, and many can be found online. Exercises can be valuable because when neck muscles are strengthened, the skin that coversthem is tightened also, which diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and folds in the skin.
  •  Drink less, chew more! In a world of smoothies and juicing, we seem to be chewing less and less. Chewing works the muscles of your jaw and helps keep the skin taut.

Treatment for advanced turkey neck

For women with advanced turkey neck, surgical treatments are in order:

  •  Isolated Neck Lift or Mid-Face Lift – These surgical procedures eliminate excess fat under the skin while removing the extra skin that is a hallmark of turkey neck. The muscle is lifted and tightened in order to create a natural look to the entire neck. Both of these procedures are performed under general anesthetic, and recovery takes 7 – 14 days.

What’s the Next Step?

If any of the above is you, a consultation with Dr Marcells in in order.

If you want more information on any of the procedures mentioned in this post or wish to make an appointment with DrMarcells, please contact us at 1300 555 095. You can also use email or the ‘book consultation’ feature of this website to make an appointment.

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Meet Dr Marcells

MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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