The skin on your neck, like the skin on your face , is very susceptible to the signs of aging . Two of the most common signs of aging are crepey skin and turkey neck. In this article, we are going to show you how to get rid of turkey neck and regain the smooth, tight skin you enjoyed in your younger years.
Crepey skin affects the surface of your neck and can make the skin look crinkly and rough like your elbows. Turkey neck, on the other hand, affects the underlying musculature and elasticity of the skin on your neck and results in the loose, dangling, often wrinkly, folds that look very much like a turkey’s wattle.
While both conditions become more common as you age, there are steps you can take to prevent their appearance. This article will focus on the causes of turkey neck and what you can do to get rid of it.
According to David Rodwell, MD of Charleston Facial Plastic Surgery, there are four factors that influence turkey neck:
Let’s look at each of these factors in a bit more detail before we examine the best ways to get rid of turkey neck.
As we age, our bodies lose their natural ability to repair and rejuvenate. This applies to our skin as well. And one of the first components that begins to suffer the ravages of time is collagen. Collagen is a protein found in the middle skin layer (the dermis) that provides structure and support for the tissue on top of it. Over time, collagen production begins to slow and the existing collagen is more susceptible to breakdown brought on by lack of vitamins and minerals in your diet, the sun’s damaging UV rays, and free radicals that build up in your skin. This breakdown of collagen causes your skin to lose the youthful elasticity it once had.
The muscles that support your neck, and the skin over top of it, can weaken with lack of use or just the passage of time. As these muscles weaken, they are less and less able to support the skin to which they are attached. This means that your skin won’t be pulled back into place as readily as it was before. Your muscles may not feel any different, but the visible results are saggy skin.
Some people are just naturally more disposed to carry extra fat under their chin and along their neck . This excess fat can cause the skin to stretch and result in the folds that resemble the turkey’s wattle. A healthy diet, exercise, and slowly losing weight can help decrease these fat deposits and tighten the skin on your neck.
The position of various bones in the neck, such as the hyoid (the strip of white just below the jaw in the picture above), can have an effect on the skin underneath the chin. In the image on the left, the hyoid bone is set back away from the front of the neck. As a result, the skin is pulled back into more of a square (ninety-degree) angle. In the image on the right, the hyoid bone is set forward. This, in turn, pushes the skin into a more rounded shape. That forward-set hyoid, and the flatter, more rounded neck, can make your neck skin more susceptible to gravity and the looseness that comes with age and a decrease in muscle tightness.
Even with all those factors stacked against you, there are ways to prevent and treat the loose skin that results in turkey neck. In this section, we’ll discuss three of the most common:
Cleansers & Serums
Exercise works to strengthen the underlying muscles of the neck while cleansers and serums hydrate and rejuvenate the surface skin. Surgery is a more invasive option that tones and smooths both the surface skin and the muscles underneath.
There’s an exercise for everything these days and your neck is no exception. Here are four simple exercises you can perform anywhere, anytime to give your skin a firmer, more youthful appearance.
According to Livestrong.com , you can work the muscles in your neck just by chewing more. Simply sit up straight, close your lips, and tilt your chin towards the ceiling. Then slowly move your teeth together and apart as if you were chewing a piece of gum. Keeping your lips together, complete 20 chews once a week to strengthen the muscles of the neck.
Lie comfortably on your back. Gently raise your head and neck away from the floor. When your head is slightly away from the floor, turn it to the right, back to center, to the left, back to center, and then lower to the floor. That’s one repetition. Work up to ten or more repetitions once a week for best results. Be sure to keep the movements small and controlled and don’t jerk the neck in any direction.
Place your hands on your collar bones and apply gentle pressure throughout this exercise to add an extra stretch. Tilt your head back slightly to stretch your neck. Keeping your head in this position, reach your bottom lip up towards the ceiling. Hold here for a count of five and return your lip to its natural position. That’s one repetition. Work up to 10 repetitions and perform this exercise once a week.
Sit comfortably in a chair and tilt your head back until you’re looking at the place where the wall meets the ceiling (think about pointing your nose at this crease). Another way to get into the proper position is to think about positioning your head about forty-five degrees between looking straight ahead and looking straight up.
When you’ve got your head in the position described above, pucker your lips as if you’re about to do as Jimmie Hendrix sang (kiss the sky). You should feel the muscles of your neck tense and tighten. Hold this puckered position for a count of five then tilt your head back down and relax. Repeat this pucker-and-hold four more times for a total of five sets. For best results, do this exercise two times a week.
Exercises like the ones listed above are great for strengthening and toning the underlying musculature of the neck. But while they can help to improve circulation and give your skin a firmer appearance, they do little to change the outward appearance. That’s where the next solution comes in.
The factors that affect the skin on your neck often play a big part in causing wrinkles on your chest. As such, the same technology that is used to treat wrinkles on the chest can be used to treat the wrinkly , loose skin on your neck.
Products like the SiO Décolleté Cleansing Discs , SiO Skin Pad , and SiO Décolleté Serum can go a long way toward preventing and treating the wrinkles associated with turkey neck. While the SiO SkinPad is specifically designed to heal and prevent wrinkles on the neck, the cleansing discs and décolleté serum can be used on the skin of your neck and even on your face.
The SiO cleansing discs use a gentle yet effective combination of glycolic and lactic acids to lightly exfoliate, remove old skin cells, and clear pores. This combination of beneficial actions helps your skin maintain its youthful appearance.
The SiO décolleté serum continues the healing and prevention by smoothing existing wrinkles and further tightening and hydrating the skin of the neck. It does this through a powerful blend of ingredients including:
Wrinkle relaxers like stevioside
Hydrators like glycerin and hyaluronic acid
Brighteners like vitamin C matrix
Anti-inflammatories like shea butter, licorice root, and aloe
Anti-aging compounds like coconut oil, vitamin E, and green tea
Used in conjunction with exercise, cleansers and décolleté serums can have a drastic effect on the appearance of the skin of your neck. In addition, they are less expensive and less invasive than the next method for getting rid of turkey neck. That’s why we always recommend that you try every other remedy first before turning to the last resort: surgery.
No discussion about the skin would be complete without mention of surgical solutions. The surgical solution specific to turkey neck is a combination of cervicoplasty (removing excess skin) and platysmaplasty (tightening loose neck muscles).
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery , a small incision is made behind each ear, and possibly underneath the chin. Through these incisions, the surgeon will remove excess skin and tighten the neck muscles to give the neck a more youthful appearance.
While surgery can be an effective way to get rid of turkey neck, it is an invasive procedure and can require up to two weeks recovery time. In addition, bruising and swelling are normal side effects of the surgery and should subside gradually over the course of a few months.
While surgery may be a quick solution to the problem, it’s often best to try other, less invasive options before electing to go under the knife or needle . For one, surgery is expensive. It can cost thousands of dollars per treatment and may even require several rounds before desirable results are reached.
The invasive nature of the procedures often necessitates considerable recovery time that may not be available to those with busy lives. Depending on what you have done, recovery can last anywhere from a week to a month or more. Be sure you factor in this time when making your decision.
And last but certainly not least, surgery of any kind comes with the risk of side effects that could become permanent. Take wrinkle fillers for example. This relatively simple procedure can result in tiny bumps, the Tyndall Effect (a bluish skin discoloration), and even blindness and nerve paralysis. These side effects usually occur only in extreme cases, but you should be aware of the possible risks before going under the knife. Always consult a dermatologist or plastic surgeon before turning to surgery or other invasive options.
A less expensive, yet quite effective, option would be one of the other solutions suggested in this article. We recommend a combination of the two: a course of neck exercises coupled with the SiO Décolleté Cleansing Discs and the SiO Décolleté Serum . These combined solutions can help reduce existing wrinkles, prevent new wrinkles from forming, and help stave off the natural processes that lead to turkey neck.