Hello, I'm almost 47. I've been lucky in the sense that my face has no wrinkles and I haven't had any procedures yet (except peels) however, I have started noticing that in certain positions the skin in the center of my neck looks saggy. Would laser resurfacing or peels help here? I didn't think it was sufficient for a major procedure (is it?). Thank you in advance for your advice.
Will Laser Resurfacing or Chemical Peels Help Lax Neck Skin?
Doctor Answers 9
Skin laxity of the neck
you should avoid chemical peels on the neck for lax skin because superficial peels that are safe on the neck will not be effective and medium-depth chemical peels that barely produce any tightening on facial skin are too dangerous on the neck as there is a risk of scarring. If you don't have a neck lift, then you can consider ablative Fraxel Repair and Thermage radiofrequency tightening
Consideration for tightening laxed neck skin
Surgical neck lift can be a fine option for tightening laxed neck skin. However, if you are not prepared for surgical procedure that has the risk of injuring spinal accessory nerve, e.g. inability to raise your arms to the ceiling, you better consider nonsurgical options as well. Chemical peel will not do much for laxed skin. You should consider a combination of low-energy fractional CO2 laser combined with possibly tumescent neck liposuction which intentionally creates a plane of scar tissue that facilitates tightening with the skin adhering to underlying sheaths covering muscles on the neck.
Do Not use a peel for laxity of the neck
I do not think you will get the results you desire, ie tightening of the neck laxity, via a peel. I also think a peel on the neck may subject you to certain risks that are not justified given that the likelihood of a beneficial result ie tightening of your neck laxity, is highly unlikely.
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Start saving your pennies for a facelift.
A judiciously performed lower facelift is a thing of beauty. The key is to find a surgeon who delivers natural results. Not an easy thing. There are a lot of famous surgeons in New York. To paraphrase Nora Ephron, that does not mean that they know how to sew human beings.
You might find a willing dermatologist to inject the neck cords with botox. This will help them (not perfect but improved) and stay away from blouses with plunging necklines.
Peels are not the best way to tighten neck skin; try Thermage
In general, peels are limited to the face, because the facial skin has the unique ability to heal quickly enough to avoid scarring. This is true regardless of the technique or the technology. So for the neck, non-peeling techniques are best. There is no question that a surgical necklift will give the best result, but Thermage might be a reasonable alternative. It works best in younger patients, and at 47 that would include you! The disappointing results that occur with Thermage are typically in older patients who are expecting it to be a substitute for a facelift.
Lasers to tighten neck skin
Neck skin is in general thinner and finer than facial skin and requires a gentle touch when it comes to lasers and peels. Excessive skin should be removed surgically but mild laxity and wrinkles can be improved with lasers.
Laser resurfacing, preferably here with a fractional CO2 laser, would give you the most effective tightening of the skin. A skilled practitioner would know to carefully adjust the settings properly to treat the neck. Generally, neck requires more recovery time than the a similarly treated face. Superficial chemical peels of the neck, although safe, would probably not give enough of a result in your neck to appreciate it. Best of luck!
Best way to address Lax Neck Skin
The best way to smooth lax neck skin such as yours is with a neck lift. The operation will remove the loose skin and restore youthful acuity of the angle of the jaw to the neck.
If you do not want or are not ready to have this operation at this time the next best option is the SKINTYTE treatment offered by the SCITON BBL. It is a completely lunch hour procedure done 4-6 weeks apart which literally shortens skin by heating its deep layers while the surface is kept cool with a sapphire plate. The effect is cumulative and noticeable. You may want to look it up on the Sciton web site as well as on You Tube.
Neck Skin Tightening
I would consider a series of low energy, higher density fractionated CO2 laser treatments. A high energy resurfacing procedure or even a medium depth chemical peel both run the risk of adverse scarring. Skin in the neck has fewer hair follicles, sebaceous glands and other adnexal structures than the face and is therefore less able to fully recover from injury.