Did you know that the skin on your neck is almost as thin and delicate as your eyelids? It also has fewer oil glands, making it more prone to show ageing signs, including sagging, sunspots, and fine lines.
So it's not surprising that one of the most common complaints we get at our Birmingham-based medical aesthetics clinic is turkey necks!
This is a skin condition that occurs when the skin on your neck loses elasticity.
After age 25, our skin's rate of producing collagen falls by one per cent every year. Collagen is a protein found in the skin's middle skin layer (the dermis) that provides structure and support for the tissue on top of it. The less collagen in your skin, the less elastic and strong your skin will be.
That's why most people in their 30s begin to notice some laxity on their neck skin, particularly close to the jawline.
By our late 40s, there is almost no new collagen being produced in the skin—that people in this age group have more significant sagging, skin laxity and volume loss.
These signs of ageing are only more apparent if the neck area hasn't been well taken care of through the years. Factors like poor diet, smoking and overexposure to UV rays have been known to cause the collagen in the skin to break down faster.
All of this is to say that by our late 20s, we should all have some form of an anti-ageing regimen for our necks.
But what if you already have those loose, dangling, wrinkly folds that look very much like a turkey's wattle, hence the name 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.
We will cover some of the mainstream skin tightening tactics as well as the scientifically proven ones. While we can't vouch for the efficacy of all the methods in the first category, they are popular enough to warrant a spot on our list.
You can click here to jump directly to the skin tightening methods that have been proven to produce undeniable results.
1. Neck Exercises
It seems there's an exercise for everything these days and your neck is no exception. Here are four simple neck exercises reported to give people a firmer, more youthful neck.
Raise and Turn
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, to the left and then lower to the floor. That's one repetition. Work up to 10 or more repetitions once a week for best results. Be sure to keep the movements small and controlled, and don't jerk your 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 then return your lip to its natural position. That's one repetition. Work up to 10 repetitions, and perform this exercise once a week.
Kiss the Sky
Sit comfortably in a chair and tilt your head back until it's positioned midway between looking straight ahead and looking straight up. When your head is in position, pucker your lips. You should feel the muscles of your neck tense and tighten. Hold this puckered position for a count of five, and 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.
Neck exercises like the ones listed above are great for strengthening and toning the underlying neck muscles. But they do little to change pre-existing skin laxity. Scroll to the bottom for our top recommendation.
2. Skin Care
Skincare shouldn't stop at your jawline! When doing your facial skincare, don't forget about your neck and décolletage. That's not to say you have to go out and buy a fancy neck-firming cream.
Most of the topical products you employ to target fine lines and sagging skin on the face can be used down your neck as well. If you want to take it a step further, there are also tons of products explicitly intended for neck usage. We recommend AlumierMD's Neck and Décolleté Firming Cream.
No discussion on skincare is complete without talking about sunscreen. Despite how wonderful it feels to lounge in the sunshine, the sun's rays are one of the leading contributors to ageing skin.
This is because UV rays break down your skin's collagen and elastin which are critical for keeping your skin firm and youthful. So to prevent sun damage, apply sunscreen every single morning before you leave the house, and try to limit the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight.
3. Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Some people are just naturally more disposed to carry extra fat under their chin and along their neck. This excess fat can cause your skin to stretch and result in folds that resemble the turkey's wattle. A healthy diet, exercise, and weight management can help decrease these fat deposits.
We've already described four great exercises you can do to help tighten up your neck's skin. But don't stop there! Getting regular exercise works wonders for your skin. It increases blood circulation, ensuring that skin cells receive all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Eat a healthy diet
If you're serious about getting rid of turkey neck, then you must eat well. Eating a healthy anti-ageing diet has multiple benefits for your skin. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants, which means they remove free radicals from your body. This protects your skin cells and keeps them youthful. Drinking enough water every day will also keep your skin hydrated and moisturised.
Minimise alcohol intake
Overconsumption of alcohol isn't just bad for your liver; it's terrible for your skin. As your body processes alcohol, it becomes dehydrated. This dehydration means that your skin cells lose the moisture they need to stay healthy.
If you're a smoker, we implore you to quit it! Smoking is one of the most damaging habits to the skin. For instance, the toxins also inhibit collagen and elastin production, which lowers the skin's elasticity. This can result in the neck on your skin sagging and drooping.
Moving On To The Scientifically Proven Solutions
When used together, these three approaches can have a positive effect on the appearance of your neck.
That being said, these options can only do so much. Their primary role is to delay the early onset of a turkey neck and keep the skin as healthy as possible. That's not to say they can't improve things once the issue crops up—but it's important to be realistic. Wrinkled and sagging neck skin will often require a more targeted approach to resolve it.
3. Surgical Neck Lift
The surgical solution for a turkey neck is a combination of cervicoplasty (removing excess skin) and platysmaplasty (tightening the platysma muscle).
Generally, a small incision is made behind each ear and possibly underneath the chin. Through these incisions, the cosmetic 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 a turkey neck, it is an invasive procedure and can require up to six weeks of recovery time. In addition, bruising and swelling are expected side effects of the surgery and might take a couple of months to fully subside.
While surgery may be a quick solution to the problem, it's often best to try other less invasive options before choosing to go under the knife. 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.
That's why we recommend Radio-frequency skin tightening as the No. 1 treatment for turkey necks and any sagging skin concerns.
The Best Turkey Neck Solution: Radiofrequency with NuEra™ Tight
NuEra™ Tight is an FDA and MHRA-cleared radiofrequency device that offers a safe and effective treatment for a turkey neck. What makes this treatment so effective is its ability to go after the root cause of a turkey neck—loss of collagen in the skin.
NuEra delivers heat energy to superficial and deep layers of the neck’s skin. This heat energy triggers a healing response in the fibroblasts, stimulating collagen production. Fibroblasts are a type of cell found in connective tissue that secretes collagen proteins.
By triggering new collagen production, Neura Tight helps to smooth and tighten the skin in the neck. Better still, Neura Tight has an advanced temperature-control feature and a wide selection of frequencies that allow for a safe and highly customisable treatment for any sagging skin concerns.
If you want to get rid of your turkey neck, radiofrequency with NuEra™ Tight is your best bet.
D you want to get rid of that loose skin and turkey neck? Contact Dr Aesthetica today at 0121 769 0242 or book your consultation here. We are a leading medical aesthetic clinic and the first to offer NuEra™ Tight in Birmingham.