When your father is diagnosed with cancer and during his chemotherapy treatment the one solace…
When we consider the time and effort we put into putting our best face forward, do we focus far enough? Or down enough?
To our necks? And our decs (décolletage)?
Faces seem to hog the limelight, but neck skin is usually just as visible and prone to different sorts of issues.
The desire to lift and tighten our necks becomes more of a priority as we age, with discoloured and wrinkled or sagging skin starting to appear around the time most of us hit 40. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most commonly missed areas, with many of us forgetting to take our skincare and treatments down to our necks.
But the skin on our necks is three times thinner than the skin on our faces and it also lacks the regenerative ability required to bounce back when damaged.
While you might assume neck skin isn’t prone to as much damage as facial skin, environmental factors such as excessive UV exposure and over sensitisation from perfume spraying are key causes of deterioration for neck skin.
In fact, there’s a term for it—poikiloderma.
Poikiloderma appears as reddish, brown skin, and causes a rough or ‘chicken skin’ texture. This rough texture is elastosis, resulting from abnormal elastin fibres being produced. This can make the skin appear thickened, wrinkled and sagging.
Some women can develop a ‘veiny’ appearance on their neck, due to a muscle called the platysma becoming more prominent, resulting in platysmal bands, or ‘turkey neck’ as it is more commonly referred to.
But enough of the bad news. What can be done to turn back the clock for our necks?
Artisan Aesthetic Clinics’ dermal therapist Kristy Davis says treatment options have come a long way in recent years and range from non-invasive tightening to injections and threads.
Thermage ® uses radiofrequency energy, to deeply heat the skin. This stimulates collagen that will tighten and rejuvenate. The treatment is tolerable and immediately after your skin is visibly tighter, as the collagen fibres contract. Over the following weeks, the deep heat treatment continues to tighten and firm your skin. After around three to six months, you’ll notice improved definition of contours and jawline, increased firmness, reduction of lines and improved hydration and vitality.
Similarly, the Ultraformer III use focused ultrasound to precisely target multiple deeper layers of the skin. This includes the SMAS layer in the skin—the layer that surgeons pull back when doing a facelift. Like with Thermage®, Ultraformer III causes new collagen stimulation and provides long-term skin tightening.
Laser Genesis™ is particularly good for reducing skin redness and rosacea. It also shrinks pores, smooths wrinkles and improves skin texture, tone and the appearance of scars. It works by gently heating the upper layer of skin through distributing laser energy over thousands of micro pulses. This stimulates collagen to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Double chin sculpting injections can be the next step to permanently eliminate fat cells from under the chin. Containing a synthesised deoxycholic acid, which occurs naturally in the body, it works to reduce fat, tighten, rejuvenate and contour your jawline for a slimmer, more refined appearance.
And injectable anti-wrinkle treatments involve small amounts of toxin being injected into specific areas of the face and neck to weaken the muscle movement. This prevents the muscles from contracting to form wrinkles, or from bulging to form a ‘turkey neck’ appearance.
In the interests of providing an insight into what these treatments feel like, we opt for a quick and non-invasive Ultraformer lll treatment. Taking roughly half an hour it consists of lying back while cold gel is spread across the neck and a small ultrasound wand is moved up and down your neck. The sensation is a prickly heat, hardly noticeable on the sides of your neck but less pleasant on your submentum (under your chin). This is where the deepest ultrasound waves penetrate and it can be quite intense pins and needles.
The good news is you can walk out the door with barely any redness and while some people can experience some tenderness following the treatment, this was not our experience after just a few hours. Results take up to 12 weeks to fully emerge and it is recommended the treatment is followed up each year.
Kristy said more clients were opting to have treatments extended to their necks and many were starting younger in an effort to prevent damage occurring.
In the meantime, she said no neck is ever too young for moisturiser and sunscreen!
Artisan Clinics are located in Bruce, Gungahlin and Woden
Artisan Aesthetics is offering a 20 per cent discount on Ultraformer treatments until 31 August 2021.
For bookings, go to artisanclinics.com/book-now