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I have neck lines - how do I treat them?

I have a number of patients requesting treatment for neck lines. The key to determining the treatment approach first depends on whether they are VERTICAL or HORIZONTAL neck lines. This article will help you:

  • Distinguish the appearance of the vertical and horizontal lines I am referring to

  • Understand why they are caused

  • Understand some of the treatment options and rationale for these treatments


Horizontal neck lines


Horizontal neck lines

Horizontal neck lines, which are often referred to as "necklace lines" or "tech neck," can be caused by a combination of reasons:

  1. Repetitive motions: like looking down at electronic devices. This leads to creasing of the skin and horizontal lines.

  2. Aging: As the skin ages, it naturally loses collagen and elastin, two proteins that provide structure and elasticity to the skin. This loss of support can result in the formation of wrinkles, including horizontal lines on the neck.

  3. Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun is a major contributor to premature aging of the skin. UV radiation can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, leading to the development of wrinkles and fine lines, including those on the neck.

  4. Genetics: Genetic factors play a role in determining skin characteristics, including its elasticity and tendency to wrinkle. If your parents or other close relatives have prominent neck lines, you may be genetically predisposed to developing them as well.

Prevention

To prevent horizontal neck lines forming it is important to:

  1. Sun Protection: Protecting the neck from sun damage is crucial in preventing the formation and worsening of neck lines. The use of an appropriate sunscreen is really important.

  2. Moisturisation: Keeping the skin well-hydrated can improve its elasticity and reduce the visibility of fine lines.


When the horizontal neck lines are present treatment options include:

  1. Topical retinoid creams: such as retinol or tretinoin (prescription-only), can stimulate collagen production and promote skin renewal. These may help improve the texture and firmness of the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines over time.

  2. Profhilo®: this is a hyaluronic based product which is injected into skin, Profhilo® helps hydrate the skin and also in the process of collagen and elastin stimulation to help counteract skin laxity and improve and restore firmness of the skin.

  3. Dermal Fillers: Injectable dermal fillers, can be used to add volume to the skin, smoothing out horizontal lines.

  4. Skin rejuvenation treatments (e.g. chemical peels, microneedling and lasers): These help stimulate collagen and elastin, again, to help the texture of the skin and reduce skin laxity.



Vertical Neck Lines/Bands (Platysmal Bands)


Vertical Neck bands or platysmal bands

Platysmal bands are prominent vertical bands that may become visible on the neck, giving a "turkey neck" appearance. The platysma muscle is a thin, sheet-like muscle that extends from the chest to the lower face and plays a role in facial expressions and movements of the neck.


Over time, the platysma muscle can become more prominent, leading to the development of vertical bands on the neck, often referred to as platysmal bands. The cause of the these bands becoming more prominent include the following:

  1. Aging: As individuals age, the skin loses elasticity and collagen, leading to sagging and laxity. The platysma muscle, which extends from the upper chest to the lower face, can become more visible as the skin loses its firmness.

  2. Muscle Weakness: Weakness or laxity of the platysma muscle itself can contribute to the development of platysmal bands.

  3. Genetics: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing more visible platysmal bands.

  4. Sun Damage: Prolonged sun exposure can accelerate the aging process of the skin (photoaging), leading to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres. This can contribute to the development of sagging skin and the visibility of platysmal bands.


Treatment options include:


Botox®: Platysmal bands are often more noticeable when the platysma muscle contracts or tightens. By injecting Botox into specific points along the platysma muscle, the muscle's ability to contract is reduced, preventing the notable appearance of the bands.


Summary


Neck lines can be a common concern for patients but it is very important to determine whether the concerns are the vertical bands, horizontal lines or a combination of both as the treatment approaches will vary. I hope you found this blog helpful but if you would like to know any more information or have any questions please feel free to contact us.





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