I stress the importance of balance and facial harmony a lot during my consultations. How the size of your lips needs to be balanced with cheek, chin, and jaw projection. How boosting your skin health will make your injectables look more natural. And no matter how much care and effort your put into your face, if you neglect your neck, it's going to look jarring and unnatural. I want you to turn heads, but for the right reasons.
Like the skin of our faces, our necks show signs of aging and sun damage in a multitude of ways: Sun spots, wrinkles, sagging, webbing, crepeiness, dullness, and even a permanent appearance of goosebumps.
In Part One of our neck series, Neck Neglect, Erin talks about treating the skin with radiofrequency, photofacials, resurfacing, and quality home-care. Today, I'm going to talk about how cosmetic injectables play a part in keeping your neck looking as beautiful as your face.
A multitude of different issues can be treated with Botox. Just like with the face, injecting into different areas of the neck yields different results.
The platysmal bands are strips of muscle that run vertically from below the collar bone, up to the jaw. You can easily visualize them by grimacing as hard as you can, like you're trying to show off all your bottom teeth. Now stop doing that. Excessive strain on these muscles not only cause the appearance of vertical cords in the neck, the muscles actually can pull down on the lower face, lending to a drooping and angry or sad appearance. By injecting these bands with Botox, the muscles are held in a relaxed position. The cording smooths out, and the pull on the lower face is lessened, resulting in a tighter neck and jawline.
Botox can also be used to treat the horizontal lines that cross the neck. Often referred to as "necklace lines" or "tech neck" (so named because the constant chin-tucked position we hold while looking at our phones and computers can cause creasing, enhancing the lines). A series of superficial injections are placed directly into the lines, softening and smoothing them by relaxing the muscles just under the surface of the skin.
One of my favorite ways to use Botox for the neck is with a technique known as "micro-tox", where tiny amounts of Botox are injected all over the neck, just under the skin. Not only do you get the benefit of smoothing and softening the necklace lines, you also get smoothing of the "goosebump" appearance of the neck skin. The result is tighter, more radiant skin to the entire neck.
Treating the neck with Botox is considered an advanced technique, please choose your injector with care!
I. Love. Fillers. Love 'em. I love the versatility of them--some are more structured to provide support and volume, some are stretchy and flexible and perfect for the lips, and some are soft and inflexible--ideal for necklace lines.
Small amounts of a delicate filler can be skillfully injected into the skin to further smooth and soften the appearance of those pesky horizontal lines. Results from hyaluronic acid fillers should be expected to last between 6-18 months.
How to Choose a Treatment
Ok. So you've just read about radiofrequency, photofacials, laser resurfacing, cosmeceuticals, SPF, Botox, and dermal fillers. Where do you start, and how do you know which treatment you should get?
I frequently recommend combination therapies to get the most "wow" results (after all, isn't that what we're all really after? Why pay for something if it's not going to give a noticeable change?). For example, one of my favorite gold-star treatment plan for an overall restoration and rejuvenation of the entire neck includes "microtox" Botox every 3-4 months, a series of three Scarlet+BBL treatments, and medical-grade home-care, with the possibility of adding filler to any stubborn lines that linger after healing from the last Scarlet+BBL treatment.
Really though, the best place to start is always a consultation with a trusted provider. I know how overwhelming it can be, and how anxiety-inducing it is trying to pick from a variety of options that sound somewhat similar. Remember, part of what you pay for with your treatment is expert opinion, guidance, and advice.
It's important to know not just our possibilities, but our limitations, and some issues are beyond the capabilities of lasers and injectables. If, at the consultation, I don't think I can deliver the results you're looking for, I'll kindly recommend you see Dr. Beals for a consultation to discuss surgical options before we continue with treatment.
If you find yourself trying not to hold your head in a certain way, hiding your neck with clothing or scarves, or you just want to correct and beautify your neck, I would love to see you! Please don't hesitate to call 480-947-6788 to schedule an appointment, or e-mail me with any questions at Kendra.StJohn@BealsMD.com
Before and After images are examples of my work, and my patients, used with their express consent. Please do not copy or distribute without permission. To see more before and after photos, follow me on Instagram at @Nurse_Injector_Kendra, or visit the gallery at www.BealsMD.com