29 July 2021
Tech neck, necklace lines, turkey bands- so many names to describe neck lines but only a few good solutions to address neck wrinkles exist. These names describe the horizontal and vertical lines on your neck; which inevitably become more apparent in all of us as we age. Today’s blogpost explores the subject of necklines and how to treat them.
The formation of lines on our necks is similar to that for wrinkles on our faces. A combination of intrinsic ageing factors and lifestyle habits cause these lines and wrinkles to appear.
The natural processes of ageing cause depletion of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin. These fibres are crucial to maintain skin firmness, thickness and integrity. Weakening of these structural fibres makes the skin of the neck less able to resist folding and bending the way it normally does. This eventually leads to the formation of ridges and wrinkles along the lines of muscle contraction. An analogy would be a piece of paper that’s repeated crumped and ironed. Initially, the lines are barely seen, but with repeated crumpling, the lines become etched in and cannot be removed even with ironing. Hence, you will notice that tech neck and necklace lines lie along the folds and bends of the skin of the neck.
Lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive UV exposure can also accelerate the rate of collagen loss in the skin and cause premature appearance of neck lines. Using sunscreen on your neck can help to delay the formation of neck lines.
More recently, ‘tech neck’, the term used to describe the neck wrinkles caused by our neck posture and movements when using mobile devices. The constant bending of our necks and heads to use our mobile devices has been highlighted as another cause of horizontal neck lines and shoulder aches in younger patients.
There are 2 types of necklines: horizontal lines (aka tech neck and necklace lines) and vertical bands (aka turkey bands).
Horizontal necklace lines on the neck occur at the area of constant flexion and creasing in the skin. The skin thins and loses its elasticity as we age, causing ridges at the creases of the neck.
The vertical bands are similar but not quite. These turkey bands are accentuated when we say the word “eeee” or cringe. This action pulls the platysma muscles, which are the cause of the vertical bands. The platysmal bands become more prominent as we get older as the overlying structural support weakens.
Similar to face creams for wrinkles; neck creams offer some improvement for deep neck wrinkles.
Collagen boosting active ingredients in skincare- retinoids; vitamin C and peptides- can help to smoothen fine lines on the skin of the neck. It also goes without saying that sunscreen is necessary to reduce UV damage on the skin. However, their impact on the deep neck creases are very limited.
However, skincare plays an important role in delaying the onset of signs of ageing in the face and neck. If you are considering getting aesthetic treatments for your neck; using the right skincare can help to maintain the longevity of your treatments.
Jade rollers and gua sha
Jade rollers and gua sha stones- do these trendy, instagrammable face tools work?
These face tools have their origins in traditional chinese medicine; and in recent decades, found their way into mainstream culture. Fans swear by the ability of these stones and rollers to remove toxins and swelling- which may hold some truth. Facial massages of any kind may improve microcirculation and lymphatic drainage in the skin, thereby reducing swelling in the face and neck.
The collagen building and wrinkle erasing claims for jade rollers and gua sha facials, however, lack substantiation. The only way to replenish collagen and elastin fibres in the skin is with treatments like lasers and Profhilo.
Neck line fillers
For deep horizontal creases on the neck, dermal fillers are a safe and effective treatment for neck rejuvenation. A super soft filler is injected precisely into these neck lines to plump them and efface the ridges.
Dermal fillers are soft gels containing hyaluronic acid. They are often used to remove lines and folds like laugh lines and neck lines. The effects of dermal fillers are reversible; and can be removed with an enzyme called hyalase. The results of neck line fillers last for 9 to 12 months.
Neck line fillers are a convenient in clinic treatment with immediate results, even for deep lines. The disadvantages of neck line fillers is the lumpiness that may be felt along the creases.
Profhilo for neck lines
An alternative treatment for horizontal neck lines is Profhilo. Profhilo is one of the newest anti-ageing treatments in Singapore. Although Profhilo is primarily a skin hydrating treatment, the treatment also builds a significant amount of collagen and elastin in the skin to smoothen out lines and lift the skin.
Profhilo contains hyaluronic acid of mixed molecular sizes, setting it apart from conventional skin hydrating treatments such as Skinboosters, which contain a single type of hyaluronic acid molecules. Profhilo’s unique combination of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid molecules give immediate and sustained release of hydration to the skin; as well as stimulation of collagen and elastin synthesis in the skin. With Profhilo, the horizontal neck lines are gradually softened; and the skin feels plumper, lifted and tighter.
One of the advantages of Profhilo vs dermal neck line fillers is that Profhilo does not cause lumpiness in the neck. The disadvantage with profhilo vs dermal fillers for neck rejuvenation is that severe neck lines may need a few sessions of Profhilo for optimum outcomes.
Fractional CO2 laser for neck lines
Lasers can also be used to replenish collagen in the skin and remove fine lines. The gold standard for this is fractional CO2 laser, which is often used to treat depressed acne scars and enlarged pores.
Fractional CO2 laser penetrates the dermis of the skin to activate the fibroblasts, which are the collagen producing cells of the skin. New collagen formation is accelerated with fractional CO2 laser to refine the texture of the skin. Neck lines are also shallower with fractional CO2 laser to the the neck.
The advantage of using fractional CO2 laser to treat neck lines is that it is cost effective and reliable. The main disadvantage of fractional CO2 lasers is the recovery time or down time. For one week, the skin of the neck will experience redness, hypersensitivity, transient darkening, flakiness and scabbing. This downtime is temporary; and it allows the cells of the dermis to be stimulated to synthesise collagen fibres.
Botox for neck bands and the Nefertiti Lift
For vertical turkey bands, a different modality is required to relax the hyperactive platysma bands. Muscle relaxing injections involve Botulinum toxin (Botox injections) into the neck muscles. This treatment also relieves tension in the neck muscles caused by the constant pull of the platysma muscles.
Botox injections of the vertical neck bands are often performed as part of a treatment to lift and sharpen the jawline called the Nefertiti Lift. This treatment is named after the ancient Egyptian queen who was famed for her beauty and sculptured neck and jawline.
The Nefertiti Lift is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment for addressing sagging and wrinkles in the lower face and neck. Small doses of Botox are injected into the jawline and neck to remove the turkey bands and tighten and lift the skin along the jawline and neck. With the Nefertiti Lift, the neck and the lower face is lifted; and the marionette line and jowls are softened. The skin of the jawline and neck also feel more taut as the skin is tightened.
For the vertical neck lines, Botox injections are the only treatment. Lasers or dermal fillers are unable to remove the neck lines. The results of Botox injections last for 4-6 months. To learn more about Botox, please read Is Botox Deadly? 5 Things to Know About Botox Safety.
Horizontal neck lines are naturally present in people of all ages, including children. These lines can deepen due to ageing and lifestyle related factors like UV exposure and constant neck flexion (tech neck). There are 2 main types of necklines- turkey bands and tech neck/ necklace lines. To effectively address neck lines, understanding the type that you have and the appropriate treatment offers a more direct solution.
If you enjoyed this blogpost on neck lines treatments in Singapore, you may also enjoy this blogpost Double Chins: Double Trouble.