When should lasers/energy-based devices be used to treat neck laxity (looseness)?
Candidates for neck rejuvenation are those who have loose or hanging skin on the neck and under the jaw, wanting to restore youthfulness and smoother skin.
The first sub-surface layer, known as the dermis, contains elastin and collagen-rich tissue. The subcutaneous layer below that is the fat layer, with a web of collagen fibers running through it. Weight fluctuations, aging and sun exposure contribute to the break down of the elastic tissue and collagen in these skin layers, causing the skin to sag.
Surface treatments don't target the deeper layers of skin where the laxity originates, and surgery can be painful and invasive. There are a variety of non-surgical, non-invasive treatment options to tighten and lift skin on the neck and under the chin.
What are the treatments and devices used?
Controlled radiofrequency (RF) energy can be used to heat the inner layer of the skin to tighten up sagging areas and counteract the effects of aging on the skin. After a local anesthetic has been injected, a small thermal probe is placed beneath the skin to heat tissues to a specific temperature. As the skin is heated, it induces a process which causes production of collagen and elastin to tighten the area. Throughout the procedure, the physician is carefully monitoring temperature levels with sophisticated thermal cameras to maximize safety.
Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves targeted beneath the skin to gently heat, tighten and lift the skin. The surface skin is left undisturbed.
What outcome should patients expect?
Minimally invasive, these procedures are quick and relatively painless—usually completed in within one or two hours using local anesthesia. It’s less risky than some other cosmetic procedures, and is safe for various skin types.
The most common side effect is mild swelling. This usually resolves within a day. Patients see improvements quickly and without major disruptions to their routines.