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Sale and Altrincham Messenger 4 July 2013

THE NECK…..prone to signs of ageing

Q – I’m forty four years old, and I have got a series of wrinkles around the front of my neck. I feel they make me look much older, and I’m really conscious of them. What would you suggest? Anon
A – Frequently, the neck can be a more accurate gauge of a person’s chronological age than the overall appearance of his or her face. This is especially true in those individuals who have spent a lot of time outdoors, as people often take less care in protecting the area from the sun. In previous weeks I have mentioned that sun exposure is one of the biggest causes of premature ageing of the skin.
If the skin on your neck is lax, then applying a prescription only cream based on Vitamin A (such as tretinoin) can certainly have a skin tightening and anti-ageing effect. However, if your neck lines are more pronounced then the next level of treatment to consider would be injections of Botox into the platysma muscle.

This is a broad sheet of muscle running from the chest and shoulders up the front of and to the sides of the neck. This, along with gravity, applies a downward pull on the skin of the neck, causing horizontal lines to develop over time. Botox blocks the neurotransmitters that stimulate the muscle, causing it to relax and eliminating some of this downward pull. It is this same muscle which can also cause vertical folds of skin to develop, resulting in the unkindly named ‘turkey bands’, though the appearance of these bands (or cords) can also be greatly reduced by Botox to the area. The beneficial effects of treatment would typically be seen within five to nine days.
For more severe cases of wrinkles to the neck, surgery is an option. However, in my experience non-surgical alternatives are extremely effective, and therefore my advice would be to undergo a thorough assessment to find a treatment that’s right for you.