Feb 17, 2020

Double Chin No More!

Have you ever looked in the mirror or seen a picture of yourself and said, "When did I get a double chin"?  It sneaks up on you and now it's all you see.  "Many of my patients come in complaining of a double chin or a slight squaring of the jaw,” says Dr. Harpreet Lotay, a board-certified dermatologist. 

Lotay describes how the fat pockets under our skin start to descend and cause the 'jowling' look. "As we age we tend to lose volume in the lateral aspect of the face. As that happens, everything starts to come forward and down." This downward momentum combined with a little extra fullness in the chin typically goes hand-in-hand. 

What Causes a Double Chin?

Submental fullness or a “double chin” is a common condition for both men and women. Lotay says submental fat under the chin can be caused by weight gain, heredity, and the natural aging process as our skin loses elasticity. The point is, it happens to most of us at some point! “The exciting thing about this current time in aesthetic medicine is we have so many options,” says Dr. Lotay. 

Keeping your weight at a steady number instead of yo-yo dieting is a good starting point for keeping the neck and under the chin firm and tight. Constant weight gain and loss wreaks havoc on our skin and stretches it out. There are also neck exercises that may be able to help if you only have a slight problem. The two main muscles, the sternocleidomastoid and platysma, make up your neck, and toning them can help pull the skin tighter.  

Non-Invasive Options

1.  Coolsculpting freezes the excess fat in your chin area, and over the next two to four months the fat is metabolized by the body. The treatment is performed by placing an applicator under the chin and it gradually freezes the targeted fat. Patients may need several treatments to achieve their desired results, but many report seeing results after a single session. Side effects can be temporary redness, swelling, and bruising.

2.  On the other hand, Kybella uses fat dissolving injections to get rid of the fat. With Kybella you can expect two to four treatments spaced six to eight weeks apart, and the final outcome can take up to three months. Side effects can be redness, bruising, and swelling for several days near the injection site, but patients typically recover fairly quickly. 

3.  “I also use fillers like calcium hydroxyapatite to sculpt the jawline and then pull up and create a more sculpted, firmer look to that under chin area. Many of these fillers can last up to two years and it gives a fantastic sharp edge to that area.” Lotay says fillers can give you that nice definition we have in our youth. 

Treatment Combinations 

Lotay may use a combination of treatments including laser skin rejuvenating treatments, CoolSculpting, Kybella and finally filler to give the jaw a sharper edge. "It gives people back the heart-shape face they had when they were younger and it reads younger and more vibrant," says Lotay. 

If you're seeing some jowling and laxity in the jaw or neck area or fullness under the chin, plan to see a board-certified dermatologist and consider all your options. Lotay says do your research and look at your aesthetic providers before and after photos.  She says to make sure you go to someone who can offer more than one approach, and not only fillers or only lasers. "I think people can achieve a more natural look if they use a combination of options," states Lotay.