The Best Treatments For Sagging ‘Turkey Neck’

Turkey Neck WaddleI was recently asked by a Facebook reader what I recommended to improve sagging neck skin.  She wrote:

What can one do for the sagging neck? Is there a moisturizing lotion that will help or are women doomed to have the dreaded ‘turkey’ look? :-) Deborah T

It’s such a great question, and one that most of us women face as we age.

There are things we can do to minimize the turkey wattle.  It all depends on exactly how the skin is sagging and how much sag there is.  (Click on any blue titles to read more)

For fine wrinkling of the neck the use of ‘wrinkle creams’ can help.  Options include

  1. Tretinoin (Retin A, Renova or generic tretinoin cream),
  2. Professional strength vitamin C products.  They have to be powerful.  In my opinion the best vitamin C skin care product is Professional Cell Repair Serum with 15% stable L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C.  It also contains TGF-beta, one of the new high-tech skin growth factors that can enhance collagen formation in the skin.
  3. Professional glycolic acid wrinkle creams.

Skin tightening devices like Skin Tyte, which we do in the office, can help superficial laxity.

There is also a small muscle in the neck skin that can be strengthened under the careful supervision of a fitness professional.  Be careful if you have any neck pain or joint problems because some neck exercises can make those problems worse.

Botox injections can help too if there are long ‘bands’ of folds running down from the chin.  That’s because that small muscle in the neck skin can actually contract longitudinally to create these bands.  Botox injections in the neck need to be done by a doctor with a lot of Botox experience because there are risks.

Lastly, there’s always plastic surgery. When the waddle is due to more than a superficial amount of skin laxity then sometimes you just need to see the plastic surgeon for a little ‘nip and tuck’.

Photo: Thanks and gratitude to Ingrid Taylar

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4 Responses to “The Best Treatments For Sagging ‘Turkey Neck’”

  1. Ariana Davidson July 18, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Great column! What is the name of the small muscle in the neck? Thanks!

  2. Cynthia Bailey MD July 18, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    It’s the platysma. If you Google it you get a nice diagram on one of the first sites listed. Have fun!

  3. Cura Pelle July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Anything to the tips given there? I can see how the look-at-the-ceiling,-pucker-and-hold-for-10-seconds might be meditative. Dr. Brandt has said that many women runners have ‘runner’s face’ because they strengthen the neck muscle that pulls the face downward. This runner is resigned to eventually having runner’s face as a side effect of developing runner’s heart, runner’s vascular capacity, runner’s legs and runner’s backside.

  4. Cynthia Bailey MD July 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Possibly. Try it and feel the platysma. When I do it the muscle seems to tighten. Can’t comment on ‘runners face’, hard to figure out how that works.