Turkey neck is one of the more common signs of aging in women. This rather unflattering term refers to the appearance of the skin around the neck, and, for many women, turkey neck is one of the most upsetting signs of aging. Find out what causes this unsightly condition, and learn more about the steps you can take to prevent or reverse this sign of aging.
Causes of turkey neck
The platysma muscle is a large band of tissue that covers your chest, neck and face. This muscle narrows as it reaches the neck and extends up to the bottom of the jawbone. You can see the edges of the muscle if you stretch your chin forwards.
Over time, this muscle can grow weaker. When this occurs, the muscle relaxes and stretches out, and, to make matters worse, your body produces less collagen as you grow older, resulting in thinner, looser skin. This combination of problems can cause turkey neck.
Other names for the condition include muscle bands and platysma bands, but most people remember the name turkey neck because they can see the resemblance to the popular Thanksgiving bird's anatomy.
Risk of turkey neck
Turkey neck affects women of all ages, but the condition can strike people who are in their 30s, particularly if they lead a damaging lifestyle. For example, women who smoke are at higher risk of turkey neck because of the damaging effects this habit can have. Scientists aren't completely sure why smoking damages your skin, but they believe the habit inhibits the supply of blood to the skin and reduces the amount of vitamin A in the skin.
Preventing turkey neck
Of course, it's always better to prevent problems like turkey neck, and there are plenty of steps you can take to slow down or prevent the symptoms of this condition.
Good sleep posture can help you avoid turkey neck. If you tip your chin towards your chest while you sleep, you will encourage horizontal lines on the neck, so experts recommend that you sleep on your back. Where possible, try to minimize the angle between your face and neck, and choose silk pillowcases that don't drag on your skin.
A gentle exfoliant or mild skin peel can also help. The skin in this part of the body is delicate and can easily scar, so it's important to avoid harsh chemicals and skin scrubs. You can make your own exfoliant with ground porridge oats and yogurt that you apply to the skin as a paste.
Facial yoga experts also recommend various exercises that can help you counter the signs of aging, including turkey neck. Yoga fans recommend an exercise called the giraffe that involves gently stretching the skin and muscles in your neck. Performed daily, this exercise will strengthen the platysma and the skin around your neck. What's more, you can easily carry out this exercise at home.
Regular exercise will also help you maintain a healthy body weight and avoid excess fat, which makes it harder to stop your skin sagging. Good hydration is also vital, so make sure you drink plenty of water every day.
If you already have turkey neck, some of the steps mentioned above can help soften the symptoms and reverse the process a little, but surgery is the only option for many women. In this case, you should talk to a surgeon about a neck lift.
In many cases, he or she will recommend multiple procedures. A cervicoplasty can help remove excess skin, while a platysmaplasty can help restore weakened neck muscles. With a platysmaplasty the surgeon will make incisions under your chin and/or behind your ears. He or she can then adjust or remove parts of the platysma as required. Botox injections can also help relax any parts of the platysma that cause the visible bands that form turkey neck.
Turkey neck is a common aging symptom that causes many American women anxiety. For more advice about the surgical options available to you, talk to a cosmetic surgeon from a clinic like My Plastic Surgery Group in your area.
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