A double chin can be an aggravating issue for adults of all ages. For people over the age of 50, excess fat under the chin is often remedied in combination with a minimally invasive facelift/necklift in which lines and wrinkles of the lower face and neck also are smoothed or eliminated.
However, if you have a double chin and are younger (in your 20s, 30s and 40s) and your skin is still more resilient, you have a few different treatment options available for eliminating the excess fat under your chin before surgery is needed. Each has its own benefits and one form of treatment may be better suited to your needs, lifestyle and budget than another.
Let’s look at the current thinking about eliminating a double chin.
What causes a double chin?
A double chin typically is the result of one or more factors, including:
Genetics: Genetics may be the primary cause of a double chin. If your mom, dad or other family members have a double chin, you could be more likely to have one, as well.
Diet and weight: When we gain weight, we gain it over our entire body including the chin and neck area. A healthy diet and avoiding large gains of weight can help prevent developing or worsening a double chin.
Age: As we age, our skin loses its elasticity, which leads to extra, saggy skin in the neck area, further emphasizing a double chin.
Posture: Poor posture may contribute to a double chin over many years, as the muscles of the neck and chin weaken and the surrounding skin loses its elasticity.
Treatments to eliminate a double chin
Also known as lipolysis, Submental Liposuction is an outpatient treatment in which a physician uses a very small canula (tube) to suction away any fat under the chin. Dr. Robert J. Smyth uses a local anesthetic to numb the chin/neck area, which is all that is needed to ensure the patient is entirely comfortable during this procedure that takes approximately 30 minutes. Dr. Smyth makes a tiny incision under the chin through which he threads the skinny canula to remove the excess fat. Patients may have some slight bruising and swelling after treatment, but most patients are back to work and full activities within 48 hours post-procedure.
Results from submental liposuction can last up to 10 years or longer provided the patient avoids any major weight gain and takes good care of their overall health. Submental liposuction does not remove excess skin, but it can be combined with a minimally invasive lower facelift (Timeless Lift™) to eliminate a double chin and also to remove loose, saggy skin caused by aging and/or sun damage.
Also known as mesotherapy, Kybella is a series of treatments in which fat-dissolving compounds are injected into the chin/neck area. It can take 20 or more injections of the compound per treatment to treat a double chin. Most patients can have up to six treatments total. Patients must wait at least one month between treatments.
Watchout: Kybella injections should be performed only by a dermatologist or experienced facial cosmetic surgeon, because nerve damage can occur if the injectables are not properly administered. Side effects can include swelling, bruising, pain, redness and numbness.
Though you’ll find claims that specific exercises can eliminate a double chin, there is no scientific evidence that chin/neck exercises have an effect.
Minimally Invasive Lower Facelift/Necklift (Timeless lift™)
If you are age 50 or older, your best solution for eliminating a double chin as well as loose saggy skin in the jowls and neck area might be the Timeless Lift™ as performed by Dr. Robert J. Smyth, facial cosmetic surgeon and specialist in face and neck rejuvenation. This minimally invasive lower facelift and neck lift addresses all three concerns –– removes loose skin in the jowls, lifts and smoothes the neck area, and eliminates a double chin.
“The procedure delivers the results that our patients want –– the ability to wear necklines they like, not feel self-conscious about their chin or neck, and like what they see when they see themselves in photos,” says Dr. Smyth.
Like all procedures performed by Dr. Smyth, the lower facelift/neck lift is done under local anesthesia. The patient has a shorter recovery time without the risks associated with general anesthesia. Patients are kept entirely comfortable throughout the hour-long procedure and are monitored by registered nurses in the outpatient treatment center of a renowned area hospital. Most patients are back to work and activities at 10 days post-procedure.
Results of the Timeless Lift typically last six to 10 years depending on how well the patient protects their skin from the sun, maintains a healthy diet and an even body weight, tries to reduce stress, and does not smoke.
Watchout: If a patient gains a significant amount of weight (20 or more pounds) after their lower facelift/necklift, they may see their double chin reappear.