Battling ‘Tech Neck’ in the Selfie Generation

by Dr. Jenny

Could your smartphone addiction be the culprit behind the early onset of wrinkles in the neck?

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons alike agree that it certainly plays a role in the premature development of what has been termed ‘tech neck’ in the millennial set.

This latest phenomenon suggests that our bad habit of constantly tipping our heads down to play on our phones or laptops can cause the delicate skin on our neck to wrinkle and show aging much more rapidly than in past years.

The ‘connected’ generation’s overuse of technical gadgets like the smartphone, in combination with other external factors such as chronic UV and exposure to environmental influences, can have a wearing effect on the skin.

And the loss of elasticity and collagen with age is only exacerbated with the over-activity of our neck muscles as we’ve programmed ourselves to constantly look down at our phones.

That said, in an age where the ‘selfie’ has become king and a mere profile picture can determine whether someone swipes left or right, it has become a cultural imperative that we look our best from every angle. So, is it any wonder then why doctors are treating more patients with turkey neck than ever before?

If you think you’ve got a case of the ‘tech neck’, don’t despair!

There are plenty of options for neck rejuvenation that you can discuss with your aesthetic specialist that address skin laxity, wrinkles, and double chin.

One popular option to consider is Kybella, a synthetic liquid that is naturally produced in the body to dissolve fat, which can be used to address a double chin or fullness in the upper neck.

By injecting the fat pocket with Kybella, the fat gradually breaks down and melts away over the course of a few weeks. If necessary, the treatment can also be repeated to achieve optimal results.

An alternative to Kybella, ThermiTight can be utilized for combined skin tightening and fat reduction. This revolutionary procedure works by emitting a controlled amount of thermal energy under the surface of the skin using a tiny probe. Heat from the device brings the skin to a therapeutic temperature, which can effectively reverse the signs of aging in areas challenged by skin laxity and sagging.

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are another option in the battle against deep-set neck wrinkles. Results can be seen immediately (how’s that for instant gratification?) and should the results not be to a patients liking, a simple antidote injection can be used to reverse the effects by dissolving the hyaluronic acid – making it both a safe and effective option!

Of course, the best offense is a good defense and preventative care early on, can make all the difference in the long run.

Often, in caring for our skin, the focus falls largely on the face, while the neck is overlooked or ignored. Yet compared to facial skin, neck skin has been found to be much thinner and can show signs of age more readily.

It’s important to invest in a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, as well as a moisturizer, to be applied to both the face and neck daily. A good vitamin C serum, coupled with a retinol-based product for the evening, will help boost the skin’s natural production of collagen.

Should lines and wrinkles have already set in, discuss with your aesthetic specialist switching to a dedicated neck cream that includes hydrating and wrinkle-smoothing properties such as growth factors, retinol, Vitamin C and peptides. Or, if you want to stick with the products you know, consider using on your neck an anti-aging face cream you’ve already got in your beauty bag.