Medical treatment

Causes, medical treatment and remedies

The platysmal bands are two bands of muscle that run vertically down both sides of your neck. They are caused by contractions of the skin, the most superficial muscle layer of the face and neck.

Although they pose no health risk, it is a cosmetic concern for some. This can create the appearance of saggy skin, which can lead to a double chin, neck folds, and what is often referred to as a “turkey neck.”

There are ways to treat the platysmal bands that have become visible. Let’s explore what causes these bands and how to treat them.

Platysmal bands are a natural part of the aging process. The loss of skin elasticity causes the skin covering the platysma to weaken and sag. Additionally, the platysma muscle becomes lax with age, causing the skin to sag.

Genetic also play a role, as bands may become visible earlier in people with thin skin.

There are a few other factors that cause platysmal bands. This includes:

muscle activity

Experts believed that skin aging was the main cause of platysmal bands. But a small 2017 study debunked that. Researchers looked at 25 participants with permanent unilateral facial paralysis after otoneurosurgical (ear and brain damage) treatment. After 10 years, 76% of participants had visible platysmal bands on the side of the neck that were not paralyzed.

As a result, the researchers concluded that muscle activity, combined with the natural aging process, caused prominent platysmal bands.

Exercise

This is a more focused form of muscle activity.

The next time you lift a weight, look in the mirror and see what happens to your neck. Chances are your platysmal bands are sticking out. The tension strains your neck.

Over time, the platysmal bands become more visible. Your facial muscles can also be affected during high intensity training. The more the muscles of the face and neck are used, the more the overlying skin can stretch and sag.

Awareness is key to keeping platysmal bands from exercising. It is recommended that you look at yourself in the mirror when you exercise, so that you can relax your neck when it tenses.

Treatment for platysmal bands is not necessary as it is not a medical condition. But some people may wish to diminish the appearance of these bands. The following treatments may help.

Platysmal bands Botox treatment

Botox (botulinum toxin type A injection) isn’t just for wrinkles. A 2018 research review showed it may help reduce the appearance of platysmal bands by relaxing neck muscles.

“We can use Botox to get rid of the platysmal bands, which will cause the jawline to loosen and lift. We call it the Nefertiti facelift,” says Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, cosmetic dermatologist, chief medical officer and founder of PFRANKMD, and author of “The Pro-Aging Playbook.

Using Botox in the lower face and neck is considered off-the-books, but is considered safe, relatively painless, and costs around $400. Side effects may include bruising and minor discomfort. As it is temporary, you will need to maintain the results every 3-4 months.

Dermal fillers

Fillers are injectable treatments used to plump up the skin. It uses gel-like substances, such as hyaluronic acid, poly-L-lactic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite.

Although it can be used to plump skin over platysmal bands, Dr. Barry Goldman, MD, says it’s best used to fill in deep horizontal lines on the neck.

It is also best used in combination with Botox. “For most of my patients who want follow-up [result] within days, a combination of jaw fillers and Botox makes a huge difference,” Frank says.

Some popular dermal fillers approved for use in the neck include:

Like Botox, common side effects include bruising, swelling, and redness or discoloration. Dermal fillers are temporary and last about 6-12 months.

Platysmaplasty (neck lift)

If you want dramatic results, consider platysmaplasty.

“If someone has a heavy, sagging neck, injectables won’t work well. Surgical platysmaplasty is the most definitive treatment,” says Frank.

This is cosmetic surgery that tightens the skin and muscles at their weakest points. This results in a smoother neck, as well as a sharper jawline.

Lower lift

This is when a doctor tightens the skin under the corners of your mouth. Excess skin is also trimmed to give a younger look.

Goldman says it’s usually performed by a plastic surgeon or ENT facial plastic surgeon. Although significantly more expensive than non-invasive options, it is considered more effective.

As with all surgeries, there is a risk of complications. Goldman says side effects can include:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • nerve damage
  • healing

Platysmal band exercises are exercises that can help strengthen the neck muscles. This is thought to reduce the likelihood of platysmal bands.

But the reverse happens: “We generally don’t recommend exercising this area, as the bands can be exacerbated by exertions such as grimacing when lifting weights,” Goldman says.

You may have better results with neck stretches, which are gentler.

“There are different stretches that promote gentle muscle toning that can help,” Goldman says.

Still unsure about treatment options? Browsing through these before and after photos of the four proven medical treatments above can give you a better idea of ​​their results.

A board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon should perform these procedures.

Frank notes that a cosmetic dermatologist can perform injectables and use lasers, while a plastic surgeon must provide more surgical procedures like a neck lift.

When looking for a qualified professional, you should ensure that they are board certified. This means that the dermatologist or plastic surgeon has undergone intense training and education to achieve the highest level of accreditation in their field.

If you’re not sure where to start your search, you can ask friends, family members, or your family doctor for recommendations.

You can also search for a professional in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.

Platysmal bands are caused by aging and thickening of both edges of the neck muscles. There are many causes, including age, genetics, and muscle activity. The neck also has a much thinner layer of skin than the face.

Treatment options are available, ranging from non-invasive cosmetic procedures to surgery. Be sure to speak with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon if you want to diminish the appearance of platysmal bands.

Platysmal bands are natural and common.