While this isn’t an exhaustive list of your options, the following nonsurgical procedures are often used to minimize the signs of aging in neck skin.
Injectable therapies like Botox (botulinum toxin type A injection) can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
“Although off-label, many dermatologists utilize Botox injections along the neck and vertical neck bands… to quiet muscle movement on the neck and relax the downward-pulling motion of the neck muscle,” says Dr. Melanie Palm, a board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon.
Botox is nearly painless, requires minimal-to-no downtime, and takes minimal time to complete. The average cost of Botox is about $400.
To maintain results, you’ll need to go in for a treatment every 3 to 4 months.
Fractionated ablative laser treatment
Palm says to think of fractionated technology like aerating a lawn: A percentage of the skin is treated while adjacent skin is untreated, leading to faster healing.
“Lasers such as erbium or carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers can create selective destruction and heat damage to the first two layers of skin, leading to textural improvements, skin contraction, and new collagen growth,” she says.
Palm says this treatment requires topical anesthesia and occasional regional or systemic anesthesia to be well-tolerated.
One 2014 study found that for patients with skin laxity and jowling, fractional CO2 neck rejuvenation is an effective treatment option with long-term efficacy.
However, the authors do point out that the results are better on patients with moderate aging, as opposed to mild or severe.
Downtime can be up to 10 days and requires moderate wound care. The average cost of laser treatments is around $2,000.
Injectable dermal fillers
Injectable dermal fillers like Bellafill, Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, and Sculptra may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore lost volume to the skin on your neck.
According to Palm, hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite fillers are sometimes used off-label by expert physician injectors to rebuild jawline definition and induce collagen growth to the neck.
When used on the neck, Palm says the practitioner will often use a blunt-tipped cannula instead of a needle.
The average cost of injectable dermal fillers is about $625 to $800. Each treatment lasts anywhere from 6 to 12 months.
Some people accumulate increased fat under the chin and in the upper neck.
In cases where there’s a mild amount of neck fat with firm, good quality skin overlying, your doctor may recommend Kybella to improve neck contour, says Dr. Amit Kochhar of Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
Kybella is composed of deoxycholic acid, an injectable product that breaks down and metabolizes fat cells.
The treatment takes about 30 minutes, and in general, the recovery is fast. But you may notice swelling or redness at the injection site for several days.
Kochhar says you’ll see results in 4 to 6 weeks. The cost of Kybella is around $1,100. You may need to repeat the procedure up to four times.
Radiofrequency with microneedling is a noninvasive procedure that treats wrinkles and loose skin. It combines two techniques — radiofrequency and microneedling — to naturally reproduce collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid.
With microneedling, a doctor places very fine short needles into the skin for rejuvenation.
The benefit of microneedling, Kochhar says, is to resurface the superficial layer of the skin and enhance the tightening effects of the radiofrequency energy by further stimulation of collagen and elastin production.
A 2019 study found that by combining radiofrequency technology (with microneedling) and bipolar radiofrequency, practitioners can treat a broader range of patients with varying skin laxity.
This includes younger patients, whose soft tissue laxity isn’t severe enough for excision procedures, and patients with recurrent laxity who already had a surgical procedure.
You may notice results right away, but generally, they take several months to see. Radiofrequency microneedling is a customized procedure. Because of this, pricing will vary among patients.
Ultrasound is another type of energy that penetrates the skin and treats the subcutaneous layer of the neck and chin.
Ultherapy, a nonsurgical ultrasound technology, was approved in 2009 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for noninvasive neck and chin lifts and to improve wrinkles and lines on the chest area.
The goal of Ultherapy is to stimulate collagen and create more youthful-looking skin on the neck and chin area. To do this, Ultherapy bypasses the surface of the skin through ultrasound energy with focused imaging.
This allows the practitioner to target the right amount at the right depths and the right temperature to lift and support deeper layers of the skin.
Ultherapy is an in-office procedure that takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Typically, there’s no downtime, and you can return to normal activities. You may notice flushed skin and redness, but that should disappear within a few hours.
Results vary, but generally appear over 2 to 3 months as new collagen works to lift skin on the neck and chin. Ultherapy can last up to a year.
Ultherapy costs around $2,200 for one treatment.