The skin on and around the neck is delicate, and is susceptible to showing signs of aging, such as thinning, loose skin with visible wrinkles. To make things worse, it's an area that's easy to forget when applying moisturizer, sunscreen and other skin treatments until visible signs of aging have already appeared. Fortunately, there are non-surgical options that can help rejuvenate your neck's appearance.
Begin by Evaluating
"Aging skin" can imply many different things, and in order to choose which treatment is right for you, identify exactly which concerns you have and which are most prominent. Study your neck to determine if your biggest concern is wrinkles, or if it is sun damage. Also, the neck has much thinner skin than the face or chest, meaning that the decline of collagen—the skin's essential protein, responsible for its thickness, elasticity and suppleness—as we age has more intense effects on the neck, making it more vulnerable to wrinkles, folds, sagging, and hyperpigmentation (dark spots).
Consult a Dermatologist
Consult a dermatologist; this is important for a number of reasons. First, he can check any skin discoloration to be certain there are no cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. Also, a dermatologist can identify any contraindications for certain non-surgical treatments. Finally, she can provide a wealth of information on rejuvenation options, and make recommendations based on your skin condition and type.
Microdermabrasion is a skin treatment that involves a hand-held device and a scrubbing substance. Various techniques are manufactured by several cosmetic companies for home use, and using microdermabrasion is just as effective for the neck as it is for the face. Used like a "sander," the device moves in circular motions over the skin to slough off old skin cells and reveal a fresh layer of skin underneath, gradually reducing lines and skin discoloration with continual, consistent use.
A chemical peel is an effective anti-aging solution for rejuvenating the skin, but should not be used to try to alleviate deep wrinkles or intense skin discoloration. For mild fine lines and sun spots, however, a chemical peel can reduce the appearance of these signs of aging and restore youthfulness to the skin of the neck. The "strength" or intensity of the chemical peel is adjusted by the concentration of the solution applied to the skin, which is then left on to dissolve surface skin cells. The stronger the peel, the more dramatic the results—but consider that stronger solutions require a longer time for your skin to heal and side effects such as redness and swelling to subside.
Laser technology and technique has advanced tremendously in the derma-medical field, and there are a wide number of laser-treatment options available. Laser treatment is highly effective for reducing lines and wrinkles, as well as skin discoloration, but various options offer different benefits and drawbacks.
Laser resurfacing approaches the entire surface skin layer, using thermal (heat) energy to dissolve old, abnormal skin cells, and ultimately yield smoother, more even skin. Fractional lasers target only specific "problem" areas. If you have dark skin, consult your dermatologist about potential hypopigmentation complications—which cause white skin patches—before choosing a laser treatment.
Titan laser treatment is an option for tightening loose skin around the neck. Options for skin tightening without surgery are more limited than non-surgical cosmetic options for treating wrinkles and discoloration, but Titan treatment is non-invasive and has relatively few side effects.
Discuss laser treatments with your dermatologist, who may also offer these services.
Protect Your Neck
Apply a high-strength sunscreen every day, and include your neck in your facial skin-care regimen. Also, remember that microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments can all leave your skin substantially more sensitive to sun exposure.