While most of us focus our attention on lines, wrinkles, and dark spots as we get older, the neck follows its aging path unnoticed until it’s too late, and our only option is facelift surgery. However, there are other options to rejuvenate the aspect of our neck skin without having to undergo a surgical procedure. Cosmetic treatment of the platysmal bands, the vertical cords that appear in the neck to let us know that our skin is getting older, is now a popular procedure embraced by many people looking for neck skin rejuvenation.
What are platysmal bands?
Platysmal bands are two vertical bands of muscle situated on both sides of our neck. They show the first signs of aging and result in saggy skin, double chins, or neck creases. Commonly referred to as “turkey neck,” the platysmal bands are the result of platysma contractions, the superficial muscle layer in the face and neck.
What causes the platysmal bands continues to be a topic of research, but we do know that genetics, sun exposure, and improper skincare routine may have something to do with their appearance and loss of muscle tone in the neck.
They can also be a result of clenching your teeth or stress, or even high-intensity workouts. Repetitive high-intensity movements and increased muscle activity may determine these free-floating muscles to come forward and become more visible.
How to treat platysmal bands
Since prevention is still difficult to achieve when it comes to neck age lines, the only thing left to do is their correction. While platysmal bands don’t pose any health risks, visible platysma bands are not exactly a pleasant sight.
The most effective non-surgical treatment for platysma bands at this time is Botox. Botulinum toxin treatments have proved to restore a more youthful neck contour and, when used in combination with Kybella injections, can reduce the aspect of the double chin.
Treating platysmal bands with botulinum toxin leads to reduced appearance of the platysma muscles by simply relaxing the neck muscles. The botulinum toxin injection paralyzes specific muscles in the neck allowing the skin to appear smoother and youthful without the need for surgical intervention. As the platysma muscles are relaxed, the vertical bands become less visible.
What to expect during the procedure
The treatment of platysmal bands using Botox is a quick “lunchtime” procedure. The session involves cleaning the patient’s neck and marking out the injection sites along each muscular band of the neck. The injection technique focuses on administering an injection every 1.5 cm along the platysma band, each injection point getting a few units of Botox.
Patients usually need 4-6 injections and 20-25 units of Botox per band. The procedure is an effective treatment of platysma bands and requires no downtime. The first results are expected to appear within a few days. The procedure is relatively painless and requires no anesthesia.
It is important to remember the results are not permanent. Patients who want to combat the aged appearance caused by platysmal bands need to schedule treatments with botulinum toxin type A every 3 to 4 months.
Since the correction of platysma bands is a nonsurgical treatment, the patient is free to return to their normal activities as soon as the procedure is over. We recommend avoiding putting pressure on the injection sites in the days following the procedure, and abstaining from high-intensity workouts for 24 hours after the procedure.
Patients who have undergone Botox treatments for platysma bands should also avoid receiving facials, waxing, or laser for 2 weeks post-treatment. The full effects of the procedure will be visible within 2 weeks of the treatment. You will notice a reduced appearance of platysmal bands and smoother skin around the neck area.
While the management of platysma bands with Botox does not combat skin laxity or help with excess skin when the treatment is combined with Kybella injections, the patient will be able to notice an overall facial rejuvenation and a higher definition of the jawline.