While they don’t pose any health risks, it’s a cosmetic concern for some. It can create the appearance of saggy skin, which can result in a double chin, neck creases, and what’s often referred to as a “turkey neck.”
There are ways to treat platysmal bands that have become noticeable. Let’s explore what causes these bands and how to treat them.
Platysmal bands are a natural part of the aging process. The skin’s loss of elasticity causes the skin overlying the platysma to weaken and sag. Additionally, the platysma muscle becomes lax with age, causing the skin to droop.
There are a few other factors that cause platysmal bands. This includes:
Experts thought aging skin was the top cause of platysmal bands. But a small 2017 study debunked this. Researchers looked at 25 participants with definitive, unilateral, facial palsy following otoneurosurgical (ear and brain condition) treatment. After 10 years, 76 percent of the participants had visible platysma bands on the side of their necks that weren’t paralyzed.
As a result, researchers concluded that muscle activity, combined with the natural aging process, caused prominent platysmal bands.
This is a more concentrated form of muscle activity.
The next time you lift a weight, look in the mirror and watch what happens to your neck. Chances are, your platysmal bands will stick out. The tension strains your neck.
Over time, the platysmal bands become more visible. Your facial muscles may also be affected during a high-intensity workout. The more face and neck muscles are used, the more the overlying skin may stretch and sag.
Awareness is key to preventing platysmal bands from exercise. It’s recommended that you watch yourself in the mirror when you work out, so you can relax your neck when it tenses.
Treatment for platysmal bands isn’t necessary since it’s not a medical concern. But some people may wish to diminish the appearance of these bands. The following treatments may help.
Platysmal bands Botox treatment
“We can use Botox to get rid of platysmal bands, which will cause unbunching and lifting of the jaw. We call it the Nefertiti lift,” says Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a cosmetic dermatologist, chief medical officer and founder of PFRANKMD, and author of “The Pro-Aging Playbook.“
The use of Botox in the lower face and neck is considered off-label, but it’s considered safe, relatively painless, and costs around $400 to complete. Side effects may include minor bruising and discomfort. Since it’s temporary, you’ll have to maintain results every 3 to 4 months.
While it can be used to plump up the skin overlying the platysmal bands, Dr. Barry Goldman, MD, says that it’s better used to fill deep, horizontal lines on the neck.
It’s also best used in combination with Botox. “For most of my patients who want a trackable [result] in a matter of days, a combination of jawline 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, lasting around 6 to 12 months.
Platysmaplasty (neck lift)
If you want dramatic results, consider a platysmaplasty.
“If someone has a heavy, sagging neck, the injectables aren’t going to work well. A surgical platysmaplasty is the most definitive treatment,” Frank says.
This is a cosmetic surgery that tightens the skin and muscles at their weakest points. This results in a smoother neck, as well as a sharper jawline.
This is when a doctor tightens up the skin below the corners of your mouth. Excess skin is also trimmed to provide a more youthful look.
Goldman says that it’s typically performed by a plastic surgeon or an ENT facial plastic surgeon. While it’s significantly more expensive than the noninvasive options, it’s considered more effective.
As with all surgeries, there’s a risk of complications. Goldman says side effects can include:
- nerve damage
Platysmal band exercises are exercises that may help strengthen the neck muscles. This is thought to reduce the likelihood of platysmal banding.
But the opposite happens: “We don’t typically recommend exercising this area, as the bands can be exacerbating by straining 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 a gentle toning of the muscle that may help,” Goldman says.
Still unsure about treatment options? Browsing these before and after photos of the four proven medical treatments above may 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 needs to provide more surgical procedures like a neck lift.
When looking for a qualified professional, you should make sure they’re board certified. This means that the dermatologist or plastic surgeon has gone through intense training and education to earn the highest level of accreditation in their field.
If you don’t know where to start your search, you could 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 two 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 noninvasive cosmetic procedures to surgery. Be sure to speak with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon if you wish to diminish the appearance of platysmal bands.
Platysmal banding is natural and common.