“Turkey neck”—as it’s charmingly called—is what happens when the skin underneath your chin becomes loose and lax, resembling (you guessed it) a turkey’s wattle. It can happen as a result of aging, weight loss or, in some cases, it can simply be genetic.
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“Some people seem to be genetically predisposed to having excess skin and fat around their neck,” says Victoria Karlinsky, M.D., a New York City-based cosmetic surgeon. “It’s usually something that’s been present in a very mild form since they were young. As they get older and the angle of their chin becomes more obtuse, the condition becomes more pronounced.”
If having a turkey neck runs in your family, it can appear as early as your late twenties, but the majority of women don’t see any signs of slackening neck skin until they reach their mid-40s or later.
The culprit is loss of elasticity in the skin, as well as the emergence of the “platysmal bands”—thin bands of muscle in your neck, which become more prominent in appearance as you age. But you don’t have to live with it.
There are several strategies for de-turkifying your neck, depending on how advanced your particular case is. “If it’s very pronounced, surgery will give you the biggest bang for the buck,” says Francesca Fusco, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist. “But for women who are scalpel-shy, there are several non-invasive treatments.”
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