Talking Turkey: The Non-Surgical Treatment That Tackles Turkey Neck
If ever I lose or put on weight it always shows in my face first; hence the number of selfies taken at the start of my holidays is always greater than those taken at the end! One thing that doesn’t fluctuate though is a sagging neck and it really, really annoys me. Known by some people as Turkey Neck, the sagging of the skin under the chin to the neck is a common sign of ageing and often has more to do with weakening neck muscles and loss of skin elasticity than the after effects of yo-yo dieting.
Diet as much as you like, in fact, it will make no real difference to your turkey neck. Gobble Gobble. There are things you can do though to tighten the skin and reclaim your jawline; and not all of them involve going under the surgeon’s knife.
Loughborough’s award-winning Fab Clinics offer a range of science-based technologies designed to keep you looking younger for longer without the use of injectables or surgery but by focusing on making your body produce more Collagen, the protein that holds the body together and forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure. By stimulating the production of collagen in targeted areas, skin can be tightened naturally- even that Turkey Neck!
Sitting down with Fab Clinics owner, Elena Chapman, we went through the best treatment options to get rid of my skin sag once and for all and she immediately recommended the HIFU treatment or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound to give it its full name.
HIFU is actually used within surgery, offering targeted treatment for prostate cancer and lung cancer, but the technology has been found to be very useful as a cosmetic treatment.
HIFU deals with medium skin laxity, particularly jaw sculpting and neck tightening as well as fat destruction just under the chin but it can be used to tighten skin anywhere on the face or body.
It does this by depositing precise amounts of energy to specified skin depths, 4.5mm, 3mm and 1.5mm, that create thermo coagulation points; effectively causing micro amounts of damage and forcing the creation of fresh collagen and tightening the skin. What’s interesting is that, before HIFU, accessing the SMAS layer at 4.5mm was only possible through surgery which is what gives this treatment such good results.
“Do it now, do it now” I laughed before being warned by Elena that unlike any radiofrequency-based treatments i may have experienced before, HIFU is not the sort of relaxing treatment where you drift off to sleep. It’s not exactly painful, she explains but it’s not pleasurable.
A firm believer in no pain no gain I completed my pre treatment healthcheck forms and Elena and clinician Lucy took before pics from every angle before i laid back and the treatment began. After all, if it’s going as deep as plastic surgery then you’ve got to expect to feel something right?
Lucy started by marking specific lines on my neck that she would target with the HIFU wand. These were in key areas that would lift and scaffold the neck providing a structure. Once done she turned on the machine and directed the HIFU in short burst along the line repeating the process at 4.5, 3 and 1.5mm depths.
The sensation is one that is difficult to describe and, as Elena stated, not painful but also not relaxing. At times completely painless and at others like a small, hot insect sting, it seemed to be more sensitive towards my jawbone – primarily due to their being less fat there to absorb the impact. At no time did I feel uncomfortable but it’s also not the sort of treatment you could have whilst joking with friends or whilst having a head massage or foot rub. I think it is more the anticipation of a little sting which is more intrusive than the treatment itself! The process is short; around 40 minutes and I was left with a slight redness and a couple of small bumps where the skin had been at its most sensitive. Lucy provided me with an aftercare pack containing moisturiser and SPF and I was advised to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine for the rest of the day. Some people can experience some bruising post treatment so it’s good to be prepared and get some arnica cream to help.
The results? Well we’ll have to wait and see. It can take 2-3 months for the treatment to show completely as, after all, the collagen needs to grow but the results of others have been encouraging; Elena has even given the treatment to her own husband and brother who have experienced great results so watch this space.