While injecting a little Botox in our foreheads has become commonplace, and even scalp injections are the new ‘it’ area to talk about at the water cooler, Botox in the neck area may be the next frontier in the battle against looking old. Truth be told, I really hadn’t paid much attention to the neck area until recently, when I discovered among my fellow beauty blogging buddies that this is fast-becoming a ‘thing’ and that it’s worth paying attention to.
“I often inject Botox into the neck bands (also called platysmal bands) to cause them to smooth out temporarily,” Dr. Anthony Youn MD, a board certified plastic surgeon and ASAPS member, explains. “The results last 3-4 months, after which it must be retreated, otherwise the platysmal bands return back to how they used to be. It is an off-label use of Botox.”
According to the doc, Botox and other similar botulinum-based toxins (like Dysport and Xeomin) are the only effective ways to treat aging, saggy platysmal bands other than surgery. If you’re wondering exactly what a platysmal band is and where it’s located, lift your chin slightly and grit your teeth. Now run your hands along your neck and feel the flexed muscles protruding between your collarbones and chin— those are your platysmal bands, and they are a very distinctive indicator of aging (especially among women).
Wendy Lewis, Editor in Chief of beautyinthebag.com, has been Botox-ing her neck for at least a few years.
“I was treated to reduce the appearance of jowls. Botox and other neurotoxins are often used to soften vertical neck bands on a thin neck. I do not have a thin neck,” Wendy shares. The ultimate goal was to give her lower face a subtle lift. “For me the results on my neck were good but not great. I am not sure that I am the ideal candidate for Botox in the neck, and I have seen a lot of women who see a dramatic improvement. I do think it lasts at least 6 months, whereas I go back every 4 months for my forehead and crow’s feet.”
According to Wendy, if you can handle the discomfort of Botox injections in your face and glabellar creases, you can probably handle it with ease in your neck, too.
“I would say that it was about the same [level of pain] – which is very tolerable. I never ask for a topical anesthetic cream or even ice. I wish everything was as comfortable and predictable as a Botox treatment!”
Botox continues to amaze me. It seems like there’s little the toxin can’t do (frankly I’m just waiting for it to become a magical solution for saggy abs too). It combats sweat, helps treat incontinence and migraines, and even effectively eliminates the more apparent signs of aging, including the face and now the neck. While my personal research has been limited to some forehead Xeomin (the most cost-effective sister of Botox), my neck wrinkle-radar is now on high alert. I notice saggy, wrinkled necks everywhere I go and wonder just how inappropriate it is for me to tell people in a hushed, whispering voice, “Hey – you know, there’s Botox for that, too!”