A double chin can be discomforting at times, especially with the new craze for selfies. A double chin or submental fat, is when an excess layer of fatty tissue is deposited under their lower jaw. This common condition affects young and old, men and women. And it happens for a variety of reasons. Even though it is commoner among people who are overweight, weight alone is not always the cause of a double chin. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) 2019 Consumer Survey on Cosmetic Dermatologic Procedures, 73% of Americans were bothered by a double chin., and about 70% were considering a cosmetic procedure. A Canadian study among women also reports that about 56% of Canadian women see themselves as having slight or significant double chin, and of these, 66 per cent said they are bothered by their double chin, and a little more than half of them (54%) said they would delete a photo based on the look of their chin area.
What causes a double chin?
Fat: The commonest cause of a double chin is deposition of fat in the area under the chin or jaw. This happens as a person gains weight and fat is distributed all over the body, including the face and jaws.
Genetics: Some people have a family genetic jawline that may favor a double chin. In particular, people with recessive chins and weak jawlines are more susceptible to developing a double chin. This is because the skin is stretched over a smaller area, and as it is less tightly drawn over the face, it only takes a relatively small increase in fat or a decrease in skin elasticity to cause a double chin. This is mainly why thin or slim people may have a double chin.
Age: The skin collagen and elastin get thinner and weaker with increasing age. These proteins are responsible for keeping the skin full, firm, and elastic. Just like in the skin in other parts of the body, less production of these proteins with weakness of existing ones make the skin under the jaw to tend to sag.
Posture: Poor postures that involve craning the neck put pressure on the platysma muscle, which connects the neck to the chin. Weakness of this muscles results in reduced elasticity around the jaws and a subsequent sagging effect.
How to get rid of a double jaw
Getting rid of a double chin can be done naturally or with the aid of surgical procedures or a combination of the two.
What are the natural ways to get rid of a double chin?
Weight Loss: Since the most common cause of a double jaw is excess fat or weight gain, the surest way to get rid of it and have that sharp jawline is by weight loss through proper, healthy diet low in carbohydrates and fats, combined with exercise. In addition to the many health benefits of weight loss, this way will lead to weight loss in the whole body, including the jawline.
Weight loss is the only scientifically proven non-surgical way to get rid of a double chin. Evidence supporting all other exercises are at best anecdotal.
These other methods should therefore be combined with weight loss strategies. They are:
Neck and face exercises to work on the muscles of the face. These exercises involve: rotating the head gently to warm up, tilting the head backwards and pretending to whistle, standing with the head back and the lips puckered.
Jaw exercises. This may involve tilting the head backwards and looking toward the ceiling, push the lower jaw forward to feel a stretch under the chin, holding the jaw jut for a 10 count, relaxing the jaw and returning the head to a neutral position. Jaw exercise tools which are small devices put in the mouth and bitten down on to exercise the face and neck muscles can also be used, but with caution to avoiding chocking.
Chin exercises. To do this a 9- to10-inch ball is placed under the chin and the chin is pressed down against the ball. This process is repeated about 25 times in a day. The skin beneath the skin can also be stretched by puckering up while looking at the ceiling. Stop puckering and bring your head back to its normal position.
Neck stretch exercises: Here the head is tilted back to look up and the tongue is pressed against the roof of the mouth and held for 5 to 10 seconds before release.
What procedures can get rid of a double chin?
Chin Liposuction can resolve the appearance of a double chin, by removing the fatty deposits that have accumulated under the chin, jaw, and the front of the neck. Most patients who undergo a chin liposuction can resume their regular routine after a few days.
Neck liposuction removes fat from beneath the skin of the neck, also sculpting the chin and neck contour. A neck liposuction is recommended for patients who have those deposits of fat, but also have retained good skin tone and muscle tone. That makes the liposuction recommended for patients who are younger, and thus more likely to have good skin elasticity.
Mesotherapy is another option. It is a minimally invasive procedure that delivers small amounts of fat-dissolving compounds through a series of injections. The compound injected is deoxycholic acid (Kybella). This helps the body to absorb fats. It may take 20 or more injections of deoxycholic acid per treatment to treat a double chin with up to six treatments total. You must wait at least one month between treatments. Only a dermatologist or a doctor with plastic surgery experience who is knowledgeable about the drug should perform this injection because it can be associated with serious nerve damage if not done properly.
What surgeries can get rid of a double chin?
There are also surgeries for a double chin. These surgeries are usually done under general anesthesia where the individual is put to sleep. They are:
Face-lift: This surgery allows doctors to remove fat and loose, saggy skin around the chin and neck, removing a double chin.
Neck-lift: Different types of neck-lift procedures aim to remove extra skin (cervicoplasty) or tighten neck muscles (platysmaplasty) to improve the contours of the neck and chin. Doctors often combine a traditional face-lift with this procedure, which may cause a tight feeling in the neck for several months.
If you are considering getting rid of a double chin, you can try the exercises and if you desire a cosmetic surgery, make sure to contact a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to do this for you. Remember that the best way to get rid of double chin fat is by losing weight!