One of the most common misconceptions about the double chin is that it is the result of weight gain. Many patients who come to see Dr. Paul Pin for an initial consultation about how to treat this condition with cosmetic surgery express confusion over this because they may still have a double chin despite having lost a significant amount of weight or may not even be overweight at all. Regardless of the cause, a double chin can give the lower jaw profile a weak appearance or make the neck appear short or indistinct. There are several treatments that patients can undergo to address a double chin, but it is important to first understand what causes the condition.
What Causes a Double Chin?
There are three main causes of a double chin. The first is due to genetics. Your body's ability to store fat and retain water, both of which may play a large role in creating a double chin, can be directly linked to one or both of your parents. In short, your double chin may be something completely out of your control.
The body's natural aging process can also cause a double chin. Your body naturally produces a protein known as collagen, which helps to fill out the skin and tissue over the skeletal framework. As you age, your body loses this collagen. This can leave you with excess loose skin under the chin.
Finally, weight can play a factor in producing a double chin. Furthermore, even if you lose weight, you may still be left with a double chin. If the skin under your chin has become so stretched that it can no longer retain its original shape, you will be left with loose excess skin.
Chin liposuction: A liposuction procedure is designed to remove small pockets of excess fat that have not diminished in response to standard methods of exercise and a balanced, low-fat diet. Unfortunately, the chin area often does not respond to these methods, so Dr. Pin will recommend a particular type of liposuction, called tumescent liposuction. In this procedure, he will inject a mixture of a local anesthetic and epinephrine into the areas targeted for fat removal, which will cause the fat to swell and move closer to the surface of the skin for easy removal through small incisions. He will then use a thin metal rod to vacuum out the fat.
Neck lift: A neck lift procedure is designed to remove excess loose skin under the chin. It can be done alone or in conjunction with a chin liposuction procedure. A neck lift is a good option if you have loose skin under the chin due to weight loss. For this procedure, Dr. Pin will make an incision in the fold of the neck where it meets the jaw, lift up the skin and underlying tissue, drape everything more closely to the underlying muscle, remove the excess, and then suture the remainder back in place. This will leave you with a much firmer contour to the chin and neck.
If you have worked hard to improve your appearance, yet still have extra fat under the chin, you may feel as though nothing will help. In fact, Dr. Pin may have options that can help you gain a more defined chin and neck area.