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What causes a double chin and how do you get rid of it?

When a person has excess fat underneath their chin, this can give the illusion of having two chins. This fat is known as submental fat.

Sometimes it is difficult to get rid of a double chin through diet and exercise alone, so many people opt to undergo double chin treatment.

Why does it happen?

The most common cause of a double chin is substantial weight gain and this physical trait is often associated with obesity. A diet high in calories and fat can contribute to a double chin.

The condition is also caused by the ageing process, when the skin loses its elasticity, causing facial features to sag. Sun exposure can speed up the ageing process, and can also contribute to the appearance of a double chin. Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking or a poor diet, can also make a person more susceptible to premature ageing and the appearance of a double chin.

Genetics can also play a part as you are most likely to develop one if there is a family history of double or elastic chins. There is an inherited distribution of increased fat in the pocket under the skin and at a deeper level under the platysma muscle of the neck. Weight gain and age-related skin laxity, coupled with excessive sun exposure, will make it appear more obvious.

The individual makes up of a person’s anatomy is equally important in the appearance of a double chin. An important factor is the anatomical level of the insertion of the muscles of the floor of the mouth into the hyoid bone, which supports the windpipe (trachea) at the level of the vocal cords. If this level is high, there is a sharp angle between the chin and the neck. If it is low, then the angle disappears and however much fat is removed, there will never be the desired definition. Your surgeon will be able to advise you further on this. 

Some experts believe that poor posture could even contribute to the appearance of a double chin.

It is estimated that as many as 70 percent of the adult population have a double chin, due to one or more of the above factors.

Surgical treatment options

A facelift and neck lift can help to tackle a number of cosmetic issues, including double chin removal.

During a facelift, the surgeon removes excess fat and loose skin around the chin and neck region, causing the double chin to disappear. Here at the Cadogan Clinic, we offer a mini facelift, which focuses on tightening sagging skin in the lower portion of the face. This minimally invasive treatment is most suited for people aged in their 40s and 50s who are displaying the early signs of ageing.

In the case of a neck lift, extra skin around the chin is removed and the neck muscles are tightened, resulting in a better facial appearance and eliminating the double chin.

These procedures can be combined with double chin liposuction which can also be used to remove fat under the skin and sculpt the chin. The surgeon will make incisions under the chin in order to suck out any excess fat. Liposuction is the fastest and most effective procedure for double chin removal. A patient will require just one treatment under local anaesthesia to remove those small pockets of fat.

We use several liposuction techniques here at the Cadogan Clinic, but micro liposuction is the preferred double chin liposuction procedure.

This is a quick and effective method to ensure the patient has very little downtime and is back to normal as soon as possible. This method works well on areas including the chin, underarms and jawline.

Double chin liposuction can also be carried out on men. Chin liposuction has to be carried out with care to avoid injury to the branches of the facial nerve and to obtain an even result. The simpler and more precise the technique is, the better, as the skin is relatively thin and because of the beard, a man’s skin is not quite as elastic as in a woman. Skin retraction is therefore slightly less following chin liposuction and neck liposuction. However, the scarring created under the skin will pull the skin back up into the chin and neck, resulting in a better neckline.

Non-surgical treatments do not have the same effect on the surrounding skin as chin liposuction. 

You may require one or a combination of these procedures to achieve the desired results. A consultation with one of the expert surgeons here at the Cadogan Clinic will help you to choose the most suitable option for you.

Non-surgical treatment options

For younger patients who may not wish to undergo a surgical procedure, the non-surgical Ultherapy is a good alternative double chin treatment.

Ultherapy is a face and neck treatment that uses ultrasound to lift, tighten and tone loose skin naturally without surgery. This helps to achieve a fresher, more youthful facial look by lifting the skin under the chin.

You may also wish to consider micro-needling. Micro-needling tightens and smooths the skin and can help with double chin reduction. In this particular treatment, small needles create small holes in the skin. This prompts the body to create a wound healing response, renewing the skin cells. As the skin repairs, serum growth factors stimulate new collagen and elastin development, helping to tighten loose and non-elastic skin.

These procedures may be offered together as part of a non-surgical facelift, also known as facial rejuvenation. A non-surgical facelift uses a combination of aesthetic treatments to restore facial structures and treat localised facial concerns, including double chins.

If you are older with poor skin laxity, a surgical procedure would perhaps be a better option to help you to achieve your body goals.

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