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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 a double chin. This fat is known as submental fat.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 7th June 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 13th February 2024

What is a Double Chin?

A double chin, also known as submental fat, is when excess fat in the chin area creates the appearance of a second layer of fat under the chin.  

The overall effect is to create an appearance of fullness or heaviness under the chin and reduce jawline definition.  

It can be difficult to get rid of a double chin through diet and exercise alone, so many people opt to undergo surgical and on surgical double chin treatments. 

What is the Cause of a Double Chin?

The most common cause of a double chin and neck fat 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 and cause neck fat. 

The condition is also caused by the ageing process, when the skin loses its elasticity, causing facial features and neck fat deposits to sag.  

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. This might make you more sensitive to weight gain and age-related skin laxity in this area.  

Other lifestyle factors such as 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. 

The individual makeup of a person’s anatomy is equally important in the appearance of a double chin, particularly the 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 definition is elusive however much neck fat is removed. 

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. 

Can You Get Rid of a Double Chin with Exercise?

Exercise is an excellent first step when trying to get rid of a double chin, particularly when set alongside comprehensive lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, in order to encourage weight loss.

Targeted neck and jaw exercises, like neck tilts and chin lifts, may also help by enhancing muscle tone, although they are unlikely to completely eliminate a double chin as these chin lift exercises focus on strengthening muscles rather than directly addressing neck fat accumulation.  

For those seeking a more comprehensive solution than can be provided by chin lift exercises, invasive and non invasive double chin treatments may be required.  

How Do You Get Rid of a Double Chin Fast?

The best way for getting rid of a double chin fast is via highly effective double chin removal surgery.  

There are two surgical procedures commonly used to target double chin removal.  

These are:  

Neck lift  

  • Neck Lifts can help to tackle a number of cosmetic issues, including double chin removal. 
  • Neck Lifts excise any extra skin around the chin and tighten the underlying neck muscle, leading to improved definition.  
  • Neck Lifts can also target excess fat simultaneously to enhance the contours of the neck and jawline and fully eliminate the double chin.  

Chin Liposuction 

  • Chin Liposuction is a double chin removal surgery that specifically targets and eliminates chin fat under the skin, and seeks to sculpt the chin area.  
  • During this surgery, the surgeon will make incisions under the chin in order to remove any excess chin fat.  
  • This chin fat removal surgery is the fastest and most effective procedure for double chin removal. Patients require just one treatment under local anaesthesia, and downtime is minimal.  
  • We use several liposuction techniques here at the Cadogan Clinic, but micro liposuction is the preferred double chin liposuction procedure. 

Although Face Lifts typically target the lower two thirds of the face as opposed to the neck some techniques can target double chins such as the double chin facelift.  This is often performed here at the Cadogan Clinic as a ‘mini facelift’, which focuses on tightening sagging skin in the lower portion of the face via a short, minimally invasive technique via incisions behind the ears. A double chin facelift is most suited for people aged in their 40s and 50s who are displaying the early signs of ageing and do not have excessive chin fat deposits. 

You may require one or a combination of these double chin removal 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 eliminating your chin fat. 

What Other Double Chin Removal Treatments Can Get Rid of a Double Chin?

Non-invasive double chin treatments typically do not yield quite the same results as surgical alternatives and it might take more than one non invasive double chin treatment to show results. 

That said, some patients prefer minimally invasive methods and are attracted by the idea of minimal scarring and the little to no downtime required following these double chin reduction treatments. They are particularly preferred by younger patients for these reasons. 

Popular non surgical chin fat removal options include:  

  • Morpheus 8: radiofrequency and microneedling treatment that can effectively target and improve the appearance of a double chin. Tightens the skin to reduce sagging and contours the skin via collagen production. 
  • Kybella: involve injections to target and dissolve fat cells.  
  • CoolSculpting: a non-invasive procedure that freezes and eliminates fat cells in the treated area. It does not require incisions or anaesthesia, unlike surgical lipo. 
  • 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. 
  • Micro Needling: tightens and smooths the skin and can help with double chin reduction. Small needles create small holes in the skin, prompting 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. 
  • Non Surgical Facelift: these procedures can 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. 

Frequently Asked Question

Double chin fat removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for men

The general principles of double chin removal surgery are the same between men and women, however men typically have thicker, less elastic necks and larger neck muscles than women which may lean men more toward surgical intervention and adjustments to the specifics of the double chin operation.  

Men also might have slightly different aesthetic goals for their double chin reduction, seeking more masculine contours and a stronger more angular jawline. 

Hairline and beard considerations are also common among men, impacting the positioning of incisions for those who desire beard growth after the double chin fat removal operation.  

It is very unlikely that your double chin will go away naturally without any lifestyle changes or surgery. 

Chewing gum can strengthen the muscles in the jaw and neck, and is often mentioned as a useful facial exercise to help get rid of a double chin by improving muscle tone  

While exercise for facial muscles is known to be useful, it is very unlikely that chewing gum alone will eliminate a double chin without introducing treatments to address and eliminate the submental fat deposits.  

Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

People of any weight can experience a double chin, which can profoundly affect facial proportions and confidence. Forty years ago, I introduced Liposuction to the UK, recognising its potential to address stubborn concerns like this. Today, I'm gratified to see its widespread use in restoring facial balance for thousands of patients every year. By precisely sculpting the chin and neck contours, we create the appearance of a slimmer neck and face. This increases confidence and quality of life.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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