Don’t Let Tech Neck Age You

No one can pry your smartphone out of your hands! Not with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to update. And what about those cool apps? But all that tweeting and posting, you could be giving yourself a case of “tech neck.”

Facial plastic surgeons around the country are noticing patients come in with wrinkles and sagging jowls due to the repetitive motion of looking down at their smartphones, notes the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).

“With such thin skin on the neck, looking down at your phone constantly can cause collagen and elastin to break down and lead to deep wrinkles and sagging. The problem is that many people take care of their face, but they forget to pay attention to their necks,” says Stephen S. Park, president of the AAFPRS. “The neck area is most prone to the effects of gravity and has few oil glands, so it needs moisturizing and sun protection.”

Luckily, you can get a youthful, smooth, tight neck back with treatments facial plastic surgeons recommend to their patients, including radiofrequency or ultrasound procedures to tighten slack skin, liposuction and fat reduction systems to reduce excess fullness, or BOTOX® and other injectables to help soften muscle bands.

If your tech neck needs a great intervention, consult with an AAFPRS member about a ponytail lift. “The ponytail lift is a modified facelift procedure that addresses the lower face and jowls with small incisions hidden around the ears to remove a small amount of sagging skin. It is ideal for younger women in their 40’s to 50s who have minimal laxity and want to wear their hair up and back without visible incisions,” says Dr. Park.

Besides, your smartphone doesn’t just influence how your neck looks—but Face-Time and selfies also influence your self-image. According to an AAFPRS poll, 13 percent of members said they saw an increase in photo sharing and selfies making patients more dissatisfied with the way they look and seeking out cosmetic procedures.

What’s the takeaway from all of this? Put down your phones and tablets and show your neck some love.