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Aging below the chin

You look great! But is aging of your neck and chest giving you away?
NeckDecHands Article

What should you do if you’ve got face and neck mismatch?

Typically, when the early signs of visible aging begin to appear, we fixate on the fine lines and complexion changes on the face.  Over our lifetime, our faces bear the brunt of age-related change since they are not protected by clothing. Additionally, when we travel (cars, trains, buses) sunlight is intensified through glass which takes an additional toll.  We all know that we should wear hats, sunglasses and sunblock and we typically do albeit sometimes inconsistently.  Nonetheless these small measures make a big difference.

But what about your neck, chest and hands?  Are you protecting them as well? Often not.  Like the face, the neck, chest and hands experience a lot of sun exposure.  The chest (or décolletage) and the sides of the neck are angled in such a way as to absorb radiation from the sun very efficiently.  Skin cancers commonly develop in these areas especially among people who spend a lot of time in the sun such as athletes, runners, golfers, tennis players, hikers etc. 

Unfortunately, the skin of the neck and chest is the thinnest on your body and it possesses far fewer oil glands and fewer melanocytes (cells that produce pigment to protect your skin).  This, in combination with unprotected sun exposure leads to accelerated aging of the skin on your neck, chest and hands relative to the face.

Someone who has been diligent and attentive to skin care and protection of their face may find that their neck and chest is giving away their age.  So, what should you do if you’ve got face and neck/chest/hand mismatch?

ArtMed, Guelph’s experts in the art of cosmetic medicine, weighs in on what you can do improve overall skin health:

First and foremost, protect yourself from UV radiation.  Always wear a minimum SPF 30 mineral sunblock on your face, neck, chest and hands daily.  Wear a hat in the sun, and sunglasses to protect your eyes.  If you are going to be outside for hours at a time, also consider wearing clothing that covers your chest and neck.  When swimming, wear a suit with a higher neckline or a swim shirt. 

Daily use of a topical pharmaceutical grade vitamin C serum is recommended to prevent free-radical damage caused by UV light.  Wear mineral makeup with zinc or titanium in its formulation.  Stick formula foundations are particularly convenient as is stick sunblock.  Remember that the winter sun is just as powerful as the summer sun, so year-round preventive care is important – even in Canada.

If you have got mismatch, consider treatments to correct it.  After years of sun exposure, dark spots and broken capillaries can populate the chest, neck and hands. An intense pulsed light (also called broadband light), applied in a doctor’s office, can correct both. This simple laser procedure is ideal for evening out skin tone and taking years off the appearance of your skin.  

Crinkly, crepey skin caused by collagen and elasticity loss can be pre-treated with retinols or elastin-building topical products followed by laser or micro-needling procedures to improve texture, thickness and elasticity of the skin.  Injectable collagen stimulating fillers can further boost results.

Radiofrequency treatments (such as Thermage) deliver deep thermal heating to the collagen and elastin rich layers of the leading to firm and tighten skin. A series of six laser light procedures (such as SkinTyte) can be employed to tighten the skin as well.

Typically, a combination of approaches is most effective to correct the face to neck/chest/hand mismatch.  A thorough consultation with an expert clinic that offers a wide range of anti-aging treatment options is recommended to ensure optimal treatment results.  

While treating the face to chest/neck/hands mismatch can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. This is a great time to do it because you can safely undergo treatment while still wearing a mask.  Don’t let your face steal the show! Consider investing in a little TLC for your face, chest and hands. 

For more information on protecting and improving your skin health, visit artmed.ca. To book a consultation online click here or email info@artmed.ca

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