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Ask the Doctor: Can I use Botox on my neck?

In our 30s and 40s, the effects of sun damage and gravity eventually begin to take toll on our complexions in the form of age spots and a loss of supple elasticity. Our necks are no exception.

What are neck cords?
According to board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Miranda, who practices both in San Francisco and New York City, our skinnier sisters have a tendency to develop visible bands on the neck that run vertically from the chin to chest, sometimes referred to as cords, around the age of 40 or 50.

How does Botox help?
Miranda says that Botox is an ideal solution if you’ve developed cords that are affecting the smooth silhouette of your neckline. “Botox will reduce the visibility of the bands and improve overall neck contour and appearance. Once the Botox takes effect and the bands are relaxed, the neck looks much smoother,” he says. It can also be used to reduce horizontal neck lines, too.

How does the procedure work?
The process involves applying a series of injections with a small needle into the platysmal muscles of the neck. In total, the injections take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. To avoid pain during the procedure, numbing cream is usually available at your physician’s office. “Ask your treating physician to apply about 15 minutes prior to treatment for maximal effectiveness,” Miranda suggests.

How long does the treatment last?
For continued effectiveness in eliminating your neck cords, it’s necessary to receive Botox injections every four to six months. If you wanted a more permanent solution, the most effective treatment would be a surgical neck lift that would eliminate cords and improve overall neck appearance.

What are the dangers?

As with any medicine or procedure, some side effects are possible. In rare cases, patients can experience weakness of their neck muscles post treatment. Not everyone will see the same results, either. The most common complaint about this treatment is “incomplete resolution” meaning the neck bands are still visible even after Botox is applied.

Because of the skill and precision necessary, you should be sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist for this procedure.

Beyond Beauty
Youthful pursuits are the only motive for using Botox for your neck.  According to a WebMD report, when combined with physical therapy, Botox injections can help alleviate chronic neck pain, too. It can reduce spasms, and sidestep common side effects associated with taking oral medications.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.