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DR JACK ZOUMARAS (Principal)
DR PUVESH PUNJ
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Platysmal Bands: Causes and Treatments

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As we age, various changes happen to our bodies, including developing platysmal bands on the neck. Platysmal bands are the visible bands of muscle that run vertically along the front of the neck and become more noticeable as part of the natural ageing process.

In this blog, Artiste Plastic Surgery discusses the causes of platysmal bands and treatments that can help improve their appearance.

What Exactly Are Platysmal Bands?

A study conducted by Patrick Patrick Trévidic and  Gisella Criollo-Lamilla defined platysmal or platysma bands as an early sign of ageing around the neck area. The platysma muscle connects to the skin and deep fascia throughout its surface, leading to bands becoming more visible as we age.

This muscle connection is like a sheet of tissue which runs from the face down to the chest. This connection is more prominent in old age and is likely to still appear even after surgery because of the unique anatomical properties of platysmal bands.

Common Causes of Platysmal Bands

Studies are still unable to determine the root cause of platysmal bands, but these have suggested that they are likely a result of several factors.

Age

One of the primary causes of platysmal bands is simply getting older. As we age, the skin and muscles of the neck begin to lose elasticity, causing the skin overlying the platysma to weaken and sag. 

This process, coupled with the natural contractions of the platysma muscle, can make the bands more prominent. 

Genetics

Some people may be more prone to developing platysmal bands due to genetic factors, such as a family history of the condition.

Genes influence the amount of collagen and elastin our skin produces and at which rate they decline.

Individuals with genes predisposing them to lower production or faster breakdown of these proteins could experience earlier or more pronounced platysmal bands, as their skin has less natural “bounce back” capabilities.

Weight gain

Significant weight gain or loss can cause the skin of the neck to stretch or sag, making platysmal bands more noticeable, and potentially highlighting the platysma bands underneath.

In some cases, weight gain can lead to higher fat deposits under the chin and neck areas. The additional weight may create a downward pull, stretching the skin and making the bands more visible.

Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause damage to the skin, leading to premature ageing and the development of platysmal bands.

Smoking

Smoking can also contribute to premature ageing of the skin, including loss of elasticity and thinning,  which can cause platysmal bands to become more pronounced. It also hampers the skin’s natural repair mechanisms, further contributing to its deterioration.

Facial expressions

Repeated facial expressions, such as frowning or squinting, can cause the platysma muscle to contract, leading to the development of platysmal bands.

Some facial expressions like frowning, pursing the lips, and grimacing may engage and cause the platysma muscle to contract. 

Over time, these contractions make the platysma muscle fibres stronger, similar to how exercising any muscle builds it up. 

Poor posture

Poor posture can put strain on the neck muscles. Over time, this could contribute to the prominence of  platysmal bands, especially in individuals who are already prone to their development.

Note that there is a lack of specific studies definitively proving a connection between poor posture and platysmal bands. But it may be a contributing factor

Is There A Way To Naturally Get Rid Of Platysmal Bands?

While there are natural ways to improve the appearance of the neck area, understanding the limitations of these methods when dealing with platysmal bands is crucial. Here’s what you should know:

  • Hydration: Proper hydration allows the skin to remain plump and supple, making lines and wrinkles less noticeable. However, it won’t eliminate them.
  • Neck Stretches: Gentle stretches may improve flexibility and provide a slight toning effect, but it’s unlikely they will dramatically improve the appearance of established platysmal bands.
  • Diet and Nutrition: A healthy diet abundant in antioxidants and collagen-boosting nutrients may support overall skin health, but it won’t specifically target platysmal bands.

While these small changes can positively affect your skin overall, these natural methods offer very little or limited solutions when specifically addressing platysmal bands.

If you are seeking more pronounced results, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to discuss other treatment options that can be beneficial.

Neck Lift Surgery For Platysmal Bands

A neck lift or a platysmaplasty is a surgical procedure designed to address signs of neck ageing, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and platysmal bands. 

The procedure targets both loose, excess skin, and the underlying platysma muscle for a more youthful and defined neck contour.

How Does A Neck Lift Address Platysmal Bands

Depending on your needs, your surgeon might tighten the muscle along the midline of the neck to reduce banding. Or partially remove some of the muscle to decrease its prominence. 

Excess, sagging skin is also removed while the remaining skin is lifted and tightened, offering a smoother, less wrinkled appearance.

Non-invasive options may offer temporary improvement, but a neck lift is considered when these treatments no longer provide the desired results, or when platysma bands are particularly pronounced.

Keep in mind that the results of a neck lift varies, depending on the severity of the platysmal banding, overall skin quality, and the patient’s individual ageing patterns. Having realistic expectations is crucial, since a neck lift cannot completely halt the ageing process.

What Treatment is Right for Me?

Determining which treatment is right for you will depend on several factors, including the severity of your platysmal bands, your overall health, and your personal preferences. If you want more dramatic and longer-lasting results, a neck lift surgery can be for you. 

The best way to know the right treatment for you is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr Jack Zoumaras. He has produced great, natural-looking neck lift results for our patients in Sydney. Book a consultation today. 

Disclaimer: At Artiste Plastic Surgery, our Plastic Surgeons led by Dr Jack Zoumaras have been trained to the highest possible degree. All plastic surgery has risks and it is always advised to get a second opinion. Risks are very real and we cannot guarantee any result. Recovery varies between 1-4 weeks. Results are illustrated as a guide only. All risks are managed and any need for revision surgery or complications (1-5%) can be managed by our specialist plastic surgeons. More information on our website. 

Any statements on how you will feel is based on Level V Evidence:

Level V:  How you will feel after plastic surgery varies between individuals, depending on psychological and physical factors. Our internal research is based on how patients in our practice feel after surgery.

The blogs are not a substitute for a medical consultation and do not form as part of the doctor to patient relationship.

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ABOUT ARTISTE

Artiste Plastic Surgery is an Award Winning Specialist Plastic Surgery practice led by internationally trained Dr. Jack Zoumaras, Plastic Surgeon and Peer Reviewed Face Surgeon

Artiste offers the latest Cosmetic Surgical Procedures of the Face, Breast and Body, inspired from leading centres around the world.

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