It’s not uncommon for people to stare at their faces and find faults. Living in a technology-filled and often superficial world doesn’t help. Seeing faults in the mirror, a family photo, or a selfie you just took can make you self-critical. The longer you stare at your reflection or picture, the more you may notice certain imperfections. One imperfection that many people seem to struggle with is a double chin.
What Is a Double Chin?
A double chin is an excess weight carried underneath the chin, typically between the chin and the neck. It makes your neck look bigger and can sometimes be attributed to looking older. Several people carry excess weight on their chins and necks. This additional weight can change the way your face and jaw look. Some people may even lose their jawline altogether because of the extra weight.
You, like many others, may be wondering about double chin causes and double chin symptoms. The main symptoms of having a double chin include a change in facial structure, excess weight in the chin and neck area, and appearing older than you actually are.
Double Chin Causes. As for double chin causes, the causes are relatively straightforward. Most of the time, a double chin results from being obese or even slightly overweight. While a double chin isn’t necessarily something to worry about, the root cause can cause health issues. For example, obesity, which is the main cause of a double chin, can be linked to several health issues, including a higher mortality rate, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Obesity isn’t the only cause of double chins. Genetics also plays a role. As such, some individuals end up with a stronger or softer jawline thanks to hereditary factors. Even thin people may have a double chin due to a lack of muscle density, resulting in a higher body fat composition.
Double Chin Treatment
There’s nothing wrong with being self-conscious about your double chin and wanting to change it. Luckily, there are many ways to help reduce and even completely eliminate double chins. An obvious double chin treatment plan, especially for overweight people, would be to lose weight through diet and exercise. However, if you’re struggling to lose excess weight or are already thin but have a predisposition to higher fat content and want to eliminate your double chin as soon as possible, there are several other treatment plans you can consider.
Double Chin Natural Treatment. Double chin natural treatment means losing your double chin naturally without medical intervention. This can be through diet and exercise, specific jaw exercises, and even yoga. Natural treatments aren’t an immediate fix and can take a while to achieve. They also require some maintenance—for example, if weight is an issue, it’s important to not only shed your excess weight but to work to keep it off.
Diet and exercise won’t always help fix double chins, especially if you’re not overweight to begin with.
Double Chin Surgery. Another option to help reduce or eliminate double chins is surgery. There are three common types of double chin surgery, including:
- Liposuction: Liposuction is a common procedure that involves removing fat from beneath the skin. This is done through a small tube inserted into a small incision made by a surgeon. When performed on the neck area, your surgeon will also sculpt and contour your chin and neck to reshape your jawline. Liposuction is a simple procedure requiring only local anesthetic to numb the affected area.
- Face-lift: Face-lifts generally require the patient to be under general anesthesia. However, sometimes they’re able to be performed under local anesthesia. Regardless, during a face-lift procedure, your doctor will remove any fat and saggy skin around your chin and neck area.
- Neck-lift: There are a few different types of neck-lift procedures that can be performed. One neck-lift procedure is known as cervicoplasty and aims to remove extra skin from around the neck and chin. Another procedure, platysmaplasty, aims to tighten neck muscles. Both procedures help improve your neck and chin’s contour.
Sometimes more than one procedure is needed, and you may require both a liposuction and a face or neck lift to eliminate your double chin completely. Some doctors also combine face and neck lifts for better results. However, this combination often results in a tight feeling in the neck that can last for several months.
Recovery time for surgical procedures is around 10-14 days. You may experience bruising and swelling during this period.
Your doctor will discuss any surgical methods needed to help you with your double chin and will inform you whether you need more than one operation.
Other Treatment Options. Deoxycholic acid injection is a nonsurgical alternative for double chin removal. During this procedure, deoxycholic acid — a substance found in the gallbladder that is able to dissolve dietary fat — is injected into the skin beneath your chin. Deoxycholic acid requires several injections over the course of several weeks. Some people may only need two or three injections, but it’s not uncommon for others to require six treatments.
Another treatment option is to freeze fat cells with a vacuum-pressured device. This device sucks the skin and fat into a suction cup. The suction cup then chills the skin and fat and then warms the fat back up. This results in a process known as apoptosis occurring, which causes the fat cells to die. This procedure can take up to two months to work.
Double Chin Exercises
If you prefer the natural process of eliminating your double chin, there are many exercises you can perform to help reduce and eventually eliminate your excess chin and neck fat.
Common exercises include:
- Chin-to-ceiling: The chin-to-ceiling exercise helps activate neck and jaw muscles and should be performed 10-20 times a day. It requires you to stand or sit with your spine straight and then tilt your head backward, looking up to the ceiling. Gently guide your lower jaw forward, toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Lion’s roar: The lion’s roar exercise helps you tone your chin and should be performed 10 to 20 times a day. Begin by opening your mouth wide and sticking your tongue out as far as you can. You’ll need to hold this position for 10 seconds. Return to your normal position and restart.
- Cheek swishing: Cheek swishing is an exercise that you often do without realizing it—such as when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your mouth. You can use water to help, but you can also perform this exercise with just air. All you need to do is vigorously swish around your cheeks for 5 to 10 minutes. Similar to the other exercises, you should aim to perform this exercise 10 to 20 times a day.