The 60 Pound Pain In Your Neck
So, we made it through 2020. Somehow, we made it through. We spent a lot of time at home. Buying everything. I’m pretty sure at this point we feel like we all should own stock in Amazon. Honestly, it should come as no surprise that when left at home to our own devices, we spent a lot of time looking at ourselves. Working from home has been one of the biggest drivers of increased cosmetic surgery demand. With a quarantine in place, we had extra time to recover. We took advantage of the natural downtime allotted by working from home. With a travel ban and disposable income to utilize as we saw fit- every one of us had a chance to transform to the Kardashian of our own choosing.
Surprisingly, the procedures performed at CSA were the ones where patients used to say, “Ooof, that’s just too much downtime!” or “I can't take that much time off work!” CSA saw a dramatic increase in more complex surgical procedures, procedures that needed more binding/dressing/drainage, or compression garments. More patients were taking advantage of seasonal chemical peels that would require more time out of the sun/office and “social downtime.” More patients had multiple procedures at once. Let us all thank the tech wizards for their gift of Zoom and the “No Camera” option!
Another distinct differences between cosmetic trends now versus pre-COVID is the actual number of trips to the office that our patients are willing to make. Currently, our patients are looking for one visit to knock out all of their needs at once. Pre-COVID patients would space out their treatments to allow healing in one area before focusing on another. Now? Patients are adopting a more “one-trip” approach to out-of-their-house experiences. Long gone are the days of, “Oh, I'll come for Botox® today and we can do laser next week.” Now, it’s, " Give me my Botox®, give me my filler, let's do InstaLift® and Qwo®-- let's do it all in one shot!” (Literally a pun—they’re all injections. I don’t get out much, please bear with me.)
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)’s 2020 member survey, almost all facial plastic and cosmetic surgeons cited an increase of more than 10% in surgical bookings and treatments since March of 2020. Since living and working (while looking at ourselves) online 24/7, patients have become more self-conscious about their appearance, in particular their face and profile, spurring a huge trend in facial anatomy perception — looking very closely at things like the chin, the jaw, and the neck. Focusing on the profile, across the board, is extremely on-trend right now. Adding filler to the chin and anterior jawline to sharpen the jawline and improve the neck is becoming increasingly popular. The neck? -- So glad you asked…
Patients are wanting to sharpen the jawline angles to resolve a new, but quickly skyrocketing patient request: the "tech neck." For those of you wondering what the heck “tech neck” is— (pay close attention if you’re reading this on your phone or tablet) -- when you text or read from a handheld device, your head is generally tilted forward. As a result, the skin on the neck develops increased laxity, which can cause excessive wrinkling and droopy jowls. As if crow’s feet, worry lines, turkey gobbler, and laugh lines weren’t enough to worry about! Depending on how intently you are staring at your phone, your head can be putting up to 60 pounds of pressure on your neck and spine—as well as giving you headaches, wrinkles, lines, and saggy jowls.
CSA has absolutely seen an increase in platysmaplasties, neck lifts, and lower face lifts. If you are not quite to a surgical point, but still want to address the chins that even your favorite SnapChat filter can’t get rid of, we are starting to do more things in the neck in terms of injections. Platysma band injections can be done with Botox® that can elevate the skin under the chin. Kybella® can be injected into the fat under the chin to tighten the jawline and help get rid of that dreaded double chin or turkey neck. Sculptra® can be used in the soft tissue to improve the skin’s texture and fine lines on the neck. Our MedSpa offers radiofrequency devices and laser resurfacing that can improve the neck and decolletage as well. For the chin, short of an implant, Juvéderm® Voluma™ XC, has been approved to give a little projection to the chin. There are even daily fixes that can help like Vitamin-C serums (check out Dr. Courtney’s here—it’ s lifechanging) to put on in the morning, using sunscreen religiously, and then a retinol cream at night (but be careful, as the neck’s skin is a more sensitive than the face—seriously start with a low concentration and not every day) like this one (also a magnificent product by Dr. Courtney).
What does it all mean? Well, tech neck can be somewhat prevented by remaining body and posture aware at all times. Or, binge your show and let us help you. Whatever makes you happy. Whatever makes you confident. Whatever makes you turn the Zoom camera back ON.