14 Sep Tackling the Double Chin
If you have a double chin, you’re in good company. Many people struggle with this pocket of fat, and you certainly don’t have to be overweight to sport one. Double chins are a common reason that bring patients to Spectrum Dermatology, particularly for those who want to get rid of their double chin for good without the risks and downtime of surgery. For years the only way to remove a double chin was with liposuction, but the FDA-cleared revolutionary treatment Kybella has changed everything. Now, you can get rid of your double chin through a series of injections that dissolve double chins using an acid that already occurs naturally in the body.
The fat that causes a double chin is called submental fat. When you have a little extra tissue below the lower jaw bone (mentum), a double chin appears. However, just because double chins are very common (and always have been judging by historical portraits) doesn’t mean everyone is happy to have one. If double chins have plagued people of all sizes for centuries, why did it take so long for Kybella to be invented? In actuality, a “double chin” is a somewhat complex—albeit harmless—feature.
Understanding the Double Chin
In most cases, a so-called double chin is actually comprised of three different types of excess tissue. A double chin often includes excess fat, excess skin, or a combination of both. When you see a dermatologist about your double chin, the first thing they will do is pinpoint what type(s) of excess you have. After all, having excess, sagging skin gets very common as we get older and that includes below the chin. We produce less collagen as we age, and collagen is the inherent tool for keeping skin taut and firm.
Age isn’t the only factor with loose skin. Weight fluctuations throughout our lifetime, stretching (which is bound to happen any time we eat or talk), natural deterioration of bones, cartilage, and fat in the face, and even genetics play a role. If your parents have a double chin, there’s a good chance you will, too. Sun exposure, smoking, and gravity exacerbate sagging skin. Anyone of nearly any age can develop sagging skin, though it is more common as we get older.
Our Body and Double Chins
It’s also important to consider fat distribution, because in this regard we are all unique. Those who naturally have a larger, heavier frame tend to have bigger faces. For those who exclusively have excess submental fat and not excess skin, Kybella alone can be the answer. You may also benefit from weight reduction through diet and exercise if you’re heavier, but keep in mind that your fat distribution won’t change. If you have more fat cells below the chin than average, simply “losing weight” might not completely remove the double chin.
Nobody knows the exact DNA sequence that gives some people a bigger submental area than others. It can be frustrating to know that your double chin is caused by factors out of your control, like genetics or age. Fortunately, there’s a solution.
Kybella and Other Treatments
Kybella is a chemical therapy that was first approved in 2015 as a surgical alternative for the removal of submental fat. It uses deoxycholic acid, which “eats” fat. Patients require a series of Kybella sessions, and the bile acid works in the time between appointments to permanently dissolve targeted fat. This fat is then safely expelled from the body. Some minor swelling and bruising may occur, but patients can immediately return to their daily activities after Kybella injections.
Kybella does not treat excess skin. If you struggle with both excess fat and skin, combining Kybella with a non-surgical skin tightening treatment like laser or light therapy can give you the results you want. There are a number of skin-tightening treatments available, such as chemical peels, that also improve the tone and overall appearance of lax skin. Your exact aesthetic treatment will depend on what type of excess you have below the chin and your goals.
To learn more about Kybella and other methods for vanquishing a double chin, call Spectrum Dermatology today at (480) 948-8400.