Neck & Jawline Definition
Time to show your lower face and neck some love with a plastic surgery procedure to enhance the jawline, and restore your neck to the glory of its youth.
Published: January 27, 2021
Last updated: March 25, 2021
Nothing beats a defined jawline and toned neck. These areas naturally enhance the facial features and create a youthful appearance. Underlying bone structure can unfortunately cause a weak jawline in the same way it can give some the jawline of a Grecian deity. For others the natural changes to the jaw area and neck that accompany the turning hands of the clock can cause jowls, and drooping or sagging skin around the neck and jaw area. It’s not all bad though. There are numerous surgical and non-surgical jaw enhancement and neck enhancement procedures. A plastic surgeon can correct a double chin, an undesirable jawline, the appearance of jowls, or loose skin around the neck.
What is the anatomy of the neck and jaw?
The jaw and neck can be defined from the mandible (lower jaw bone) to the clavicles (collar bones) and superior sternum (upper portion of the breastbone). Looking anterior (front) to posterior (back) the neck contains the trachea (windpipe), esophagus (how food gets to the stomach), and the spine. The thyroid gland sits at the front of the neck on the trachea. The tough, ringed structure you feel on the front of the neck just below the skin is the trachea.
One of the most noticeable neck muscles is the sternocleidomastoid muscle which is superficial and sits to the sides of the neck. In the back, a nice shoulder and neck massage is mostly targeting the trapezius muscle. Major blood vessels (like the carotid arteries and jugular veins) run from the chest into the neck and head carrying blood to the brain (think TV shows checking the carotid pulse in the neck).
From a cosmetic perspective, the soft tissues of the neck are poorly supported. As skin structure degrades with age and use, skin will sag and the musculature of the neck will appear more prominent. (1)
The jaw is composed of the upper and lower jaw bones. The upper is the maxilla and the lower is the mandible. The mandible provides the appearance of the jawline. The jaw meets the skull at the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint which can be felt at the temples.
What causes some people’s neck and/or jaw to be more defined than others?
The lower jaw, including the chin, and neck figure strongly in overall appearance. The anatomy of the shoulders will also impact neck and jaw appearance. Body fat, muscle mass, and genetic bone structure will have the most influence on the look of the jaw and neck.
Men naturally have larger bone structure, and, therefore, more defined jaws. Women typically have a softer jaw appearance. As we age, and the skin loses elasticity, fat deposits increase, and muscle mass decreases, the neck and jaw will take on a more sagging or drooping appearance.
Underlying medical conditions, especially endocrine disorders, can impact the structure and appearance of the neck and jaw.
What are the main concerns related to neck and jaw definition?
Depending on the underlying cause, concerns regarding the appearance of the neck and jaw can fall into one of three categories:
- Jaw Shape & Size: The underlying bone structure determines the size and shape of the jaw. Disproportions between the facial features, neck, and jaw may create the appearance of an overly large or small jaw.
- Jowls: The drooping/sagging of the skin and fat of the upper neck below the jaw and chin creates the appearance of jowls. These occur naturally with aging and, depending on lifestyle, may occur sooner in some individuals
- Aging Neck: As we age, soft tissues lose their structural support in the form of collagen and elastin, fat deposits change, and muscle mass is decreased. These factors can create the appearance of a drooping or sagging neck with overly prominent musculature.
Who may wish to improve the definition of their jawline and neck?
Those with a genetic predisposition to undesirable jaw and/or neck appearance may wish to pursue a cosmetic procedure to improve definition and appearance. Older individuals experiencing the effects of natural aging may seek to restore and rejuvenate their neck and jawline. A defined, sharp, and toned neck and jawline can create a youthful and pleasing aesthetic.
How can someone change their neck and jaw definition?
For those concerned with the appearance of their neck and jawline, there are numerous surgical and non-surgical options available to refine, define and improve overall aesthetic. Surgical options involve alterations to underlying bone, fat, and soft tissue. Non-surgical options like injections (think Botox or Kybella), Neck Lifts, Liposuction, and Thread Lifts can be equally effective in enhancing jawline and neck appearance. Depending on your unique concern available options are outlined below:
For Jaw Shape & Size:
To correct the soft tissue degradation associated with jowl formation Dermal Fillers & Injectables, Skin Tightening like Infrared Skin Tightening and Ultrasound Skin Tightening/Ultherapy, Neck Lift (Direct Neck Lift, Cervicoplasty, or Platysmaplasty), and Liposuction procedures such as Laser Assisted Liposuction, Radiofrequency Assisted Liposuction, Tumescent Liposuction, SmartLipo, and Submental Liposuction can be utilized.
For an Aging Neck:
Procedures to tighten and restore the soft tissues can rejuvenate the neck appearance. Neck Lifts like Direct Neck Lift, Cervicoplasty, or Platysmaplasty, skin tightening procedures such as PrecisionTX, NeckTite™, and Ultrasound Skin Tightening/Ultherapy, Kybella injections, and Thread Lifts can be used. There are a variety of Thread Lifts including Silhouette Instalift, Silhouette Soft Thread Lift, and PDO Thread Lift.
For a deeper dive into the treatment options outlined above, check out our complete guide to Neck & Jawline Definition Solutions.
Bust out the tank tops and scoop necks, and don’t bother with the first few buttons. A toned neck and defined jawline can be achieved safely and effectively through jawline enhancement procedures, injectables (like Botox or kybella), fillers, and liposuction techniques. Regardless of your underlying concern, it’s time to create your ideal aesthetic.
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