We typically associate a double chin with weight gain, and while this is true, there are other factors that cause it. “Double chin is a term describing excess fullness under the chin,” says Herndon, VA, facial plastic surgeon Shervin Naderi, MD. “It’s caused by excess fat under the chin in one of two distinct anatomical compartments.”
Even more so than your weight, double chins are primarily hereditary. That means that if your parents had a double chin, it’s likely that you’ll develop one too as you age. Double chins also don’t discriminate between genders or races, although those with an Asian background are less likely to develop one. Also, “usually someone with a short neck, a weak chin or a low positioned voice-box is more likely to get a double chin,” says Dr. Naderi. But the good news is that there are ways to get rid of it.
Some people find that weight loss helps reduce their double chin, but oftentimes that’s not the case. “If weight loss fails, the only alternative is surgical,” says Littletown, CO, facial plastic surgeon Brent Smith, MD. “ The only true way to get rid of it is with surgery. We need to remove the excess fat with liposuction and we also need to address the muscles underneath, and the skin.” That’s because if only the fat is removed, there’s going to be a lot of extra skin. “If the chin is weak, then a chin implant may be needed as well for optimal results,” adds Dr. Naderi.
As for non-invasive procedures, both doctors agree that they often don’t produce the desired result. “Thermage and Ulthera are non surgical devices that have very modest results,” says Dr. Naderi. “The less invasive laser liposuction (Smart Lipo) is the best minimally invasive method today.”
While we tend to focus on removing the fat from the area, the actual skin itself needs to be addressed. So Dr. Smith recommends that patients also look into ways to make their skin look younger to get the best results. “We also do some laser resurfacing and chemical peeling of the skin to complement the surgery that was done underneath,” he adds.