Is Your Phone Aging You?

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Your smartphone may be your main source of communication, the news and everything else that keeps you in the know, but is looking at this tiny handheld wonder so much also doing a number on your looks—more specifically, on your chin?

“Looking down at our smartphones may make us more aware of our double chins both by the sensation along the neck and the appearance in a ‘selfie,’” explains Palo Alto, CA, facial plastic surgeon Jill L. Hessler, MD. “But, just holding your chin in a downward position will not create fat deposits under the chin.”

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So that’s the good news. The bad news: Genetics play a big part in whether or not you will develop excessive fat under your chin (also known as submental fullness)—and it could happen a lot earlier than you might think, even in your 20s and 30s. More bad news? The fat in this area tends to be resistant to diet or exercise.

But, there is a solution—in the form of Kybella. “It is similar to a substance found naturally in the body in the digestive system that helps dissolve the fats we eat,” Dr. Hessler says. “Patients with excessive fat under their chin and minimal skin laxity are considered good candidates for it, and it involves a series of between two and six treatments, spread about a month apart.” Following the injection, there can be some stinging or mild discomfort, and some mild swelling can occur for a few days following.

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