Fighting The New Wrinkle: Décolletage and Chest Care

After nights spent sleeping on her side, Gigi Howard, a former public relations executive, would wake up with lines etched into her décolletage.

"My face looked my age, but my chest and cleavage appeared twenty years older," says Gigi. "I was a notorious side sleeper—one of the main causes of chest wrinkles—so I tried sleeping on my back, looked for products, pillows, gadgets, anything that would help, but there was no proven solution."

Gigi expanded, saying she would sleep with stuffed animals between her breasts and would even go as far as trying masking tape, which wouldn’t stay on. She was looking for an adhesive that would fold with the skin to prevent the creasing – even considering duct tape.

One day in a doctor’s office, she discovered a piece of medical-grade silicone and had a light-bulb moment. After spending three and a half years testing, and creating more than 100 prototypes, she arrived at the SiO SkinPad , a ping pong paddle shaped, medical-grade silicone pad that is worn overnight to keep skin from crinkling.

Dr. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist in New York and a medical adviser for SiO, explained that the pad works by preventing creasing and creating a wrinkle-fighting environment under the silicone.

“We know medical-grade silicone has healing properties,” Dr. Engelman said. “Doctors use it all the time for scarring. The mechanism is not 100 percent elucidated, but the theory is that it increases growth factors to help wound healing and decreases the mediators that cause excess scarring.”

With directional recent runways laying heavy emphasis on an exposed swath of décolleté, a new emphasis is being given to keeping the area as fresh as your face.

Since the problems of the neck and chest, like those of the face, are varied, we suggest layering multiple in-office treatments with at-home care.

Recommendations for the most common complaints:

Fade the Dark Spots

After years of sun exposure, dark spots and broken capillaries can populate the chest. The intense pulsed light of the photo facial offered at SkinSpaMED, can correct both. The light targets unwanted pigment, breaking it up so it can be absorbed by the body.

“It’s superficial, requires little downtime and has a light collagen-building effect,” Marie Reyes said of the treatment. It is also less expensive ($350 - $750) than the popular Fraxel lasers, which trigger the skin’s wound-healing response to stimulate collagen growth.

Sun Damage

Crinkly skin below the chin is caused primarily by sun damage leading to collagen loss. “When sun hits directly on the chest it has a skin-thinning effect,” said Reyes. Fortunately, this inevitable damage is treatable in a number of noninvasive ways. Again, laser treatments, such as the Photo Facial, can be used safely on the neck and décolletage.

Also, injectable dermal fillers can plump the skin up from within. “It works superficially so you can correct those fine etch-a-sketch lines,” Reyes said.

Tighten the Turkey Neck

Loose skin and thick banding of the platysma muscle, which runs from chin to clavicle, create the look we call “turkey neck.”

Ultherapy is a noninvasive ultrasound therapy that injures the tissue surrounding the muscles, setting off a healing response that creates more collagen, which in turn tightens and lifts skin gradually. The procedure works for those with mild sagging; very loose skin is best corrected by surgery.

Thickening and protrusion of the platysma muscle is also common. “If the person has really good skin, and the problem is just these muscle bands, we can use Botox and Dysport from top to bottom to relax them,” said Reyes.

Shrink the Double Chin

While most neck and chest problems begin to plague us as we reach middle age, a double chin lacks that partiality. Anyone can have one, and Kybella, an injectable acid, can treat the condition. The acid dissolves superficial chin fat, the fat between skin and muscle. Patients may need multiple treatments, which are spaced a month apart. The cost of a first treatment is around $1,200.

Some people have fat underneath the muscle, which is usually a hereditary condition. Kybella and other less invasive options can’t get to that deep fat, so surgery is best.

To figure out your double-chin type, pinch the area, then swallow. “If the fat just stays there between your fingers, there’s a much better chance the fat is beneath the skin and you can be treated with Kybella,” Dr. Sullivan said.

SkinSpaMED of Dallas and Colleyville understands beauty starts with great skin, and we’re here to help! Our mission is to provide exceptional, personal, and effective celebrity-style medical spa services. SkinSpaMED provides a unique red-carpet solution delivered by professionals who provide the finest levels of service through individualized treatment plans. Call us today for a free consult.